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The Tampa Bay Rays and manager

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Kevin Cash have reportedly agreed to a contract extension through the 2024 season.According to Marc Topkin of theTampa Bay Times , Cash had one year remaining on his original five-year contract, plus two option years. As part of the new deal, the Rays will have an option for 2025 as well.The Rays were one of Major League Baseball's most surprising teams this season, as they finished third in the competitive AL East at 90-72.In four seasons as Tampa's manager, the 40-year-old Cash owns a 318-330 (.491) record.While the Rays went just 68-94 in 2016, they went 80-82 in both 2015 and 2017 before finally breaking through with a winning season in 2018.Winning 90 games was impressive, considering Tampa Bay parted ways with several key players prior to the 2018 campaign.First baseman Logan Morrison and starting pitcher Alex Cobb left in free agency, reliever Brad Boxberger and outfielder Steven Souza Jr. were traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks Ervin Santana Jersey , third baseman Evan Longoria was traded to the San Francisco Giants, starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi was traded to the Minnesota Twins and outfielder Corey Dickerson was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.Tampa also traded former ace Chris Archer to the Pirates during the season.Even so, Cash managed to make the most of an unheralded roster led by potential Cy Young-winning starting pitcher Blake Snell. The 25-year-old left-hander went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA, but he was one of only two Rays to throw at least 100 innings.Meanwhile, aside from designated hitter C.J. Cron and his 30 home runs, no other Rays player hit as many as 15 homers.Cash often got creative with his lineups, but he also may have changed the way managers will approach pitching for many years to come.Instead of using a starting pitcherto open a game, Cash often began with a reliever dubbed an "opener ," who would give way to a long reliever after one or two innings.That allowed the Rays to get a platoon advantage at times, and the unorthodox method worked well for a team that was short on overallpitchingtalent.The Rays haven't reached the playoffs since 2013, but the lengthy extension is a vote of confidence that Cash is the manager capable of getting them back to the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly the leading contenders to land Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado via trade, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman.Heymanadded that while the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers have an "outside chance," talks between the O's and Dodgers are heading "toward the finish line."Jon Paul Morosi of had reported Monday that Philadelphia was "the most likely destination" for Machado, but Heyman is expecting a deal to get done with the Dodgers this week.The 26-year-old Machado is in the midst of his best season, hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI.The four-time All-Star ison pace for career highs in most major offensive categories, which makes him one of the most highly sought after deadline rentals in recent memory.Since Machado can become a free agent during the offseason Jason Castro Jersey , the team that trades for him will be taking a huge risk in terms of giving up assets in return for what may only be a few months of Machado's services.It may be a worthwhile move for a team like the Dodgers since they hold a half-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West.The National League is weak in comparison to the American League, which means the door is open for several teams to potentially make a deep run.Considering the Phillies and Brewers are also in playoff positions currently, acquiring Machado would not only help the Dodgers, but it would also prevent some of their closest competitors from getting better.Acquiring Machado would likely kick Chris Taylor back to the outfield, giving the Dodgers one of Major League Baseball's most potent infields, as it also includes Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Justin Turner.L.A. has a deep and talented farm system, and although it is unclear who it would need to part with in order to land Machado ,MLB.comlists outfielder Alex Verdugo, catcher Keibert Ruiz, pitcher Mitchell White, outfielder Yusniel Diaz and pitcher Dennis Santana as some of the Dodgers' top prospects.The Dodgers have been on a roll since some early-season struggles, and while they are a respectable ninth in the league in runs scored and fifth in home runs, Machado would both elevate their offensive potency and likely make them the team to beat in the NL if they aren't already.

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