The Tampa Bay Rays are about to embark on a new era. After Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the organization and signed with the Chicago Cubs, the team was left with a major void at the manager position. 

Now, the Rays have announced their list of potential replacements via Twitter:

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provided his initial thoughts on the list: 

Dave Martinez is probably the front-runner for this gig, as he spent seven seasons as Maddon’s bench coach. He already has the support of some players, including Rays reliever Joel Peralta, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

I’m really hoping they sign Davey and give him a shot. Not only did he learn a lot from Joe, he knows the Rays organization, he knows the Rays way. Everybody knows him, everybody’s comfortable around him. He’s a great guy, and I believe he can be a great manager.

Joe let everyone do his own thing and play hard, and I think Davey would be the same way. I know every player is going to want to play hard for him.

Martinez is just one name on a long list, however.   

Manny Acta was previously the manager of the Cleveland Indians for three years before being fired in 2012. He has since served as an analyst for ESPN. Kevin Cash, just 36, is the bullpen coach for the Indians. Former major league player Craig Counsell worked as an assistant for Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin in 2012. Raul Ibanez played 90 games between the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals in 2014, but he seems likely to retire and take a coaching or broadcasting job in 2015.

Charlie Montoyo is the manager of the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls. Finally, Don Wakamatsu was the bench coach for the Kansas City Royals in 2014, while Ron Wotus fulfilled the same role for the San Francisco Giants.

It’s clear the Rays are casting a wide net to replace Maddon. There are big shoes to fill in Tampa Bay, but the Rays have compiled a list of some of the brightest up-and-coming manager prospects to do so.


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