Mike Aldrete To Leave St. Louis Cardinals For Oakland Athletics

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St. Louis Cardinals bench coach, Mike Aldrete is expected to be named to the same position later today with the Oakland Athletics.

According to Susan Slusser of SFGate.com:

"Mike Aldrete, who played for the A’s and Giants, is expected to be announced as the A’s bench coach Monday, according to multiple sources.Aldrete, 53, has served on manager Bob Melvin’s coaching staffs in Seattle, where he was the first-base coach, and Arizona, where he was the hitting coach. Aldrete has been a coach for the Cardinals for the past seven years, most recently serving as bench coach.Aldrete, a Stanford graduate, is from Monterey and still lives there, so the opportunity with Oakland allows him to be closer to home. Chip Hale, Melvin’s bench coach the past three seasons, became Arizona’s manager this month.The A’s are still interviewing candidates for their hitting-coach position, with Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen a top target."

And according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Aldrete, 53, was considered a favorite to replace Chip Hale after he took the job managing the Arizona Diamondbacks. Aldrete has longstanding friendship with A’s manager Bob Melvin, and aldrete is also from the Bay Area. He lives there in the offseason, played at Stanford, and also played for the A’s and Giants during his career.Aldrete had a year remaining on his contract with the Cardinals.They would have had to give him permission to pursue the opening after the playoffs had ended. At the end of the season, a source familiar with Aldrete’s view said he would likely look at the position because it gave him a chance to be closer to home.His departure leaves Matheny with his first major coaching position to fill since starting as Cardinals manager. He has, in the past, hired an assistant hitting coach, and when hitting coach Mark McGwire left the staff Matheny already had an heir in place with John Mabry.Aldrete has been with the Cardinals the previous seven years. He first join the organization as an assistant hitting coach, starting the role that has spread through baseball. Aldrete served in that role until moving to bench coach for the 2012 season. The Cardinals identified Aldrete as a keen assistant for Matheny as he moved into the manager role for the first time in his career. Aldrete’s past experience in the dugout was valuable for the first-time manager who had not had the position at any level."

This has been an expected move, but it will still be tough to see him go. I’ll miss his thumbs up and thumbs down to Manager Mike Matheny.

Now, who may fill this slot for the team?

* Memphis Redbirds manager Ron “Pop” Warner. At 44, Warner has been the manager for three seasons. Prior to that he was with the Springfield Cardinals for five seasons as manager. He’s been involved with every level of this organization since 2000. He knows everyone. He would be a great fit. Plus? He and his family reside in St. Charles, Mo.

* Joe Maddon. Sure, he wants to be a manager some where, but if not … the Cardinals, his favorite team since childhood, are looking for a coach!

* Jim Edmonds. Not sure if he’s looking for a coaching opportunity. But we know he loves being around this team. He knows Mike Matheny. He could impart wisdom on this team. He knows what it’s like to lose a teammate at the prime of his career. Somebody who knows will be a good asset, especially this next season.

* Chris Carpenter. He’s more likely to be a pitching coach someday, but wouldn’t this be fun! Imagine what the clubhouse would be like with him back in it. He could be bad cop, to Mike’s good cop. Yelling at umpires and players with bad attitudes. And all the challenges! … Maybe that wouldn’t be so great!

* There are also possibilities that current coaches could be moved around. Jose Oquendo, Chris Maloney and David Bell could all be possibilities. If this were to happen, Warner or Edmonds moving into another slot on the big league club is a possibility. Like I mentioned with Edmonds, someone who knows this team and knows what they will be going through will be important this season.

What are your thoughts? Who do you think will take on the bench coach role?