Larry Rothschild has never been a manager, but he has helped win a World Series. That's good enough for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The expansion team had only to reach across the Everglades to snare its first manager, plucking the pitching coach away from the champion Florida Marlins.
"I don't expect to hit the first month and win 90% of the games," Rothschild said after signing a three-year contract Friday. "But what I do expect is that the effort and preparation to win games will be there."
While the Arizona Diamondbacks, the other expansion team that starts play next season, hired Buck Showalter as their manager nearly two years ago, Rothschild, 43, has less than two weeks to prepare for baseball's expansion draft Nov. 18.
The Devil Rays elected to wait until after this season to give themselves a chance to consider a wider range of candidates.
Kenny Rogers' unhappy stay with the Yankees ended when he was traded to the Oakland Athletics along with $5 million in a deal that eventually will bring third baseman Scott Brosius to New York.
Rogers, was signed to a $20-million, four-year contract as a free agent before the 1996 season but never adjusted to the turmoil of the Yankees.
New York, which agreed to pay half of Rogers' $5-million salary in each of the next two seasons, said it will get a player to be named. A baseball executive, speaking on condition he not be identified, said the player will be Brosius, only the fourth player ever whose average (.203) dropped 100 points in one season.
Jim Leyland will be back as manager of the Florida Marlins next year when they defend their World Series title. "I want to give Don Smiley and his group [the team's prospective new owners] the benefit of the doubt and make this thing work. I think that it is very important for South Florida that we get some stability. It would be wrong to desert these people after winning the World Series," Leyland said. . . . Former Baltimore manager Davey Johnson will interview for the Toronto Blue Jays' vacant manager's position on Wednesday. . . . General Manager Gerry Hunsicker and Manager Larry Dierker, who helped lead the Houston Astros to the NL Central title, received contract extensions through the 1999 season. . . . Pitcher Charles Nagy's $3.35-million option for 1998 was exercised by the Indians. . . . Right-hander Francisco Cordova and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a $4.1-million, three-year contract with a team option for 2001. . . . The Seattle Mariners declined to exercise Norm Charlton's $2.9-million option and the left-handed reliever filed for free agency.