President of Baseball Operations
SINCE SHIFTING from team president to president of baseball operations in October 2014, Matt Silverman has overseen significant leadership changes-both on the field and in the front office-and successfully fortified the franchise's minor league system.
In his first 27 months in the new position, Silverman has hired manager Kevin Cash and three new major league coaches. This past offseason, he elevated Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom into more prominent leadership roles in the baseball operations department. During this time, he and his staff have made significant changes to the organization's player personnel, engineering 26 trades involving a total of 77 players.
Per Baseball America, five of the Rays top 10 prospects were acquired or drafted under Silverman's watch-and that was before the January acquisition of top pitching prospect José De León. In his first year as the Rays top baseball executive, the Rays farm system jumped from a ranking of 25th to 10th, according to Bleacher Report, and 20th to 13th as calculated by Baseball America.
Following the 2015 season, Sports on Earth ranked the 30 major league clubs' performances over the past 10 years in spending per win, smart acquisitions, homegrown success and young talent. Only the Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals ranked in the top 10 in each category.
Silverman, now 40, enters his 14th year with the Rays. He was appointed team president in October 2005 at the age of 29. In his nine years as team president, Silverman guided the franchise through its most progressive growth stage in its history. 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 logo, a bright yellow sunburst.
In each of his last eight years as team president, ESPN the Magazine ranked the Rays in the top 10 in fan affordability among all 122 teams from MLB, the NFL, NHL and NBA, including No. 1 rankings in 2009 and 2012.
Silverman is board chairman of Starting Right, Now in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, which helps homeless high school students reach their potential. He is in his fourth year as the first chairman of the board of the Positive Coaching Alliance-Tampa Bay, a national nonprofit providing youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience.
Prior to joining the Rays, Silverman worked closely with Stuart Sternberg at Goldman Sachs and orchestrated Sternberg's purchase of controlling interest in the franchise.
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 Business Journal has twice named Silverman to its "Forty Under 40" list honoring accomplished and promising sports executives under age 40.
The Dallas native holds a bachelor of economics degree from Harvard University. Matt and his wife, Andrea, reside in St. Petersburg with their daughters Alexa and Samantha.