The manager and coaching carousel around the major leagues is having a trickle-down effect on the A’s staff.
Chip Hale is leaving Oakland to become the bench coach for the Nationals under new Washington manager Dave Martinez, a source confirmed to NBCSportsCalifornia.com. It’s the second departure from Bob Melvin’s staff since the A’s announced a finalized group of coaches in mid-October. Bullpen coach Garvin Alston left Oct. 26 to take a promotion as the Minnesota Twins’ new pitching coach.
Hale was on his second stint with the A’s, sandwiched around a two-year run as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager. He was scheduled to shift from Oakland’s bench coach to third-base coach for the upcoming season, so the A’s will need to fill a hole for third-base coaching duties. They previously announced that Triple-A manager Ryan Christenson was being promoted to assume bench coach duties.
At the time the announcement of his staff was made, Melvin stressed that he didn’t consider Hale’s shift from bench coach as a demotion, saying he valued having someone experienced coaching third who was on the same page as him during games. But if Hale has aspirations to again be a big league manager, and he’s indicated all along that he does, taking another job as a bench coach could be the quicker route to making that happen again.
Hale also coached the A's infielders so the team will have to assign someone to fill the role.
So as free agency begins and the A’s consider which pieces they may want to add for their 25-man roster, they also have to find a new third base coach and bullpen coach.
Outfielder Mark Canha had an arthroscopic procedure to remove a cyst from his right wrist Tuesday at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. He’s expected to be fully healed and ready by the start of spring training.