The Twins announced today that they have added Hall of Famer and St. Paul native Paul Molitor to their Major League coaching staff. Molitor has been an oft-rumored candidate to be Ron Gardenhire's successor in the Twin Cities media, but with Gardenhire receiving a two-year extension, Molitor will oversee baserunning, bunting, infield instruction/positioning and assist with in-game strategy from the dugout. He has previously served as the Mariners' hitting coach and coached with the Twins under manager Tom Kelly in 2000-01.
Here's more on the managerial/coaching front from around the league...
- The Dodgers announced that the options of coaches Davey Lopes, Rick Honeycutt and Tim Wallach's were exercised for 2014. Hitting coach Mark McGwire was already under contract for next season. It's an apparent indication that the Dodgers would prefer for Mattingly to stay, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), as a new manager would want to have some say in his staff. However, the renewal of the coaches' contracts wouldn't preclude a promotion for Wallach (link).
- The Dodgers have fired bench coach Trey Hillman and advanced scout Wade Taylor, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Both were close with manager Don Mattingly, who said at a press conference yesterday that his return in 2014 wasn't a guarantee just because his option vested and added that he wanted his entire coaching staff to return in 2014. The dismissal of Hillman and Taylor figures to add to the tension between Mattingly and the Dodgers brass.
- Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times tweets that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti informed Hillman of his dismissal, but Mattingly, who hired Hillman, was not involved.
- John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press runs down a list of candidates for the recently vacated Tigers managerial position. Former Pirates manager and current hitting coach Lloyd McClendon is the leading in-house candidate, but Lowe contacted Dusty Baker and Eric Wedge, both of whom expressed interest in the job. GM Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that the Tigers would hire someone with either Major League or Minor League managerial experience, adds Lowe, which seemingly takes former Detroit backstop Brad Ausmus out of the running.
- The Nationals have intereviewed Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale for their managerial vacancy, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Hale is the fifth candidate interviewed by the Nats (and third external candidate). He has previously interviewed for managerial openings with the Mariners (2009), Blue Jays (2011) and Cubs (2012). Kilgore adds that the Nationals were impressed by Hale's interview.
- The Rangers announced yesterday that they have hired Tim Bogar as their bench coach. The 47-year-old Bogar spent 2012 managing the Angels' Double-A affiliate and spent the 2009-12 seasons filling the positions of Major League first base coach, third base coach and bench coach for the Red Sox.