As we move closer to the start of the Winter Meetings, we can rehash the items on the Orioles’ shopping list that don’t include a new manager and a coaching staff. The need for a middle infielder, with shortstop seemingly the preference. Veteran pitchers who could be plugged into the rotation or bullpen, because no team really has enough. A veteran catcher after Caleb Joseph was non-tendered.
Negotiations with Joseph didn’t die after the deadline passed.
Do the Orioles need to find another outfielder with an opening in right and at least a modicum of uncertainty in left? Trey Mancini is blocked at first base, but the manager might want to give Chris Davis some at-bats as the designated hitter.
I’ll assume that third base isn’t an option. No idea if the outfield would be a consideration.
As for the coaches on the 2017 staff, I’ve heard from multiple people that Alan Mills and Howie Clark received contracts to stay in the organization in undetermined roles in the farm system.
I’m aware of one current opening, with Ron Johnson not returning as manager at Triple-A Norfolk, but there will be more movement.
The Orioles hired Chris Holt as their minor league pitching coordinator, but John Wasdin is staying in the organization. He could be part of the major league coaching staff. Don’t be surprised to see it happen.
Holt served as the Astros’ assistant pitching coordinator this summer after spending four years as a pitching coach in their system. He worked as an associate scout with the Orioles from December 2011 to November 2013.
Mills has spent the past two seasons as Orioles bullpen coach after serving as the pitching coach at Double-A Bowie. Clark has been the club’s assistant hitting coach for two years.
Einar Díaz, an extra coach with the Orioles since 2013, has accepted a job as a fourth coach with the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves.
Meanwhile, other coaches from last year’s staff continue to search for jobs while wondering if a new manager might want to bring them back. They have no way of knowing. And as I wrote previously, it’s a gamble to accept or decline a minor league position.
Hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh has interviewed for multiple jobs in the minors. Third base coach Bobby Dickerson has spoken with representatives from another organization, also concerning a minor league position. Pitching coach Roger McDowell interviewed with the Marlins, who hired Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
These are good men who have a lot to offer the game. And the same is true of bench coach John Russell and first base coach Wayne Kirby.
* Reading about yesterday’s trade that sent Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals reminded me of the 2017 Winter Meetings.
The package going to Arizona included catcher Carson Kelly, whose name came up in trade talks involving Manny Machado. The Orioles discussed Kelly and pitchers Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver.
You know the rest of the story. How the Orioles held onto Machado and made one final run at a championship before sending him to the Dodgers at the non-waiver deadline and signaling the start of their teardown.
Shameless plug alert: I’m back on the “Orioles Hot Stove” show tonight from 6-7 p.m. on 105.7 The Fan. Mancini and Dylan Bundy will be call-in guests.