Raul Ibanez finalist to manage Rays

— -- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Raul Ibanez, Kevin Cash and Don Wakamatsu are the finalists to replace Joe Maddon as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dave Martinez, the Rays' bench coach for the past seven seasons, was among seven candidates dropped Friday. Also cut were Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville, Manny Acta, Craig Counsell, Charlie Montoyo and Ron Wotus.

"We were very impressed by the 10 finalists we interviewed, and could have envisioned any of them managing our club," president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said in a statement. "The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult. He's played a key role in our organization's evolution, and he's done all he can to put himself in position to be a manager. In the end, we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture. We're excited to get to know our three remaining finalists better as we look to name our next manager in the coming weeks."

Tampa Bay said interviews with the finalists will be scheduled for the week of Dec. 1.

Maddon left the Rays after nine seasons to manage the Chicago Cubs.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.