The search for Terry Francona's successor is underway, and a name that the Guardians organization is very familiar with could be in the mix. Current manager of the Tampa Bay Rays Kevin Cash.
Longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons made an appearance on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland Friday, noting the similarities between Cash and Francona, the fact that he loved Cleveland, and that the Rays are concerned that he could leave.
This was not the first mention of the connection between Cleveland and Cash by Gammons on Friday. Gammons posted to Twitter/X earlier in the day that Cash was the first person Francona told former President of Baseball Operations Mark Shapiro that he wanted to hire. He would also note "Many believe that the person Francona would like replacing him is Cash.".
While this is not quite full-on rumor territory, the timing is at least interesting. The Guardians are looking to find their next manager, and the person that some believed could be next in line to succeed Francona is mentioned as a possibility almost immediately after the Rays were eliminated in the Wild Card round for the second straight year.
Should Cash become a realistic option for the Guardians, they should push hard to acquire his services. Cash is one of the better managers in baseball and has plenty of experience of working for an organization that has financial constraints with a near identical approach to the game.
Cash has a 739-617 record in nine years as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have won the very competitive American League East division twice while making three additional postseason appearances via a Wild Card berth. Tampa Bay claimed their second-ever American League pennant in 2020 under Cash before ultimately falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The Rays have not had much postseason success since then, winning one game in their last eight tries.