With Andrew Friedman leaving the Tampa Bay Rays front office to join the Los Angeles Dodgers a few days ago, things got a bit crazy for the Rays. People were changing roles left and right in the front office, and promotions meant that new people will now be calling the shots in the Rays front office. Now that the dust has more or less settled, here’s a guide to who will be making what decisions in the new-look front office.
Taking over baseball operations side of things will be Matt Silverman, who has served as the team’s President for he past eight years. Silverman’s transition is not an exact replication of Friedman’s role, as his title will be President of Baseball Operations whereas Friedman was the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. Generally the biggest difference in these two positions would be that a President of Baseball Operations would hire a General Manager to work under him, but an EVP of Baseball Operations would not. However, Silverman has stated he will not hire a GM to work under him, so because of that his role is essentially the same as Friedman’s was despite a slightly different title.
Additionally, the Rays have promoted Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander to the roles of Vice President of Baseball Operations. Essentially, Bloom and Neander will be mirroring the role of an Assistant General Manager, and they will serve as Silverman’s right-hand men. In the past, Bloom has focused on scouting, minor league player development, and roster decisions while Neander has generally focused on research on players and development. Expect them to perform many of those same duties, and they will also likely add more significant roles in contract negotiation moving forward.
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The last significant change is that of Brian Auld, who will be taking over Silverman’s prior role as President. He will not have a significant input on the baseball operations side of the Rays front office, but instead will deal with more of the business side of things. This means that Auld will be heavily involved if and when potential stadium talks heat up. He will also head areas such as marketing, ticket sales, and any Rays’ community outreach efforts.
Friedman leaving has put more importance on quite a few people in the organization, but the good news is that these people know how the Rays run the organization. All of them have been with the Rays for at least a few years, and they understand how the organization has been able to see success under Friedman. Thus, despite the new hierarchy, do not expect too many changes with how the club is run.