By Shannon Drayer
Offseason moves in baseball include big league staff, front office, and organizational hirings and firings. With the announcement of several minor league staff moves today we are ever closer to getting to the moves that you no doubt most want to hear about, trades and free-agent signings.
We are getting there, but first, today's news. The Mariners have announced the following hires for the minor league system:
• Chris Woodward, minor league infield coordinator
• Brant Brown, minor league outfield and base-running coordinator
• Jose Moreno, Latin America field coordinator
• Javier Alvidrez, Latin America athletic trainer coordinator
• Alvin Davis, minor league roving instructor
Woodward, a former shortstop/utility infielder, spent two of his later playing years in the Mariners system splitting time between Seattle and Tacoma. Back then he talked about his interest in going into coaching or managing when his playing days ended. He didn't wait for that, however, as Dustin Ackley told me in 2010 that Woodward was someone who he learned the most from while making the transition to second base.
Brown comes to the organization after spending the previous six years in the Texas Rangers organization as a minor league hitting coach.
Moreno has been in the Mariners organization for the past 13 years managing a number of the minor league affiliates.
Alvidrez has spent the previous five seasons as the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator. Before that he spent seven years as a trainer in the Oakland organization.
Davis needs no introduction, but it is great to see him take an expanded role in the organization. After reaching out to the organization and saying he would like to get involved, Davis joined the player development department as a part-time roving minor league instructor last season and now he is going full-time. He is a great person for the "kids" to have access to. Regardless of the fact that a good number of the minor leaguers had not yet been born when Davis finished his playing career he is a great communicator and is said to be a great teacher as well. He should work very well with the young players to help them get through hurdles both on and off the field as they try to develop into major league ballplayers.
With organizational personnel now in place, the next acquisitions we hear about should be of the player variety. The hot stove is burning.
News and notes
If you missed it yesterday you can catch Brendan Ryan's visit with "Bob and Groz" on their podcast page. A fun interview where Ryan talks about his feelings about the snub, his offseason plans and of course gives a status update on the mustache when asked.
Mike Zunino, James Paxton and Nick Franklin have been chosen to play in Saturday's Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game. The game can be seen on the MLB Network at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Dodgers have hired Bob Engle as the head of international operations. Engle resigned from the same position with the Mariners last month.
Finally, great news from Twitter tweeted by the King himself:
@RealKingFelix Congratulations to my brother Franklin Gutierrez and his wife Viviana for the birth of their first baby