President of Baseball Operations
After Matt Silverman transitioned from team president to president of baseball operations on October 14, 2014, he and the Rays baseball operations staff faced immediate challenges including a manager vacancy and an impending roster crunch.
In his first 92 days after succeeding Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, Silverman engineered seven trades involving a total of 30 players; added two major league free agents; signed all eight arbitration eligible players prior to the exchange deadline; hired a rookie major league manager in Kevin Cash and two major league coaches. The frenetic offseason resulted in a dramatically different roster-with 10 departures from the season-ending roster last September-but one that maintains the talent to compete in the American League East. At the same time, the franchise has fortified its minor league system with an injection of prospects.
Summarized MLB.com columnist Richard Justice: "…the Rays were making moves to help manage their payroll, which is different from slashing their payroll. If you look at them today, though, it's easy to envision them competing for a division championship. If Silverman had wanted simply to slash payroll, he wouldn't have signed infielder Asdrubal Cabrera or acquired veterans Kevin Jepsen and John Jaso in trades."
Trades also brought the Rays the International League MVP, outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and veteran catcher Rene Rivera. Prospects Daniel Robertson, Andrew Velazquez, Burch Smith, Jose Dominguez, Greg Harris, Boog Powell, Justin Williams and Jake Bauers were acquired, immediately enriching the Rays farm system.
FOX Sports Florida's Andrew Astleford wrote: "Tampa Bay's transition from Friedman to Silverman has felt like a drama-free changing of the guard. That's the sign of a healthy franchise."
In the prior nine years as president of the Rays, Silverman guided the franchise through the most progressive growth stage in the club's history.
Under his watch, the team was known for its creativity and innovation. At the top of the list is the revitalization of the Rays. In the fall of 2007, Silverman directed a complete organizational rebranding, including a new name, colors, uniforms and icon, a bright yellow sunburst.
The team's charitable work, a Silverman hallmark, continues to grow. The Rays and the Rays Baseball Foundation has invested more than $14 million into the Tampa Bay region over the past seven years.
Silverman is Board Chairman of Starting Right, Now in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, which aids homeless families and adolescents. He is the founding Chairman of the Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance-Tampa Bay, a national nonprofit providing youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building experience.
Prior to joining the Rays, Silverman worked closely with Sternberg at Goldman Sachs and orchestrated Sternberg's purchase of controlling interest in the franchise. The partnership and friendship that first developed on Wall Street found its way to Tampa Bay and helped direct the Rays to their winning ways including the triumphant last-place-to-World Series season in 2008.
In 2010, Silverman received the George M. Steinbrenner III Citizen of the Year award from the Sports Club of Tampa Bay. Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Journal has twice named Silverman to its "Forty Under 40" list honoring accomplished and promising sports executives under age 40.
A lifelong baseball fan, Silverman also enjoys running and writing. The Dallas native holds a bachelor of economics degree from Harvard University. Matt and his wife, Andrea, married in December 2012. They reside in St. Petersburg with their daughter, Alexa.