Office Staff Complete
Ruben Amaro Jr. has filled the last baseball administration office opening with the hiring of Scott Proefrock as assistant GM. Scott’s been involved in player development and scouting since 1989 with the Pirates, Braves, Rays and Orioles, where he’s been the Director of Baseball Administration the past three years.
So, Ruben has surrounded himself with three assistants Scott, Benny Looper and Chuck LaMar. LaMar was with the Phillies for the past season but his role has expanded. And, Pat Gillick remains as a consultant. Lots of solid baseball background from which to draw.
Still on the drawing board is rounding out Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff. Ruben and his staff are in Clearwater where they are interviewing candidates. Minor changes may be forthcoming in player development and scouting, too. One change in player development came today with the reinstatement of Mike Compton as the Minor League Field Coordinator, replacing Bill Dancy, whose contract was not renewed.
Ruben also continues working on player issues. The deadline for the 40-man winter roster is Thursday.
Free agent hunting season has begun. Ruben’s indicated adding pitching depth is the priority. Pat Burrell has filed for free agency and he’s free to begin fielding offers. We’ve had discussions with Pat’s agents and that will continue. But, left field is an area that may need attention, too.
The entire free agent market may be a drawn-out process, according to various news reports. Some of the free agents require compensation (giving up a first-round draft pick next summer). That could change December 1, the last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents.
There are some big-time free agents who will get big-time bucks. That’s a given.
The market can expand with the December 7 deadline for tendering contracts. A new batch of players may be looking for jobs then. News reports also indicate payroll issues on several clubs may mean the market will be strung out through January.
Ruben’s also held initial trade discussions with several clubs. Idea is to see if there is a fit for future discussion. Other clubs have made moves. More will follow.
Ruben and his staff will be at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, December 8-11. Things will heat up there. Agents will be parading their horses, ponies or donkeys.
It has been and will continue to be a news-filled offseason for the World Champions.