Though there’s no major player movement during the MLB Lockout, clubs are still trying to shape their coaching staffs as spring training approaches.
But it’s so late in the process, some teams are scrambling more than fielding applications. The Mets, still searching for a bench coach, remain in hiring mode.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, NYM had eyes on Giants pitching coach Andrew Bailey to fill their vacancy. Yet, according to Rosenthal, San Francisco blocked their request to interview Bailey, a rising coach seen by many as a potential manager in the future.
Typically, teams allow their coaches to interview elsewhere for a position that would be considered a promotion. Teams don’t want to hold their staffers back from upward mobility. And bench coaches generally have more responsibility than pitching coaches, but the Giants denied permission nonetheless.
If Bailey interviewed and left, the Giants would then be in the same position as New York: scrambling for a major clubhouse presence. Finding a replacement for Bailey this late in the offseason would be challenging.
Earlier in the offseason, San Francisco lost valued hitting coach Donnie Ecker, who left for an offensive coordinator and bench coach position with the Texas Rangers. Former assistant coach Mark Hallberg is replacing longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus at third base.
Bailey, 37, is well-regarded among pitchers and within the Giants organization. Before games, he often tosses around a football with players while they stretch and his upbeat attitude helped the team fight through a tough pennant race in 2021.
Bailey won the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Award as a relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. He was an All-Star that year and in 2010 — his only two All-Star seasons before retiring after 2017. He first became a coach in 2019 with the Los Angeles Angels and has been with the Giants since 2020.