Bumpy ride of 2014 marked end of several Rays eras

Challenging year included tribute to Zim, farewell to Price and Maddon's departure

Bumpy ride of 2014 marked end of several Rays eras

ST. PETERSBURG -- Most Rays fans would be hard-pressed to come up with memorable moments from the 2014 season, given the disappointment of seeing their team endure its first losing season since 2007.

The Rays saw a remarkable streak of six consecutive winning seasons snapped when they finished with a 77-85 mark.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No snow, no problem for Rays skipper Cash

New manager grew up with Florida Christmases, continues tradition with family

No snow, no problem for Rays skipper Cash

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Cash became the fifth manager in Rays history on Dec. 5. New to the job, he is hardly a stranger to Rays fans, or to baseball fans in the area.

Cash played in the 1989 Little League World Series for Tampa Northside, graduated from Gaither High School in 1997 and played three seasons as an infielder for Florida State University, including a trip to the 1999 College World Series.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays land 5 players in deal sending Myers to Padres

Former Rookie of Year heading to San Diego; Nats' Souza among Tampa Bay's haul

Rays land 5 players in deal sending Myers to Padres

ST. PETERSBURG -- One of the biggest chores facing the Rays this offseason was assessing their roster. Which players did they want to go forward with and which ones did they not?

Outfielder Wil Myers and catcher Ryan Hanigan are now among the growing list of the latter category, while outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and catcher Rene Rivera are among the players the team hopes to ride in 2015.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomes clears waivers, accepts assignment

Gomes clears waivers, accepts assignment

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brandon Gomes cleared waivers and has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham with a Major League invite to Spring Training.

The Rays designated for assignment the right-hander on Friday to clear room on their 40-man roster.

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Bill Chastain a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Silverman taking bold steps necessary to reshape Rays

Silverman taking bold steps necessary to reshape Rays

On second thought, give Matt Silverman, the Tampa Bay Rays' "rookie" general manager credit.

When he traded young Wil Myers, American League 2013 Rookie of the Year, to San Diego in a mammoth, three-team, 11-player deal -- it was finalized Friday -- my knee-jerk reaction was, how could he do that?

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondnt for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays pleased with 5-player haul

Silverman: Club 'more well-rounded, balanced'

Rays pleased with 5-player haul

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays equally consider their present and future in every deal they make, and they say Friday's three-team, 11-player trade with the Padres and Nationals was no different.

Even if it appears at first glance they just diminished their chances to win next year.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amid changes, Silverman confident in Rays' chances

New regime has had busy offseason revamping roster after 77-win campaign

Amid changes, Silverman confident in Rays' chances

ST. PETERSBURG -- Wil Myers is gone, so are a lot of other players since the end of the 2014 season by way of trade or release.

Just don't get the idea the Rays are sacking the bats for 2015.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foley named bench coach as Rays announce staff

Montoyo takes over at third, with Baldelli at first; Hickey, Shelton, Boroski and Nelson return

Foley named bench coach as Rays announce staff

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced their coaching staff for the 2015 season on Friday.

Tom Foley will move over from third-base coach to become new manager Kevin Cash's bench coach. Triple-A Durham manager Charlie Montoyo will become the third-base coach, and former Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli will take over at first base.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomes designated for assignment

Gomes designated for assignment

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays designated right-hander Brandon Gomes for assignment on Friday, clearing room on their 40-man roster after completing an 11-player, three-team deal.

Gomes split the 2014 season between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham, appearing in 29 Major League games over three stints with the Rays.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

City council rejects proposed Rays stadium search

City council rejects proposed Rays stadium search

ST. PETERSBURG -- A little more than a week after taking a significant step forward in their search for a new ballpark, the Rays ran into another roadblock Thursday afternoon.

The St. Petersburg City Council denied the "memorandum of understanding" agreed to on Dec. 9 by the club and Mayor Rick Kriseman. After pushing back the decision a week, the council voted down the memo, five votes to three.

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Adam Berry is a reporter forMLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Crowded 11-player trade features top young talent

Rays, Nats and Padres each pick up impressive haul of prospects

Crowded 11-player trade features top young talent

Was keeping track of all the moving parts in the massive three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals a difficult task? To help sort things out, here's a quick scorecard of who went where:

Padres get:

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays land Jepsen from Angels for Joyce

Veteran right-handed reliever reached several career highs in 2014

Rays land Jepsen from Angels for Joyce

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays bolstered their bullpen Tuesday by trading from a position of strength, sending outfielder Matt Joyce to the Angels in exchange for right-hander Kevin Jepsen.

"Matt was an important part of this team for the last six seasons," said Erik Neander, the Rays' vice president of baseball operations. "We appreciate his many contributions to the Rays on the field and the professionalism he brought to the ballpark. We're excited about the experience Kevin brings to the bullpen and his ability to pitch in key moments of the game."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Left elbow surgery to sideline McGee for start of 2015

Balfour, Boxberger and Jepsen likely candidates for temporary closing role

Left elbow surgery to sideline McGee for start of 2015

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have been dealt their first major blow of the 2015 season: Jake McGee will begin the campaign on the disabled list.

Tampa Bay announced on Tuesday that McGee had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on Friday to remove a loose body. McGee said he is doing fine and a full recovery is expected.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash excited to be home, eager to get to work with Rays

Tampa Bay introduces fifth manager in its history

Cash excited to be home, eager to get to work with Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Cash homered in his first at-bat for the Rays in 2005. On Monday, he followed suit during his first news conference at Tropicana Field.

Out of the park!

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Cash ready to hone craft as first-time skipper

Cash ready to hone craft as first-time skipper

ST. PETERSBURG -- For the past 10 days during the honeymoon that has been Kevin Cash's coronation as Tampa Bay Rays manager, he's been walking and posing non-stop in front of TV cameras, talking into reporters' tape recorders and acting humble and excited to a battalion of well-wishers.

Adjectives have flowed from the young man's mouth that would make a thesaurus proud. It's been all about the emotions of getting the job that the iconic Joe Maddon owned for nine years, returning to Kevin's hometown of Tampa and you can fill in the blanks.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Borden acquired as final piece of Rodriguez trade

Rays also invite trio of Minor Leaguers to big league camp

Borden acquired as final piece of Rodriguez trade

The Rays have acquired Minor League pitcher Buddy Borden from the Pirates as the player to be named in the trade for Sean Rodriguez. The team also signed three players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: catcher Bobby Wilson, outfielder Corey Brown and infielder/outfielder Eugenio Velez.

Borden, 22, made 26 starts with Class A West Virginia this year. The right-hander was a seventh-round pick by the Pirates in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Rays on Nov. 26 and dealt to Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winter Meetings pass without fanfare for Rays

Club has quiet week as expected, though acquiring catcher remains priority

Winter Meetings pass without fanfare for Rays

SAN DIEGO -- Making trades and signing free agents are the marquee attractions of the Winter Meetings. But wheeling and dealing is not always the order of the day for every team.

The Rays were one of those teams this year in San Diego.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hernandez first pick in Rule 5 Draft, but Rays hope for return

Prospect selected by D-backs; Tampa Bay takes two in Minor League portion

Hernandez first pick in Rule 5 Draft, but Rays hope for return

SAN DIEGO -- The Rays saw one of their prospects announced as the top pick of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning, but they believe there's a good chance Oscar Hernandez will be back with the organization.

Hernandez, 21, hit .249 with nine home runs and 63 RBIs for Class A Bowling Green in 2014. He is said to have impressive tools, but he is raw in his development.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays tap Snyder as Triple-A pitching coach

Former big leaguer promoted after three seasons working in organization

Rays tap Snyder as Triple-A pitching coach

SAN DIEGO -- Kyle Snyder has been named the new pitching coach for the Triple-A Durham Bulls.

Snyder joins the Bulls' staff after the departure of Neil Allen, who was recently named the new pitching coach of the Twins.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moves will come, but preserving Longo tops discussion on Day 3

Moves will come, but preserving Longo tops discussion on Day 3

SAN DIEGO -- With the Winter Meetings winding down, a player who is staying with the Rays, and not ones who might potentially go elsewhere, became a topic of conversation on Wednesday.

Evan Longoria was on the lips of both Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman and Kevin Cash, the team's manager for less than a week.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' plans can move forward with Lester making decision

Silverman: 'Domino effect' will come into play with left-hander going to Cubs

Rays' plans can move forward with Lester making decision

SAN DIEGO -- While the Rays don't fish in the financial pond where Jon Lester swims, they are finding there's a strong connection to the free-agent lefty signing and their ability to do business at the Winter Meetings.

"There's a few things that need to happen for everything to break free," said president of baseball operations Matt Silverman prior to Lester agreeing to a six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs. "Everything's at a standstill right now waiting for [Lester to sign].

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays reach agreement to seek new ballpark site

Rays reach agreement to seek new ballpark site

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays cleared a major hurdle Tuesday in their long-running quest to find a new ballpark, reaching an agreement with the city of St. Petersburg that will allow the club to seek potential stadium sites in the Tampa Bay area.

If the "memorandum of understanding" negotiated by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Rays is approved by the City Council next week, the Rays can look anywhere in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties for a suitable location. St. Petersburg is located in Pinellas County, while Tampa is in Hillsborough County.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays explore catching options, trades on Day 1 of Meetings

Rays explore catching options, trades on Day 1 of Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- Finding catching help and entertaining trade talks about the team's surplus of outfielders characterized the Rays' first day at this year's Winter Meetings on Monday.

Currently, the Rays have three catchers on their 40-man roster: Ryan Hanigan, Curt Casali and Justin O'Conner.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash's destiny changed with simple position switch

Rays' new manager always appeared headed for a career in baseball

Cash's destiny changed with simple position switch

SAN DIEGO -- Beautiful Cape Cod. A place where the leaves change colors, the New England ambiance is quaint and occasionally infielders change positions.

At least that's how it went down for new Rays manager Kevin Cash.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Enthusiastic Cash ready to take the helm with Rays

New skipper meets the media at Winter Meetings, discusses coaching staff

Enthusiastic Cash ready to take the helm with Rays

SAN DIEGO -- Kevin Cash managed a chuckle when asked about the number he would wear this season as the new Rays manager.

"Just found out, 16," said Cash, addressing the media at the Winter Meetings. "[The Rays equipment manager] was looking for a single digit, but I've put on some weight since my playing days."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays offering up 3 auction items to benefit LUNGevity

Rays offering up 3 auction items to benefit LUNGevity

SAN DIEGO -- Grant Balfour remembers the day he heard his father, David, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Serving as the closer for the A's at the time, the veteran right-hander thought he could soldier on through the bad news received from his native Australia, where his father lives.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homecoming king: Cash chosen to manage Rays

Tampa Bay product and former Devil Ray calls news of hiring 'incredible'

Homecoming king: Cash chosen to manage Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kevin Cash is going home. And he's doing so as the new manager of the Rays.

Friday afternoon, the Rays named the former catcher as the fifth manager in team history. He will succeed Joe Maddon, who ended his nine-year tenure with the team by exercising an opt-out clause in his contract before agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal to manage the Cubs.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays excited about Cash's dedication, preparation

Silverman cites ex-Tampa Bay catcher's communication skills, intelligence

Rays excited about Cash's dedication, preparation

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays began their search for the fifth manager in franchise history by casting as wide a net as possible. They internally discussed dozens of candidates, baseball operations president Matt Silverman said, then winnowed that list down to eight, expanded it to 10 and narrowed it down to three finalists.

Some criticized Tampa Bay for its extensive, seemingly random list of candidates to succeed Joe Maddon, but the Rays say they simply entered this process with an open mind. This was their first chance since hiring Maddon in 2005 to get a sense of what's out there, to reevaluate the type of person they want in the manager's office at Tropicana Field.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Cash hopes to be new voice Rays need in clubhouse

Cash hopes to be new voice Rays need in clubhouse

Kevin Cash's first at-bat for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005 was memorable. He homered off Milwaukee right-hander Victor Santos in a 5-3 win at Tropicana Field. The young catcher's next 30 at-bats were very forgettable -- just four hits and 13 strikeouts.

"I remember it well," Cash says. "I closed my eyes, swung, happened to run into the ball and it went out of the park. The problem is I remember the next 30 at-bats also." Kevin lasted only 13 games that summer with the Devil Rays, long before they became just the Rays and learned how to win.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondnt for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.