Former SF Giants bench coach Kai Correa is returning to familiar territory. According to Robert Murray of FanSided, Correa will be joining the Cleveland Guardians after spending the past four seasons on the Giants' coaching staff.
Former SF Giants bench coach lands role with the Guardians
The role has not been announced yet, but according to a source, it would be a hybrid role that splits time between on-field coaching and player development. He joins a team that is led by new manager Stephen Vogt and former Giants bullpen coach Craig Albernaz.
Interestingly, Albernaz was one of the first candidates to interview for the Guardians' managerial vacancy after Terry Francona retired following the 2023 season. He did not get the position, but he seemingly made a positive impact to be able to land a role on the coaching staff.
Correa will have a sense of familiarity with Albernaz as both had been on Gabe Kapler's coaching staff for the past four seasons. For Correa, it will be a return to familiar territory. He had served as an infield coach and defensive coordinator in Cleveland's lower minors before joining the Giants as bench coach and infield instructor.
There was not much known about Correa's work when he was hired by the Giants after the 2019 season, especially considering that he had such short track record as a pro. However, Kapler was a huge fan of his work and hired him in a critical coaching role despite the lack of experience.
Correa would finish the 2023 campaign by replacing Kapler once he was fired and going 1-2 as interim manager in the final series of the season. In addition to this, he really gained a nice reputation for his work with the infielders. This past season, the 35-year-old coach oversaw a Giants infield group that led baseball with +28 Outs Above Average.
Both Thairo Estrada and J.D. Davis played a huge role in that after neither one graded out favorably with the glove in 2022. Correa's work with them was believed to be part of the turnaround. That type of work will get you noticed and create opportunities. One of these opportunities almost included a shot to manage the Giants.
For Correa, a return to Cleveland closes his four-year stint in San Francisco. He had been a popular coach with both the players and the fans. And, the Guardians made a really nice hire in bringing him back.