Rays ready to announce Lou's exit

Published September 29, 2005

CLEVELAND - An official announcement of Lou Piniella's departure from the Devil Rays is expected Friday.

Piniella, who will manage the Rays during the three-game season-ending series with the Orioles, will not return for 2006, which would have been the final year of his contract.

He and the Rays recently finalized a deal that allows him to leave with the option of working elsewhere or sitting out.

The Rays will also have to address the fate of Piniella's coaches, all of whom are signed through 2006.

The coaches are expected to be told they are free to pursue jobs with other teams if they want or to wait to see what assignments the Rays offer.

Piniella has declined to address his departure because he didn't want it to be a distraction to the Rays players, but he is expected to do so on Friday.