The Tampa Bay Rays have promoted Double-A manager Brady Williams to the Durham Bulls after manager Jared Sandberg left the organization to become the new Field Coordinator for the Seattle Mariners (a position also offered to him if Tampa Bay if he chose to stay).
Williams, the son of former Major League manager Jimy Williams, joins the Bulls after spending the last five seasons as manager of the Rays’ Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits. The 39-year-old led the Biscuits to the playoffs each of the past four seasons, including a 79-win 2018 campaign, which was the franchise’s highest since 2007.
Prior to his time in Montgomery, Williams managed the previous five seasons with stops in Advanced-A Charlotte (2013), Single-A Bowling Green (2010-2012) and Short-Season Hudson Valley (2009). Over his 10-year managerial career, Williams has compiled a record of 776-699 (.526).
Joining Williams will be former Devil Rays star Quinton McCracken as the Third Base coach, a homecoming of sorts. McCracken attended Duke University locally prior to his major league career.
McCracken was the Devil Rays fourth selection in the 1997 expansion draft, and was their starting center fielder for the inaugural season, his best year as a player. His Tampa Bay career was essentially cut short after a torn ACL in 1999 derailed the team’s sophomore season, and from which he only briefly returned to the Devil Rays in 2000. Becoming a journeyman, McCracken had one more productive season for the 2002 Diamondbacks before taking on a bench role to finish out his career.
Since retiring, McCracken had served in a couple front office rolls, most notably for the Houston Astros (2012-2017) as Director of Player Personnel, assisting GM Jeff Luhnow in free agent acquisitions, trades and amateur signings. He has also worked in the front office for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2011), and most recently in player development as the Minor League Coordinator for the Miami Marlins (2018).
Returning to the Bulls coaching staff are Pitching Coach Rick Knapp (whose staff led the league in strikeouts in 2018) and Bench Coach Dan DeMent.