By Richard W. Humphrey
Yesterday, the Texas Rangers announced that Tim Bogar had been hired to replace Jackie Moore as bench coach. Less than 48 hours after the 2013 season came to an end, the Rangers announced that Moore and first base/infield coach Dave Anderson would not be retained. Moore’s firing was done over the strong objection of CEO Nolan Ryan and was a significant factor in Ryan’s resignation from the Texas Rangers and the sale of his equity position in the team.
Bogar was a journeyman utility infielder in his playing career that spanned nine years (1993 – 2001) and three teams. He arrives with five years of Major League coaching experience, having coached for the Boston Red Sox from 2009 through 2012. He was initially their first base coach, then moved across the diamond to coach third base for two years, and was Bobby Valentine’s bench coach in 2012. This past season, he managed the Los Angeles Angels’ double A affiliate in Arkansas. Prior to joining the Red Sox, he was the Rays’ quality assurance coach. He has also managed minor league teams in the Cleveland and Houston organizations. Bogar will turn 47 later this month. His Ranger duties will also involve working with infielders.
Steve Buechele, former Texas Rangers third baseman and most recently the manager of Texas’ AA affiliate in Frisco, was the only internal candidate interviewed for the job. Former Royals’ manager Jamie Quirk was also considered before Bogar was selected.
At this point, Bogar’s hiring leaves one opening on the coaching staff. GM Jon Daniels said after announcing that Bogar would join the team that he had not yet begun the interview process to replace Dave Anderson as first base coach.
However, the Rangers’ coaching situation may change even further. Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will interview for the vacant pitching coach job in Baltimore. Also, pitching coach Mike Maddux has become a candidate for the vacant Chicago Cubs managerial job. Maddux was perhaps the leading candidate when the Cubs’ position was open two years ago, but pulled himself out of the running because of family considerations. His two daughters were in high school at the time. Now they have graduated. One attends SMU and the other TCU, and Maddux feels free to pursue opportunities in other areas. Maddux, whose brother Greg is also a candidate for the Cubs’ job, is not considered a serious candidate to land the position at this time.
The off-season really gets kicked off with the end of the World Series which begins tomorrow, as eligible players can file for free agency at that time. The two major gatherings are the General Manager meetings, which this year will be in Orlando on November 11-13, and the Winter Meetings in early December.
The Texas Rangers, of course will be seeking offensive help this winter after scoring the fewest runs in a full season since moving into the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994. One player they will not be adding is Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu. He is considered a significant middle of the order bat, and he signed with the White Sox last weekend for a deal reported to total $68 million over six years. His value was undoubtedly boosted by the early success of two other Cuban defectors – Yeonis Cespedes with Oakland and Yasiel Puig with the Dodgers. The Texas Rangers are expected to give outfielder Nelson Cruz a qualifying offer of about $14.1 million for next season. The offer will enable Texas to recoup a compensatory draft pick in next June’s amateur draft if Cruz signs elsewhere.
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