Butterfield still in Blue Jays mix, Os staff uncertain
Some Orioles-related news from Arlington, where I’m helping out ALCS coverage…
Longtime Toronto third base coach Brian Butterfield told MLB.com earlier today that, as far as he knows, he’s still in the mix for to replace retired skipper Cito Gaston. Butterfield also expressed a desire to manage and the article also goes on to state the Blue Jays timetable could come as early as next week.
What does this mean for the Orioles? Hopefully, it will shed some clarity on the Buck Showalter’s coaching staff decisions. Butterfield is believed to be a leading candidate to join Showalter’s staff as a third base coach, but all of the openings around baseball has caused a holdup in that regard.
As I blogged on Tuesday, there’s a lot of moving parts with the coaching staff, and some of that could also depend on two teams playing now: the Rangers and Yankees.
Rangers special assistant Mark
Connor’s name has been mentioned as a candidate to become Showalter’s pitching coach, a role he
served when Buck was in Texas. Connor is currently a Minor League
consultant in the Rangers organization.
Yankees third base coach Rob
Thomson is another name to keep tabs on. Thomas figures heavily in New
York’s scouting and Spring Training and is incredibly well-liked and
respected for his work. He’s in his 21st season in the Yankees
organization, which is where he crossed paths with Showalter, and
although it’s unclear whether he would be open to leaving it’s an option
worth mentioning, particularly since all of Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s coaches’ contracts are up after this season.
Also, this is worth another mention. Despite several news outlets reporting definitively that hitting coach Terry Crowey is returning next season, Showalter has been adamant that nothing is set in stone. A scenario where Crowley comes
back as some kind of instructor or roving role isn’t out of the
question. That’s important to note because on Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore Sun, citing several unnamed sources furthered that idea and said it has been discussed on a preliminary basis within the organization. According to that report, nothing has been finalized.
Showalter sat down with principal owner Peter Angelos and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail today for a state of the union of sorts. Typically, this is just Angelos and MacPhail who have the yearly meeting, but Showalter has made it no secret that he desires an active role in all facets of the Orioles.
I’m not sure how much they discussed the coaching staff, since much of that depends on what happens with openings around MLB, but their offseason needs and payroll moving forward were both on the docket.