Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu are the three men that the Rays will ultimately choose their next manager from after Joe Maddon opted out of his contract and then signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Watamatus is the only member of the trio who has previous experience as a big league manager. He took over the manager job with the Settle Mariners in 2009 but was fired mid-way though the 2010 season. Overall he has a 127-147 career record. Dave Martinez who had been considered a favorite for the job was not even among the finalist for the position.
#Rays will bring each of the 3 finalists – Cash, Ibanez, Wakamatsu – in for interviews the week of Dec. 1, so no manager by Thanksgiving
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 21, 2014
Ibanez finished the 2014 season as a member of the Kansas City Royals but was left off the roster for the playoffs after posting a .167/.264/.285 line with five home runs and 26 RBI in 90 games. While he has not officially announced his retirement the only time the 42-year-old’s name has been mentioned has been in conjunction with coaching. The Yankees were interested in him as a hitting coach.
It will be hard to match the success of Maddon who posted six straight winning seasons with the Rays from 2008-2013 and ended his nine year tenure with the Cub with a 754-705 record and a trip to the World Series.