The entire Orioles coaching staff has been invited to return for the 2018 season.
Contracts were being sent out tonight, according to multiple sources. The deals are for one year.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter had expressed a desire to keep the staff intact and the process unfolded today.
The coaches have the freedom to decline the offers extended to them, but everyone is expected to come back. They just need to sign and return the contracts.
Bench coach John Russell, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, pitching coach Roger McDowell and first base coach Wayne Kirby had contracts that expired today. Third base coach Bobby Dickerson, bullpen coach Alan Mills and assistant hitting coach Howie Clark hold contracts that run through Dec. 31 because they were promoted from the minor league system.
Dickerson, Mills and Clark will have new contracts sent to them within the next day or two, according to a source, because the club didn’t want the process to drag out. They’ve already been told of the Orioles’ desire to keep them.
Einar Diaz, an extra coach, also will return.
McDowell, Mills and Clark were new to the staff this season. McDowell replaced Dave Wallace after 11 seasons with the Braves. Mills, formerly the pitching coach at Double-A Bowie, replaced Dom Chiti. Wallace and Chiti returned to the Braves organization as roving pitching instructor/adviser and senior director of pitching, respectively.
Clark was promoted from Bowie hitting coach to replace Mark Quinn, who returned to his hitting academy in Houston.
The Orioles rotation posted a 5.70 ERA this season that ranked last in the majors and rated as the worst in club history. McDowell became a lightning rod for criticism, but Showalter kept referring to his track record while continuing to defend him - at times growing irritated with the storyline.
Multiple pitchers on the staff campaigned for McDowell’s return, and first baseman Chris Davis did the same with Coolbaugh and Dickerson. Davis also vowed to work out with Coolbaugh this winter in Texas and make certain mechanical adjustments at the plate.
A last-place finish led to speculation that the Orioles could make some changes to the staff and even brought into question the security of Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette. But they’re also set to return for the final year of their contracts and extension talks could come at a later date.
Showalter currently is in Arizona to check on prospects in the Fall League.
Meanwhile, executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira won’t return next season. Duquette hired Ferreira in December 2011 as one of his first official moves after joining the Orioles. They worked together with the Expos.