Kevin Cash has been selected as the new manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.
One of two finalists, alongside the experienced former manager Don Wakamatsu, this Tampa native emerged as an early favorite when the second round of interviews began, and has since been awarded the opportunity to lead the team that traded for him in 2005.
Cash is a product of the bay area, having grown up in Tampa Bay and graduated from Gaither High School. Re-joining the Rays franchise is returning home. He turns 37 on Saturday, and becomes the youngest manager in all of baseball.
After retiring, Cash was a professional scout for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, preparing binders, statistics, and reports on opposing players, then joined the new-regime Indians in 2013 as the bullpen coach, where he was noted to have an advanced feel for in-game manager decisions.
Among his accomplishments in Cleveland, Cash is credited with the pitching successes of Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez in 2013, Carlos Carrasco and Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in 2014, and with instigating the trade for catcher Yan Gomes.
Cash contributed toward two World Series winning teams in 2007 and 2009, both in the AL East. He spent the majority of his playing career and all of his coach career under the well respected Terry Francona -- who tabbed him to have future manager potential as early as 2012. Cash was a finalist for manager with the Texas Rangers earlier this off-season.
For more on Kevin Cash's playing and coaching career, read our full write up here. Also, for evidence of his skill working with pitchers, here's a breakdown of how he allegedly helped turn around the career of Carlos Carrasco during his time in Cleveland.
Toby David was first to report yesterday, followed by confirmation from Ken Rosenthal this afternoon.
News, reactions, and analysis to follow!