The Padres are hiring longtime big leaguer and former Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta as a special assistant to CEO Erik Greupner, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. This is a homecoming for Loretta, as he had previously spent a decade working for the Padres, from his retirement from playing in 2010 until joining the Cubs in 2019.
Loretta, 50, played in the majors for 15 seasons from 1995 to 2009. He made his debut with the Brewers and played parts of eight seasons with Milwaukee, before also spending some time with the Astros, Padres, Red Sox and Dodgers. Overall, he played 1,726 MLB games, hitting .295/.360/.395 with a paltry strikeout rate of just 9.2%. He was worth 18.9 wins above replacement in his career, according to FanGraphs. He was selected to participate in the All-Star Game in both 2004 and 2006.
He retired from playing after the 2009 season and joined the Padres as a special assistant to the baseball operations staff, staying in that role until taking the bench coach job with the Cubs in 2019. After that season, Joe Maddon departed as manager of the Cubs, with Loretta rumored to be in the running to be Maddon’s replacement, as well as being a candidate for the Padres’ managerial opening. Those jobs eventually went to David Ross and Jayce Tingler, respectively. As Ross was a first-time manager, Andy Green was brought on as the bench coach to give Ross an experienced bench boss by his side, leaving Loretta as an odd man out.
Loretta will now return to the Padres, an organization that he spent time with both as a player and a special assistant. Erik Greupner was the team’s president of business operations until general manager A.J. Preller was extended and promoted to be president of baseball operations almost a year ago, with Greupner also getting bumped up the ladder from president to CEO.