Rays maintain winning continuity with Erik Neander, Kevin Cash extensions

The extensions of both Erik Neander and Kevin Cash were vital in keeping winning baseball in St. Petersburg for a long time.
Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One
Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

On Feb. 8, the Tampa Bay Rays announced extensions with both manager Kevin Cash and president of baseball operations Erik Neander. Although there was not a specific number for the money and years they were given, it has been reported by multiple news networks that the two figureheads will be with the organization as the team makes their move into the new St. Petersburg ballpark in 2028.

The move itself is crucial for the Rays, as the success they have earned with these two men at the helm can only be expected to continue for some time.

Neander has been at the forefront for signing some of the big names currently on the Rays' roster like Yandy Diaz (three years, $26 million), Zach Eflin (three years, $40 million), and Jeffrey Springs (four years, $31 million). His recent move at the 2023 MLB trade deadline to secure Aaron Civale also allows the Rays to have control of his contract through this season, which gave the team a valuable starter and allowed them to avoid a rental-type scenario. His role in the front office for a team that ranks consistently in the bottom five in payroll has kept them in championship contention.

As for Cash, his stint in Tampa Bay has been nothing short of impressive. Entering Year 10 with the Rays, he has had seven 80+ win seasons and has an American League title, sending the team to the World Series in 2020.

Granted, the first few seasons of his Tampa Bay career following in the footsteps of Joe Maddon were none too impressive, but once the Rays made the postseason for the first time in six years in 2019, they have been to it every year since, making it five years in a row. He also won the AL East division in back-to-back seasons in 2020 and 2021. Cash's career record with the Rays is 739-631 (.545).

It is clear to see that the success the team has had with these two as figureheads in the dugout and in the front office can be maintained. The moves from Neander and wisdom from Cash have kept great players wanting to stay with the Rays, and extending them continues a culture of winning that has been clearly established. Simply put, Tampa Bay will have good baseball for seasons to come and will continue to chase down its first World Series championship.