Rays sign Kevin Cash, MLB’s longest-tenured manager, to contract extension, team president extended as well

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Thursday morning, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that the contracts of president of baseball operations Erik Neander and manager Kevin Cash have been extended. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg made the announcement.
“I believe there are none better in baseball,” Sternberg said. “What we’ve all accomplished together has been remarkable, and the best is yet to come.”
The deals for each Neander and Cash “will carry into and beyond the team’s planned 2028 move” into a new ballpark, reports the Tampa Bay Times, though exact terms of the deals aren’t yet known.
Neander, 40, joined the Rays as an intern in 2007 and worked his way up the ladder. He was named general manager in 2016 and promoted to president of baseball operations in 2021.
Cash, 46, has been the Rays manager since the beginning of the 2015 season, taking over after the highly publicized departure of Joe Maddon. Cash is now the longest-tenured MLB manager after Terry Francona’s retirement at the end of the 2023 season.
With Neander and Cash in leadership positions, the Rays have made the playoffs five straight seasons. The franchise made the playoffs only four times in its first 21 seasons. They went 99-63 last season after a historic 13-0 start to the year.
The current group won the 2020 pennant, but an ALDS loss in 2021 — after a 100-win season — and Wild Card Series loss last season have left a little lingering disappointment. This is where we could latch onto the “best is yet to come” portion of Sternberg’s quote.
The Rays are expected to be a playoff-caliber team in 2024, again. The continuity with Neander and Cash’s leadership will be key in the ballclub’s endeavor.

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