Peter Bendix promoted to Rays general manager

ST. PETERSBURG — Three months after elevating Erik Neander’s title to president of baseball operations, the Rays promoted Peter Bendix to the position of general manager as a part of a realignment of their entrance workplace.

Tampa Bay’s highest-level change on Thursday was the promotion of Bendix to GM and senior vice chairman of baseball operations, the position Neander held earlier than he was promoted (with an accompanying contract extension) in early September. Neander remains to be operating the Rays’ ever-expanding baseball operations division, however he stated Bendix will perform as an “interchangeable companion” with an elevated emphasis on overseeing the Major League membership.

“I’m very flattered. I’m very honored,” stated Bendix, who’s coming into his 14th season with the Rays. “But actually, the factor that I’m most honored is that the group trusts me, the group provides me this chance and I get to work with these unimaginable folks.”

Thursday’s announcement gained’t considerably change how the Rays do enterprise. Bendix already performed an enormous half in participant evaluations, acquisitions and roster administration in his earlier position as vice chairman of baseball improvement — particularly down the stretch of Tampa Bay’s 100-win marketing campaign in 2021. But this construction places the Rays according to the current trade pattern of golf equipment inserting each a president and GM atop the baseball operations division to handle the rising big-picture and day-to-day calls for of the job.

“Like the whole lot that we a minimum of attempt to do, we’re on the lookout for methods to get higher. And we’re an more and more giant, advanced operation,” Neander stated. “Something that actually requires larger steering and flexibility and oversight, and this construction … will assist us enhance in essential areas past tending to our day-to-day duties — issues which are actually necessary to us together with, however not restricted to, our capacity to lead with care and to strengthen belief throughout our whole operation, workers hiring, workers improvement, workers success, actually driving innovation.

“Certainly a bunch that I might take into account to be adaptive and actually well-positioned to deal with wherever the sport evolves from right here and nevertheless it evolves from right here.”

The Rays now have one senior vice chairman (Bendix) below Neander in addition to three VPs: Chanda Lawdermilk and Will Cousins, who have been additionally promoted Thursday, together with Carlos Rodriguez.

Lawdermilk was promoted to vice chairman of baseball operations from her earlier position as director of workers improvement and recruiting. Lawdermilk, who has 15 years of expertise in recruiting and expertise improvement in baseball, will probably be charged with managing the membership’s efforts to improve variety and keep the membership’s tradition whereas additionally transferring into what Neander known as “extra conventional baseball operations roles” over time.

“There’s actually an in depth relationship between the power of our workers and the success that we’ve on the sphere. And concerning the previous, there isn’t any one which’s been extra influential in enhancing these efforts and the significance of them over the previous few years than she has been,” Neander stated of Lawdermilk, the primary lady to attain the VP stage within the Rays’ baseball operations division. “I simply cannot communicate sufficient to the significance of this position, her {qualifications} for it and to have somebody that’s simply absolutely devoted to our workers and all facets of it.”

Having served because the director of baseball analysis and improvement since 2019, Cousins was promoted to vice chairman of baseball improvement, the title Bendix beforehand held. Cousins will now oversee the Rays’ famend baseball analysis and improvement group.

“These are high-character people who get alongside effectively, that care about our workers, that present complementary passions, expertise, backgrounds, and care about relationships and care about our folks,” Neander stated.

Rodriguez, coming into his twelfth season with the Rays and third as VP, had his title modified from “vice chairman, participant improvement and worldwide operations” to “vice chairman, baseball operations” to higher characterize his all-encompassing job description that additionally consists of overseeing the membership’s worldwide operations and efficiency science group.

“It is as heavy a plate as anybody has right here,” Neander stated.

Bendix, 36, joined the Rays as an intern in 2009, returned for an additional internship in ’10, then moved up as an assistant of baseball operations, coordinator of baseball analysis and improvement, director of baseball improvement, VP of baseball improvement and now senior VP/GM. Neander described Bendix as “a big contributor” to the Rays’ current success and stated his promotion was “very well deserved.”

“I’ve grown up right here. This is my 14th season, I believe — which might’t probably be correct, however in some way it’s,” Bendix stated, smiling. “Getting an opportunity to work with Carlos and Chanda and Will and everybody else in our division, it is an enormous honor. It really is.”

The Rays hope that elevating Bendix to GM will release Neander to tackle a extra holistic position as baseball operations president. Neander estimated he’s spent “roughly 90 p.c” of his time focused on the Major League membership, however having Bendix tackle extra of these tasks will permit him to deal with different areas.

“I in all probability would love to unfold my time a bit of in another way than I’ve in the previous few years,” Neander stated. “When you have a look at what’s most necessary to sustaining our success, to rising our success and to sustaining a number of the issues which are actually necessary to the way in which we would like to function — caring for folks, the morale, all these issues that basically matter to what we have performed right here — I do not assume that spending 5-10 p.c of my time past the Major League membership is good so as to preserve that going.”

Additionally, Cole Figueroa — a former Rays infielder — was promoted from assistant director of hitting improvement to director of baseball operations. Taylor Smith, beforehand a lead analyst within the R&D group, was promoted to director of predictive modeling.

The Rays additionally introduced changes to their enterprise operations workers, selling 5 VPs to chief officer roles: Rafaela A. Amador Fink (public affairs and communications), Juan Ramirez (expertise), Jenn Tran (folks and tradition), Bill Walsh (enterprise) and Bill Wiener Jr. (folks and neighborhood).

“We are tremendously happy with our group’s accomplishments, each on and off the sphere, throughout what’s been an extremely difficult two years,” Rays president Brian Auld stated in an announcement. “These leaders have been very important to these accomplishments, and we glance ahead to their continued contributions and affect of their new roles.”

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