Oakland lost hitting coach Chili Davis to the Red Sox over the weekend and yesterday there were reports of the A’s being interested in replacing him with Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen.
Hansen served as the interim hitting coach following Don Baylor’s leg injury on Opening Day, but the assumption was that if the Angels intend to reinstate Baylor to the full-time role Hansen may want to seek out a hitting coach gig elsewhere.
Not so fast, says Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who reports that the Angels “have no desire to allow” the division rival A’s to interview Hansen. She even quotes a source saying the “A’s will have to look elsewhere to fill their need.”
Houston rounded out new manager A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff by adding Dave Hudgens as hitting coach, Gary Pettis as third base coach, and Rich Dauer as first base coach.
Pettis replaces Pat Listach, who was informed earlier today that he would not be asked back following just one season as third base coach.
Hudgens was fired as the Mets’ hitting coach in the middle of this season, which was his fourth on the job. He was replaced by Lamar Johnson, who was then relieved of his duties by the Mets after the season.
Pat Listach will not be part of new manager A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff in Houston, as the Astros informed the third base coach that he won’t be retained for next season.
Listach told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com: “I’m very disappointed. I understand it’s a business, but I’m disappointed.”
Listach has bounced around quite a bit over the years, spending time coaching with the Nationals and Cubs before joining the Astros this season.
As a player he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1992, but played a total of just 354 more games and was out of the majors for good at age 29.
This afternoon the Rangers officially signed new manager Jeff Banister to a three-year contract and it sounds like there may soon be some contract news regarding general manager Jon Daniels too.
Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis told Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas that the team wants to extend Daniels’ contract before the start of spring training, adding: “We’ve been consumed for the last month on this, so his will fall in place.”
Daniels, who’s been the GM since 2005, has one more season remaining on his current deal.
No surprise, but James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals are expected to decline their $14 million option on right-hander Rafael Soriano.
Soriano has been one of the best relievers in baseball for years and was fantastic in the first half with 22 saves and a 0.97 ERA, but then he posted a 6.48 ERA in the second half while being stripped of closing duties and nearly being left off the Nationals’ playoff roster.
Drew Storen, who had a 1.12 ERA this season and has a 2.94 ERA for his career, will take over as the full-time closer with Tyler Clippard as his primary setup man.
At age 34 it’s tough to imagine Soriano cashing in big on the open market, but even with the rough second half he finished with a 3.19 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings overall this season. And during the past three seasons combined he has a 2.84 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 196 innings.