The Giants trusted Kai Correa enough to have him finish the 2023 season as acting manager and respected him enough to interview him for their managerial position, but ended up letting him go.
Correa, San Francisco’s bench coach from 2020 to 2023, is joining the Cleveland Guardians as their Major League field coordinator. The Guardians announced their full coaching staff under first-year manager Stephen Vogt — the former Giant and Athletic catcher.
Along with Correa, former Giants coach Craig Albernaz is heading to Cleveland and will serve as bench coach.
Cleveland hiring Correa was first reported by Fansided.
Correa’s rise in the baseball industry is unique. He never played beyond college, instead dedicating his life to instruction and coaching. He coached at his alma mater then at University of Northern Colorado, specializing in infield fundamentals and experimental techniques.
In 2018, Correa made the leap from college to the pros, working in the low levels of Cleveland’s system. After two years in the minors, Giants manager Gabe Kapler hired Correa as their Major League bench coach and infield instructor.
Correa had a heavy hand in working with prospects during spring training, but he also had the rare quality of developing established players at the Major League level. With Correa’s help, J.D. Davis turned himself from a below average defender to a quality one at third base. LaMonte Wade Jr. transitioned from the outfield to first base with few issues. Thairo Estrada improved at both second and shortstop last year.
When the Giants relieved Kapler with three games left, Correa stepped into the manager’s office with a similar poise and purpose as his predecessor. Correa emphasized finishing the season strong amid the organizational turmoil, stressing the importance of processes and competing on every play. The Giants went 1-2 against the Dodgers with Correa as interim manager.
Correa is one of the highest profile losses San Francisco’s coaching staff under Bob Melvin has endured. Albernaz, pitching coach Andrew Bailey, first base coach Antoan Richardson and director of pitching Brian Bannister have also departed.