Who’s next? Rays eye 8 candidates to replace Maddon

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Bench coach Dave Martinez and long-time major league player Raul Ibanez are among eight candidates the Tampa Bay Rays are considering for their next manager.

President of baseball operations Matt Silverman released what he described Thursday as a preliminary list of possibilities. Others include former Washington and Cleveland manager Manny Acta, Milwaukee special assistant Craig Counsell, minor league manager Charlie Montoyo, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, former Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu and Indians coach Kevin Cash.

Tampa Bay has been searching for a replacement for Joe Maddon since Oct. 24, when he opted out of the final year of his contract after leading the Rays to playoff berths four of the past seven seasons. Maddon was hired to manage the Cubs.

Martinez played 16 years in the majors for eight teams and was Tampa Bay’s bench coach under Maddon for the past seven seasons. Ibanez’s playing career spans 19 years, including stints with the Angels and Royals in 2014.

Silverman said the list of candidates likely “will grow as we continue through this process.”

“With a talented core of players and a strong clubhouse culture, our next manager will step into an enviable position,” Silverman said. “We will look for him to build upon that and take us to the next level.”

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