ADDITIONAL NOTE: 10:46 a.m.: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik just said in a conference call that Dave Hansen could stay on as an assistant hitting coach under Howard Johnson if he doesn’t get a job elsewhere. Daren Brown has been offered a minor league deal if he doesn’t get an MLB job elsewhere, while Jeff Datz has accepted a pro scouting job with the team.
We’ve told you about the coaches the Mariners have let go the past few weeks, despite all of them having a year left on their contracts. Today, the Mariners completed the process, replacing hitting coach Dave Hansen and third base coach Daren Brown and bringing in an entirely new staff in lieu of the one that finished last season under manager Eric Wedge.
The new hitting coach is Howard Johnson, who replaces Hansen after handling hitting coach duties for Class AAA Tacoma. AAA manager John Stearns takes over as third base coach for Brown.
Former Pirates slugger Andy Van Slyke is the new first base coach, Rick Waits becomes the pitching coach, Mike Rojas the bullpen coach and Chris Woodward is the infield coach.
Van Slyke replaces Mike Brumley, who left last week to take an assistant hitting coach job with the Cubs. Waits replaces Carl Willis, Rojas takes over for Jaime Navarro and Woodward handles the infied duties once the doman of former bench coach Robby Thompson.
Hansen spent just one year as Seattle’s hitting coach, having come over last season after being let go by the Dodgers in 2012. Johnson, the onetime New York Mets star, becomes the team’s fifth hitting coach since Jack Zduriencik took over as GM prior to the 2009 season, following Hansen, Chris Chambliss, Alonzo Powell and Alan Cockrell.
The Mariners are keeping a couple of non-coach staffers in bullpen catcher Jason Phillips and left-handed batting practice pitcher Scott Budner.