It has been a fairly quiet offseason for the Oakland Athletics. , though they did allow erstwhile manager Bob Melvin leave for the Padres. Melvin still had another year remaining on his contract, yet the A's did not seek any compensation for letting him out of his deal.
The Athletics are one of two teams without a manager (the Mets are the other) and this is something they can address during the lockout. Teams are not allowed to make transactions involving 40-man roster players during the work stoppage, but coaches and managers present no such issues. Clubs can hire (and fire, for that matter) coaches and managers at will during the lockout.
Here, via The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal, are the six managerial candidates the A's either have interviewed or will interview soon. Other names could always be added to this list in the future:
- Darren Bush, A's hitting coach
- Joe Espada, Astros bench coach
- Marcus Jenson, A's bullpen coach
- Mark Kotsay, A's third base coach
- Matt Quatraro, Rays bench coach
- Will Venable, Red Sox bench coach
Kotsay, Quatraro, and Venable have all already interviewed, reports Ghiroli. Espada and Quatraro are also candidates for the Mets open managerial position. The common thread among all these candidates is no previous managerial experience. They'd all be rookie MLB skippers, which is not something that spooks teams as much as it once did.
It's unclear whether any of the six can be considered the favorite for the A's managerial job. Kotsay has long been considered a future big-league manager and he has ties to the organization dating back to his playing days. That said, Espada and Venable have also been viewed as future managers, ditto Quatraro.
Although there is a work stoppage and managers and coaches can not communicate with players, the A's surely want to hire a new manager in short order. They don't want the Mets stealing away a top candidate and they want to engrain their new manager into the organization as soon as possible, so once the lockout ends, they can hit the ground running.