Bench coach Tim Bogar and first base coach Casey Candaele did not have their contracts renewed for next season and will not return.
Following a season in which they failed to reach the postseason, finishing with a 78-84 record, the Mariners and manager Scott Servais announced changes to his coaching staff for next season. It’s typical to have turnover following a season of unmet expectations.
Bench coach Tim Bogar and first-base/outfield/baserunning coach Casey Candaele did not have their contracts renewed.
“Any time you make changes to your coaching staff, it’s difficult,” Servais said. “You have relationships with those guys. You’ve known them previously, and that’s why they are here because you have relationships with them. But I think going forward as a ballclub, it’s important to make a few changes.”
Bogar, who was a candidate with Servais for the managerial job when Servais was hired in 2015, served as bench coach the past two seasons and worked with infielders. He will likely find a job on another big-league staff, given his lengthy resume. The Mariners’ struggles on the bases this season and fundamental mistakes from the young outfielders made Candaele a coaching casualty despite his friendship with Servais.
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“The guys we let go, both Tim and Casey, are very good baseball guys that I certainly respect,” Servais said. “They are friends of mine. But it’s a business, and we’ve got to get better. That’s why we made the decisions we did.”
The Mariners also restructured their staff responsibilities with the returning coaches for next season.
- Manny Acta, third-base coach the past two seasons, will move to bench coach in 2018, and he will coach infielders and handle defensive positioning.
- Scott Brosius will move from assistant coach to third-base coach and be in charge of baserunning.
- Chris Prieto, who served as special-projects coach the past two seasons, will move to first-base coach, and he will be in charge of outfielders and assist in baserunning.
- Edgar Martinez will return as hitting coach for the fourth season.
- Mel Stottlemyre Jr. returns as pitching for the third season.
- Nasusel Cabrera, who served as interim bullpen coach after the All-Star break, will return in some role and will be a candidate for the full-time bullpen job.
- Fleming Baez will return as bullpen catcher.
“For those guys sliding into new roles, I think it’s important to give them new opportunities,” Servais said. “Manny has managed has five or six years in the big leagues and has experience there to help me out with decision making. It gives Scott Brosius as chance to get back on the field. Chris Prieto is a behind-the-scenes guy, who had a long playing career in the minor leagues, he gets a chance to get on the field. He has already been helping behind the scenes in the batting cage and with our outfield work.”
The Mariners will add a coach in a role to be determined and will look at candidates for the bullpen job.
Class AAA Tacoma manager Pat Listach, Tacoma pitching coach Lance Painter and minor league field coordinator Mike Miccuci could be candidates.
“We’ve got a bunch of different ideas,” Servais said. “Nasusel Cabrera did a really nice job stepping after Mike Hampton left. He’ll be in consideration for filling that role. We’ll talk to some people within the organization and outside the organization. Any time you have open positions on your staff, I think it’s important to take advantage of it and look all around the game. You come up with different ideas and you get exposed to different people that you didn’t much about. I look at it as an opportunity to talk to different people, and that’s what we’ll do.”