MLB

Ex-Giant, A's third base coach Matt Williams will next manage in Korea

williamsusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Ex-Giant, A's third base coach Matt Williams will next manage in Korea

The A's coaching staff could look much different next season. 

A source told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic that quality control coach Mark Kotsay interviewed for the Giants' managerial opening, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday that bench coach Ryan Christenson is a candidate for the Pittsburgh Pirates and third base coach Matt Williams has a new job lined up. 

Williams confirmed to NBC Sports California's Ben Ross in a text message that he will manage the Kia Tigers in Korea's KBO next season. MLB Network's Jon Heyman first reported the news, and Slusser was the first to confirm Heyman's report. 

The A's hired Williams in November 2017. He previously managed the Washington Nationals from 2014 through 2015, winning National League Manager of the Year in his first season in Washington's dugout. The 17-year MLB veteran compiled a 179-145 record as a manager, but Williams was fired by the Nationals after his second season with the team. Williams, who played for the Giants for 10 seasons, covered San Francisco as a studio analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area in 2017 after serving as the Arizona Diamondbacks' third base coach in 2016.

[RELATED: A's Stay or Go candidate for 2020 season: Ryan Buchter] 

Oakland made the playoffs in both of Williams' seasons as third base coach, losing in the AL Wild Card Game each time. 2018 and 2019 marked just the fifth time the A's qualified for the playoffs in consecutive seasons since moving to Oakland.

If the A's are going to play in the postseason again next October, they're likely to have some new faces in the dugout and in the third-base box. 

Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Will Venable for managerial opening

venableusa.jpg
USATSI

Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Will Venable for managerial opening

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy spent 25 consecutive years as a big league manager, but it appears the Giants are looking to go the opposite route as they search for Bochy's replacement.

Two weeks in, there's a consistent theme with the known names in the managerial search. They mostly are younger and without much, if any, managerial experience, although they are well thought of within the industry.

The Giants started the process by interviewing current coaches Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus, and a source told NBC Sports Bay Area that A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay interviewed last Monday. Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol interviewed Thursday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will sit down with Farhan Zaidi, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Per league sources, the Giants also have interest in Will Venable, who currently is the first base coach for the Chicago Cubs. Venable, 36, spent eight years as a Padres outfielder and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2016, when Zaidi was the general manager there.

A product of Princeton, Venable joined the Cubs as a special assistant in 2017 and was elevated to Joe Maddon's staff a year later. He also is in consideration for the Cubs' managerial opening.

Zaidi has said he expects to interview six to eight external candidates, but it's possible that some of the names connected to the Giants won't necessarily be in a position to be the new manager. This is an opportunity for Zaidi to spend time with some of the brightest young minds on other big league staffs, and some of the candidates may end up in consideration to join the Giants in other roles.

[RELATED: Why Pillar could be non-tender candidate]

The coaching staff is expected to undergo significant changes under new leadership, and all of Bochy's coaches had contracts that expired at the end of the 2019 season. Zaidi also needs to hire a new general manager and has said that department heads are still deciding what to do with some longtime front office employees.

Why new MLB rules could mean A's won't bring back Ryan Buchter in 2020

buchterus.jpg
USATSI

Why new MLB rules could mean A's won't bring back Ryan Buchter in 2020

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Ryan Buchter, LHP

Contract: Second year of arbitration (projected to get $1.8 million after earning $1.4 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

Buchter did exactly what the A's brought him in to do -- retire left-handed hitters. The 32-year-old southpaw limited lefties to a .238 batting average, with 33 strikeouts and seven walks.

Buchter's overall numbers were respectable as well. He went 1-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings. That follows a 6-0 record in 2018 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Reasons to let him go

With MLB changing its rules next season to require a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters, Buchter will lose a lot of value. The so-called LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy) role will disappear and lefty specialists will have to face some right-handers as well.

Right-handed hitter batted .274 off Buchter with 17 strikeouts, compared to 16 walks. While his overall ERA was under 3.00, Buchter allowed 15 of his 36 inherited runners to score, a rate of 41.7 percent. That's nearly 10 points higher than the league average of 32 percent.

Final verdict

Buchter had some good stretches over the past two seasons, but with rule changes and his high walk and hit rate, it's probably time for the A's to move on without him.

[RELATED: Why A's reliever Treinen could be non-tender candidate]

Right-handed hitters notched a .904 OPS against Buchter this season in 83 plate appearances. That will be an even bigger problem next year. Oakland can find better relievers for that $1.8 million price tag.

While $1.8 million is an affordable number, Oakland seems unlikely to bring Buchter back in 2020.