The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Tampa Bay Rays Pitching Coach Jim Hickey Sign 3-Year Deal

Tampa Bay Rays Pitching Coach Jim Hickey Sign 3-Year Deal

BY Matthew Long

@mattlongsports

One of the biggest cornerstones to the Tampa Bay Rays organization over the past decade has been their pitching. Seeing names like James Shields, David Price, Matt Garza, and Scott Kazmir that have come gone, rebuilt talents like Joaquin Benoit and Fernando Rodney, and great young pitchers like Matt Moore, Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, and Jake McGee; the one thing in common, pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have reached an agreement to extend Hickey contract. The new three-year deal will secure their pitching coach through the 2018 season.

Hickey, age 54, joined the Rays 2006 the same year the club hired famed manager Joe Maddon (now with the Chicago Cubs), and has been considered a manager prospect and top pitching coaches in Major League Baseball for most of that time. All for good reason, the Rays pitching staffs over his tenor have been among the best in baseball.

This was a good move on the Rays part, getting out ahead of this and working out the new deal, which replaced the current deal that would have been up in 2016. There would be a lot of teams that would have interest in buying him away.

There is news of the terms of the contact yet, Topkin remarked that the contract is “presumably with a raise”, but if the past provides clarity it will not be anything substantial raise. Nonetheless, this should help a young low budget team remain competitive.

 

[Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA TODAY Sports]

 

 

Follow Matthew Long on Twitter @mattlongsports for updates on all things sports and entertainment, and listen to The Cold Hard Truth: On Truth radio show Tuesdays from 8:30p-10:30p EST on MRN Broadcasting powered by BlogTalkRadio.com and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

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