According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers announced yesterday that Dave Hansen will not return as hitting coach next season. Meanwhile, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, bench coach Trey Hillman, third base coach Tim Wallach, first base coach Davey Lopes and bullpen coach Kenny Howell are all slated to return.
Hansen was promoted from hitting instructor to hitting coach last July after Jeff Pentland was fired, but he’s taking the hit after the Dodgers finished 16th in batting average and 26th in runs and on-base percentage this season. However, he has been offered another position within the organization.
No word on a potential replacement for Hansen, but Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune speculated this morning that Rudy Jaramillo could be a potential fit. Jaramillo was fired as hitting coach of the Cubs in June during his third season on the job. One of the more highly-respected hitting instructors in the game, the 61-year-old previously served as hitting coach with the Rangers from 1995-2009.
Of course, whoever replaces Hansen will look like a genius if the Dodgers get full and healthy seasons from the likes of Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.