The Rays have made potentially the two most important moves of the off-season in extending the contracts of Rays President of Baseball Operations Erik Neander and of Manager Kevin Cash.
Both were under contract for the next two or three seasons, and as usual there is not a ton of clarity as to what those contracts entail.
In fact, it looks like how long both are under contract will not be announced until their annual interview at the start of Spring Training. Details on what the contracts entail are typically scarce.
It seems likely the Rays will be paying Cash, one of baseball’s top managers, a hefty salary moving forward. Perhaps not as much as the Cubs agreed to pay Craig Counsell in poaching him away from the rival Brewers (5 years, $40 million), but it would not surprise me to see at least a $5 million commitment to keep Cash from looking for opportunities elsewhere.
As for Neander, his extension comes as he adds job responsibilities. Following the departure of GM Peter Bendix to head the Marlins front office, the Rays elected to forgo naming a General Manager for this season, making Neander the de facto point person for the front office once again — although four individuals were identified as Assistant GM’s in Will Cousins, Kevin Ibach, Chanda Lawdermilk and Carlos Rodriguez, so there is surely plenty of delegating to go around.
Hopefully we learn more soon. The Opening Press Conference with Neander and Cash will be Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m., which is report day for pitchers and catchers. Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m will mark the pitchers and catchers first workout.