The Rangers announced yesterday that pitching coach Mike Maddux will not return for the 2016 season. “Jeff Banister and I met with Mike this morning to inform him we had decided to go in another direction,” said general manager Jon Daniels via press release. “I want to thank Mike for his outstanding contributions to the Texas Rangers organization. He has played a major role in the success we have enjoyed over the last seven years. His dedication to developing and improving our major league pitching staff is greatly appreciated.” Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that the highly respected Maddux probably won’t be unemployed long; several clubs have already reached out to Maddux to express “serious interest” now that he and the Rangers have officially parted ways.
A few more notes from the AL West…
- With Carlos Corporan electing free agency, the Rangers have Robinson Chirinos, Chris Gimenez and Bobby Wilson as remaining catching options on the 40-man roster, but the team will take a look at the market for backstops this winter, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Chirinos, who quietly had a nice season at the plate despite spending time on the DL, projects as the club’s No. 1 catcher. Gimenez, too, hit well and also served as Cole Hamels’ personal catcher following his acquisition. And while Wilson struggled as a hitter, Sullivan notes that the organization considers him the best defensive option of the three. Daniels told Sullivan that the Rangers need to be careful “not to covet something that may or may not be out there,” in reference to a catching upgrade, though he did say he expects to explore the market for catching help so as to bring the best group possible to Spring Training in 2016.
- The Mariners announced a wave of front office promotions. Assistant GM Jeff Kingston, who served as the team’s interim general manager between the firing of Jack Zduriencik and the hiring of Jerry Dipoto, has had vice president of baseball operations added to his title and will now also oversee the entire player development department. Director of pro scouting Tom Allison has been bumped up to vice president of player personnel and will oversee the team’s scouting operations. Major League scout Lee MacPhail IV (the nephew of Phillies president Andy MacPhail) has been promoted to Allison’s old post as director of scouting. Additionally, the Mariners hired Joe Bohringer, who has spent the past four seasons as the Cubs’ director of pro scouting, as a special assistant to Dipoto.
- Turning to the Mariners’ actual roster, John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune opines that the Royals serve as a blueprint for the type of club that Dipoto should attempt to construct. The Royals trounced the Mariners in terms of defensive metrics, contact rate and baserunning efficiency, McGrath notes, indicating that they have a roster that is tailored far more appropriately for a spacious ball park. The Mariners’ Safeco Field is similarly spacious to the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium, yet Seattle ranked among the worst defenses in the league, was far too reliant on home runs (as opposed to making contact) and was successful in just 60.5 percent of its collective stolen base attempts. McGrath also notes that a superior bullpen — one that is more adept at protecting marginal one- and two-run leads — will be needed if the Mariners are to contend again.