Banister working to settle on coaching staff

Rangers skipper in Arizona for organizational meetings

Banister working to settle on coaching staff

ARLINGTON -- New Rangers manager Jeff Banister is in Surprise, Ariz., this week for organizational meetings and to continue the process of putting together his coaching staff.

Banister has already had two conversations with pitching coach Mike Maddux and is expected to meet with him again this week. Maddux's contract expires at the end of the month but he has expressed a desire to stay with Texas.

Hitting coach Dave Magadan has a year remaining on his contract but has been given permission to meet with other teams, including the Yankees, Mets and Athletics. He interviewed with the Yankees but told several news outlets earlier this week that he was out of the running for the position with New York. Scott Coolbaugh, who was the Rangers' hitting coach when they led the Major Leagues in runs scored in 2012, is still with the organization as a Minor League batting coordinator.

Finding a bench coach is a high priority. Tim Bogar was the bench coach this past season but is not returning to the coaching staff. An ex-manager could be a big asset, since Banister will be managing in the Majors for the first time, so someone like Eric Wedge, Kirk Gibson or Manny Acta could be of interest to the Rangers. Two of Banister's closest confidantes from Pittsburgh, Trent Jewett and Rich Donnelly, are currently on Lloyd McClendon's staff with Seattle.

Once the coaching staff is set, Banister will likely set out to meet with as many players as possible. He has already met shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitcher Derek Holland and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Meeting others face-to-face could involve much travel as many players have returned to their offseason homes. Adrian Beltre lives in Los Angeles, Prince Fielder and Leonys Martin live in south Florida and Yu Darvish is in Japan, although he is expected to return to Texas in November to have his health checked out.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.