After winning 107 games in 2021, the SF Giants expected that there would be widespread interest in Gabe Kapler's coaching staff. Hitting coach Donnie Ecker departed the organization to become the Texas Rangers bench coach, but it appears that another key voice will remain for now.
SF Giants block key coach from interview with Mets
The Giants denied permission for the New York Mets to interview pitching coach Andrew Bailey for the vacant bench coach role on Buck Showalter's staff. Generally speaking, teams do not block coaches from interviewing for a position if it is considered a promotion such as going from a pitching coach to a bench coach.
The bench coach works closely with the manager and it is typically a role that prepares a younger coach like Bailey for a future managerial position. The 37-year-old coach will not be a candidate for the Mets bench coach role, but that is a high-profile position, meaning that he is likely to be considered for a similar role in future hiring cycles.
Given that it is late in the offseason, it makes sense that the Giants would not want to allow Bailey to interview, thereby creating a potential vacancy that would be tough to fill. That said, the Giants decision to deny permission to the Mets could have come directly from Bailey as well.
He could very well be content in his current role that has seen pitchers like Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Logan Webb, and Anthony DeSclafani elevate their respective games under his guidance. Or, it could be geography.
The Oakland's A's drafted Bailey in the sixth round of the 2006 draft out of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. Going to the Mets would have been a homecoming for Bailey, but it bears mentioning that he has spent much of his pro career on the west coast including a three-year stint with the A's earlier in his career and a two-year run with the Los Angeles Angels before retiring.
He did not stay out of baseball for long as he immediately became a coach for the Angels before coming over to the Giants as part of Gabe Kapler's team. When Kapler organized his staff, Bailey was one of the few recognizable names that was brought in as the Giants leaned heavily on coaches who were inexperienced, but well-versed in modern analytics.
For now, the Giants retain a key voice on a coaching staff that has exceeded expectations. It may be a different story next season as Bailey's profile is quickly garnering attention.