Athletics “getting closer” to Mark Kotsay as a manager?

Now that the Mets have hired Buck Showalter, the Athletics are the last team to seek a new manager, but the search for Oakland could also be coming to an end. According to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, the team “is getting closer to the hiring of executives”, and the Athletics “the focus seems to be on Mark Kotsay ‘as Bob Melvin’s successor.

Kotsay has been on the Oakland staff for the past six seasons, working as a third baseman in 2021 after previously working as a quality control coach and bench coach. He is one of three internal candidates known to be in consideration for the management position, along with hitting coach Darren Bush and relieving coach Marcus Jensen. From outside the organization, the As’s were interested in Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and Red Sox bench coach Will Venable (Espada and Quatraro were also finalists for the Mets position).

When Melvin left the A’s to become the new manager of the Padres, speculation immediately arose that Kotsay was a contender and possibly even a favorite to become the new skipper of Athletics. Kotsay has been a candidate for the leadership of the Tigers, Giants, Pirates, Red Sox and Astros for the past two plus years, and he even received some consideration as the Padres’ interim manager in 2015, following the sacking. of Bud Black and when Kotsay was working as a San Diego batting coach.

Fans will likely remember Kotsay better for his 17 seasons as a player with seven different teams from 1997 to 2013, including a stint with the As in four of those seasons. Although not as recently retired as some of the other players who have become managers hired in recent years, Kotsay is still only 46 years old and not that far from his playing days. He also brings some front office experience, as Kotsay worked as a special assistant with the Padres in 2014.

If the A’s had indeed hired Kotsay, it would provide some continuity to a roster that could be very different on opening day. As’s are known to be open to trading many of their top players due to escalating arbitrage costs, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean Oakland will engage in a fire sale or even give up. hope to fight in 2022, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Billy Beane and his company make multiple deals once the lockdown ends. Depending on exactly when the lockout ends, this could lead to a frantic situation in the track and field spring training camp, which would only add to the challenge for a novice skipper. Neither Kotsay nor any of the other five known candidates have ever made it at the MLB level.

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