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Elephant Rumblings: A’s retain most of baseball operations department, but with a couple big cuts

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MLB news roundup

Manager, coach, and scout Rick Magnante moves on after 25 years in the org
Photo provided by Oakland A’s

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

With the 2020 season over for all but two teams, the other 28 clubs are getting started on their offseasons. There’s no major player movement until after the World Series, but for now they can do some trimming in their front offices and coaching staffs.

Indeed, several teams have already made moves, with a couple managers already let go, as well as some coaches, GMs, and a couple heads of Baseball Operations. Check out yesterday’s Rumblings for the latest around the league.

The Oakland A’s joined on Monday, making a couple cuts in their baseball ops department. Among them is Rick Magnante, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. Magnante has been in the organization for a quarter-century in various roles, including as a minor league manager, coach, and scout. The 72-year-old was slated to manage the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters in 2020, and had skippered as far up as High-A Stockton in the past.

Magnante joined the A’s as a scout in 1996, and he’s credited with signing some big names during his time in that role, including Barry Zito, Eric Byrnes, and Bobby Crosby, per Slusser. He might be particularly recognizable to Athletics Nation readers, as he frequently contributed interviews to our friend Bill at Athletics Farm, offering insight and updates on the club’s top prospects.

In addition to Magnante, a few scouts are also on the way out. Slusser mentions three, including northern California scout Kevin Mello, who is credited with signing Blake Treinen (as a prospect), this summer’s 1st-round pick Tyler Soderstrom, and MLB pitchers Brett Graves and Ian Krol.

Despite these cuts, Slusser emphasizes that at least 90% of the staff is still returning, a retention rate that was not guaranteed and is expected to exceed that of many other clubs. Even before the financial hit taken by teams this summer during the pandemic, the minor leagues were scheduled to contract a couple affiliate teams from each organization, inevitably leading to personnel cuts. Slusser offers credit to A’s owner John Fisher in that regard.

For more details, check out Slusser’s full writeup at the Chronicle. Also included are updates on the minor league coaching staff, which saw a shakeup in the managerial ranks including some fun former MLB names; and, where the Single-A affiliate will be located next year (no longer the Beloit Snappers, unfortunately).

World Series info

The World Series begins tonight between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, and the whole thing is televised on Fox. Here’s the schedule (all times Pacific):

  • Game 1: Tue, Oct. 20, 5 p.m.
  • Game 2: Wed, Oct. 21, 5 p.m.
  • Game 3: Fri, Oct. 23, 5 p.m.
  • Game 4: Sat, Oct. 24, 5 p.m.
  • Game 5: Sun, Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
  • Game 6: Tue, Oct. 27, 5 p.m.
  • Game 7: Wed, Oct. 28, 5 p.m.

The Dodgers finally named a Game 1 starter, Clayton Kershaw. He’ll go against Tyler Glasnow.

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