Dave Martinez to pursue other opportunities outside the Rays

Dave Martinez (left) had been the Rays' bench coach since 2007.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bench coach Dave Martinez has decided to look for opportunities outside the Tampa Bay Rays.

Martinez announced his intentions in a statement released Tuesday, four days after the Rays chose Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu as the three finalists for their open managerial position, made possible by Joe Maddon’s decision to opt out of his contract with the club. Martinez became a familiar face in Tampa Bay’s rise to prominence in the American League East since he was named the Rays’ bench coach in October 2007.

"I informed the Rays this week that I have chosen to move forward and consider other opportunities that may present themselves outside the organization," Martinez said in a statement. "It was a hard decision that I think is best for myself and the Rays. I want to thank our fans for their overwhelming support. It has meant the world to my family and me. For the past nine years, the players and staff have been an extension of my family and the memories that we have all shared and the relationships that have been built will stay with me forever. I can’t thank them enough for all they have meant to me."

Martinez was one of 10 possibilities for the Rays’ managerial job and some considered him an early favorite for the position. Before his interview with Tampa Bay, Martinez also interviewed with the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, Cubs and Washington Nationals for managerial openings in recent years.

In addition to Martinez and the three finalists, Tampa Bay also interviewed Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Ron Wotus, Craig Counsell, Barry Larkin and Doug Glanville.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.