Tampa Bay Rays hire Kevin Cash as manager

The Tampa Bay Rays hire Kevin Cash to replace Joe Maddon as manager

Kevin Cash is the new manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The team announced the former Cleveland Indians bullpen coach as Joe Maddon's replacement on Friday, selecting him over ex-Seattle Mariners manager and current Kansas City Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu.

Cash, who turns 37 on Saturday, has no previous managerial experience. The former big-league catcher, who appeared in 13 games with Tampa Bay in 2005, served as Cleveland's bullpen coach for the past two seasons and becomes the youngest active manager in the majors.

Veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez, who is still an active player, was the third finalist for the job. He withdrew his name from consideration this week.

Maddon opted out of his contract with Rays on Oct. 24, later joining the Chicago Cubs as their new manager.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Cash's “energy and dynamic personality will fit seamlessly with our clubhouse.”

Yankees shore up bullpen, shortstop needs

The New York Yankees made their first big moves to reshape for 2015, agreeing Friday to a $36 million, four-year contract with reliever Andrew Miller and obtaining shortstop Didi Gregorius from Arizona as part of a three-team trade that sent right-hander Shane Greene to Detroit.

Miller's acquisition gives the Yankees a bit of insurance in case they don't re-sign closer David Robertson, who is a free agent.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Miller held opponents to a .153 average this year while going 5-5 with a 2.02 ERA for Boston and Baltimore. He joins a bullpen that includes hard-throwing right-hander Dellin Betances, who finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

Gregorius, a 24-year-old left-handed hitter, becomes the favorite to take over at shortstop following the retirement of Yankees captain Derek Jeter.

Dempster recruiting Lester for the Cubs

In his first duties as a special assistant to the president and general manager, Ryan Dempster is trying to recruit marquee free agent left-handed pitcher Jon Lester to the Cubs.

“Jon and I have talked about how great it is to play here,” Dempster said Friday shortly after retiring as a player with the Cubs and taking over his new duties under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. “He knows that. He has an extremely tough decision ahead, but whatever the decision will be, hopefully it's here with the Chicago Cubs because he won't be disappointed. Hopefully, we're lucky enough to have him with us.”

Dempster pitched for the Cubs for nine of his 16 seasons (2004-12), but he marveled over Lester during his 2013 season with the Red Sox when they won the World Series.

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