During the offseason, sometimes the coaching staff of the Dodgers takes as hard of a hit as the player roster as far as personnel goes departing the team.
Last year, third base coach Chris Woodward started an exodus that saw him accept the managerial spot for the Rangers. Within days, Turner Ward snagged the hitting coach job in Cincinnati. A short time later, Farhan Zaidi was named the new president of baseball operations for the Dodgers’ biggest NL West rival, the Giants.
Seemingly, the Dodgers won’t be hit as hard this year, despite pitching coach Rick Honeycutt already being announced in his new special assistant role. However, one of the likeliest departures, if there indeed is one, could be bench coach Bob Geren.
Even before the regular season ended, Geren was linked to the managerial job in San Francisco, as Bruce Bochy had announced his retirement during 2019 spring training. Geren is believed to have strong ties to Zaidi—not just from their time together with the Dodgers—but also when the pair worked together in Oakland.
Additionally, folks in New York have been whispering Geren’s name as a potential candidate to replace departed skipper Mickey Callaway. Geren was bench coach in New York from 2011 tthrough 2015, but reportedly took the job in Los Angeles because of his family being rooted in Southern California.
His time with the Mets included a run to the 2015 World Series.
As far as his playing days go, Geren is a former catcher who spent 10 years in the minor leagues before making his debut with the Yankees in 1988. He stayed with the Yankees for four years, spent a year in the minors with the Pawtucket Red Sox, then played his final year with the San Diego Padres in 1993.
Geren has coached his way through the ranks, starting in the Red Sox organization at both the Rookie and Single-A levels, before joining the Oakland Athletics to manage their Triple-A team in Sacramento. He was promoted to bench coach for the A’s in 2002, where he remained through 2006. In November of 2006, he ascended to the manager spot in Oakland, where he ended up being chiefly responsible for the A’s first losing season since 1998.
His time with Oakland was rocky—he received an extension on his contract, but his managing style was questioned after several players overtly voiced their displeasure.
Former A’s reliever Huston Street called him the “least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports.”
He was relieved of his duties with the Athletics in June of 2011.
Since taking his current post as bench coach in Los Angeles in 2016, he has been instrumental in the club’s four division titles and two National League pennants.
In addition to Geren, it is reported that Zaidi will be interviewing Gabe Kapler for the managerial vacancy.
From 2014-2017, Kapler served as the Dodgers’ director of player development.