The Orioles apparently will need to find a new third base coach for 2013.
The Toronto Blue Jays will hire DeMarlo Hale as their bench coach, according to two industry sources. One source said Hale could receive a three-year contract.
The Orioles will retain five of their six coaches, having reached agreements with pitching coach Rick Adair and hitting coach Jim Presley over the past week. Hale was the last remaining unsigned coach, and the Orioles made him an offer to return next season.
Hale would replace Don Wakamatsu, the Blue Jays’ bench coach last season. Toronto recently hired John Gibbons as manager, his second stint with the club.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was concerned that Hale, who joined the Orioles before the 2012 season, would leave for a bench coach job. One preferred replacement, Brian Butterfield, recently accepted a position as third base coach with the Boston Red Sox.
Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson could emerge as a leading in-house candidate to replace Hale, who’s widely regarded as one of the best third base coaches in the majors. Wakamatsu also could be considered, since Showalter originally wanted him on the staff.
The new coach would need to work with the infielders, as Hale did this year. Otherwise, the Orioles could rely more on instructor Mike Bordick, who also served as an analyst on MASN.
MLB.com reported earlier tonight that Hale was likely headed to Toronto as bench coach.