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Rays extend Kevin Cash through 2024

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed manager Kevin Cash to an extension through 2024. Cash had one year left on his original five-year $5-million contract, with two team options. That’s all now absorbed by the new deal, the financial particulars of which are not yet known.

Cash will receive strong consideration for AL Manager of the year this year after guiding a Rays team many thought would be pretty bad to a 90-win season. He did so despite the fact that the front office shed several veterans last offseason, some of which came in straight salary dumps. Cash was able to get maximum effort out of a cast of young players while simultaneously implementing a radical new approach to starting pitching via the use of multiple scheduled bullpen days and the advent of the “opener” strategy.

Cash holds a 318-330 (.491) record over four seasons as manager. The future for him and the Rays looks far brighter, however.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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