Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash has been hired by the Tampa Bay Rays to be their new manager. He'd been named a finalist a while back, and in recent days he seemed to be the favorite for the job, so this does not come as a big surprise. Cash did a fantastic job in his two years in Cleveland, and absolutely deserves this opportunity. I'm delighted for him, while also being bummed as a Tribe fan, because his replacement won't necessarily have the same sort of positive impact. This is the cost of having good people though, others are going to want them.
Cash (a Tampa Bay native) spent 8 years as an MLB catcher, but didn't hit well enough to stick, and made the decision to move into scouting, then coaching. He is only 36 years old. He joined the Indians for the 2013 season, as part of new manager Terry Francona's staff. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway has gotten a lot of credit (deservedly) for the turnarounds many Tribe pitchers have made during that time, but Cash has had a big impact too.
Carlos Carrasco spent a lot of time working with Cash this spring and summer, which helped Carrasco turn things around, going from failed starter to good reliever before returning to the rotation and pitching incredibly during August and September. Hopefully whatever adjustments Cash helped him with, Carrasco can maintain without Cash's continued presence.
Cash also deserves a lot of credit for Yan Gomes. Before coming to Cleveland, Cash was a scout for Toronto. After being hired, Cash raved to Chris Antonetti about Gomes, whom Antonetti then worked to acquire.
No word yet on who will replace Cash for the Indians.