The Rays and manager Kevin Cash have finalized a contract extension that runs through the 2024 season, with a club option for ’25, the team announced Tuesday.
Terms of the extension weren’t made public.
Cash, 40, led the Rays to a 90-72 mark in 2018, their best since their last postseason appearance in 2013, at a time when the team was an aggressive seller, dealing franchise stalwarts such as third baseman Evan Longoria, starting pitchers Chris Archer and Nathan Eovaldi, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos and closer Alex Colome, among others.
We’ve got a good one.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/kGKDPHZrZT
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 9, 2018
“The energy, the competitiveness. There’s a certain authenticity that we’ve spoken to over time here, that makes him real and allows him to motivate and to relate to a wide assortment of people. … Our players want to play for him, and he’s just created a wonderful culture for our group,” GM Erik Neander said in a statement (via the team’s website).
Cash used a mostly strong young core and novel tactics such as the Rays’ use of an opener for most of the season, his fourth since replacing Joe Maddon when he left for the Cubs after the 2014 season.
If not for 100-victory seasons by no fewer than three AL teams in the Red Sox, Astros and Yankees, Cash — who turns 41 on Dec. 6 and remains the youngest skipper in the majors — might be considered a favorite to win the AL Manager of the Year award, presented in November.
“I think this game has always been about the players and will always be about the players,” Cash said in a statement. “But any positive impact myself, my staff, our front office can do to help lead them in the right direction is a huge benefit.”
He has compiled a record of 318-330 (.491) over his four seasons. He had one year remaining on his original five-year, $5 million contract.