After firing pitching coach Charles Nagy and first-year first base coach Steve Sax, the D-backs will also now look for a hitting coach, after Don Baylor left to work with the Angels. That’s a lot of turnover for a staff retaining its manager, especially if Matt Williams leaves for a post with the Nationals.
Nick Piecoro reported that Baylor’s contract situation may have affected his decision. He notes that with Kirk Gibson “believed to have just one year remaining on his contract,” the D-backs may have been reluctant to match the Angels’ two-year bid. We’ll see how this works out — if Gibson’s contract is really a factor for Arizona in hiring new coaches, the club may have trouble attracting new coaches with one-year deals.
One thing is apparently for sure: the D-backs aren’t letting Gibson go to interview for a job in Detroit. Jim Leyland is retiring as skipper of the Tigers, but D-backs CEO Derrick Hall tried to stamp out speculation that Gibson might take over.
There are some tremendous coaches in baseball; one tends to hear more about pitching coaches like Don Cooper or Lee Mazzilli or Dave Duncan, but if the timing of baseball firings is any indication, hitting coaches play an important role, as well. It’s hard to evaluate coaches in this space because it’s hard to know how any player would have done at the same time with a different coach. Still, count me among the people who wonders whether the D-backs will miss Charles Nagy. Sure, the club did struggle to convert talent to results with some pitchers, but guys like Tyler Skaggs fell largely out of Nagy’s jurisdiction, and one wonders if Nagy had any influence in helping Patrick Corbin make the leap, or in returning J.J. Putz to form.
In other news, Arizona signed Matt Reynolds to a new deal, giving him $550,000 for 2014 in exchange for a $600,000 club option for 2015. Given that Reynolds will spend most or all of next year in rehab, it seems like a deal in which both sides win, and there’s still a chance that Reynolds can contribute down the stretch in 2014.
- Piecoro wrote up some instructional league performances from young D-backs prospects, including Braden Shipley and Jimmie Sherfy.
- At FanGraphs, Marc Hulet published some notes on top and former D-backs prospects. If you’re hungry for some minor league notes and rankings, tune back in tomorrow…
- The Dodgers got right back to their free-spending ways after getting eliminated by the Cardinals in the NLCS, signing Cuban SS-2B Alexander Guerrero. Actually not a very expensive deal (4yr/$28M), and they get his good years, through his age 30 season. ESPN’s Jim Bowden had some other suggestions for the Dodgers.
- At Snake Pit, Jim McLennan weighed in on the chances David Price lands in Arizona. Thomas Lynch of Venom Strikes also had some thoughts on a possible Price trade. I, too, have spent a fair amount of time thinking about this, too, and I will post on it later this week (that’s what the offseason is for!).
- Jim also published a post on the 2013 bullpen worth referring to throughout the offseason. And if you’re looking for some chicken soup for your D-backs soul, don’t miss his walkoffs retrospective.
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