10/14/11 2:24 PM ET
Randolph will not return to O's coaching staff
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Third-base coach Willie Randolph was not issued a contract for 2012, according to a baseball source. The club also still has a vacancy for a bullpen coach.
The decision to not retain Randolph comes on the heels of a flurry of organizational movement. Most notable was the departure of president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail last week, but it was also announced on Wednesday that scouting director Joe Jordan was leaving to take a player development position with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Randolph was originally hired on a one-year deal as manager Buck Showalter's bench coach, but he switched to third base halfway through the season to accommodate John Russell, who had some knee issues. When asked about the coaching swap during the season, Showalter said he felt Russell was better served working closer to the catchers on the bench.
The manager of the New York Mets for four seasons from 2005-08, Randolph spent two years as the Brewers' bench coach before joining Baltimore, where he worked predominantly with the infielders and made particular strides with Robert Andino. Randolph played for six teams in an 18-season big league career, starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1975 and ending with the Mets in '92, but his greatest success came during 13 years with the Yankees, when he was an All-Star five times.
Randolph has made it no secret that he would like another managing opportunity, although those jobs appear scarce for next season.
The rest of the Orioles coaching staff will likely remain intact, with both hitting coach Jim Presley and pitching coach Rick Adair on two-year deals, as well as first-base coach Wayne Kirby and Russell still under contract. There remains a coaching vacancy in the bullpen, as Adair slid over from that position after Mark Connor's midseason resignation as pitching coach. The Orioles used a rotating group of temporary fill-ins at bullpen coach for the remainder of the season.
Showalter has been in Baltimore the past few days finalizing his coaching staff and giving input on the team's general manager search, which is still in the preliminary stages. The organization is expected to start conducting interviews early next week, when Showalter returns from a weekend out of town, with D-backs senior vice president Jerry Dipoto, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings, Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava and Dodgers assistant GM Logan White some of the most heavily rumored names. ESPN.com also reported on Twitter on Thursday that former Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi is also on the Orioles' "short list" of candidates.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.