A Look at the 2015 Oakland Athletics Coaching Candidates


Feb 26, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen poses for a portrait during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So perhaps the offseason coaching carousel of the Oakland Athletics has rendered your Chip & Chili platter obsolete, after both bench coach Chip Hale and hitting coach Chili Davis depart the organization for greener pastures. But cheer up A’s fans, in whats certain to be a winter of transition – Oakland should announce their replacements in due time ringing the bell on what should be an interesting offseason.

While the thought of suiting up former stars of yesteryear such as Rickey Henderson and/or Jose Canseco in white cleats once more may be appetizing from a nostalgic point of view, logically there is little reason to employ either on a full-time basis. For all intents and purposes, Henderson has settled into his special instructor role in Oakland heading out on assignment to the various minor league affiliates and assisting with the big league club in spring training and select homestands. Since serving a half-season with the New York Mets as a first base coach in 2007, the Man of Steal has not publicly expressed any interest in a return to the rigors of everyday coaching. Canseco on the other hand is an even less fathomable recourse. Although the best-selling author and self-proclaimed steroid scapegoat has publicly campaigned for the role via his Twitter account, the odds of him collecting checks from an organization that went out of their way to distance themselves before this season’s 1989 reunion seems less than optimistic.

Sadly, Jose confirmed that it’s just not in the cards for 2015.

With that said, realistic non-fan suggested candidates have begun to emerge for Oakland’s vacancies. As reported by Susan Slusser, Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen was permitted to interview with Oakland for the hitting coach position and has reportedly advanced to the negotiation stage. The 45-year old Hansen spent a 15-year major league career as pinch-hitter extraordinaire primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers, before playing briefly for A’s manager Bob Melvin during a short 57-game stint with the Seattle Mariners during the 2004 season. The California native also served as Seattle’s hitting coach in 2013, and was given the interim label in Anaheim after surgery kept Don Baylor out of the Angels dugout for the majority of 2014. Under Hansen’s tutelage, the Angels finished first in runs scored, fourth in the American League in OBP and was well-regarded for assisting in the offensive renaissance of Albert Pujols. Given his extensive coaching history and familiarity with Melvin and the division, it’s safe to say the odds are in his favor to join Oakland’s 2015 staff after Dave Magadan withdrew his name from consideration.

Cardinals bench coach Mike Aldrete may ring a bell to veteran A’s fans, as the former Stanford Cardinal is best known for a three-year stint as a player in Oakland serving as Mark McGwire‘s injury replacement at first base from 1993 to 1995. The 53-year old has plied his post-playing career coaching for former teammate Melvin on the 2004 Seattle Mariners and ’05-’06 Arizona Diamondbacks. Aldrete was briefly mentioned in talks to join the A’s staff prior to the 2012 season, before accepting a promotion to bench coach under manager Mike Matheny with the St.Louis Cardinals. While one may question why Aldrete would presumedly make a lateral move to join Oakland’s staff as a bench coach in 2015 – the former Athletics still maintains a residence in nearby Monterey, California and may embrace an opportunity closer to home.

A definite dark horse candidate, former Tigers manager Alan Trammell was mentioned first by beat writer John Hickey this past week in his piece that eliminated recently fired Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson from competition. Trammell who was fired alongside Gibson after a miserable 2014 season of misused grit in Arizona – endured a four year stint as bench coach. After a stellar 20-year career pairing with Lou Whitaker up the middle in Detroit, Trammell segued into coaching before leading the 2003 Tigers into a record-setting 119 loss season on a team completely abandoned of talent. During his long career in the motor city, he was briefly a teammate of Billy Beane in 1988 and Bob Melvin in 1985.