The Oakland Athletics have announced the hiring of Mike Aldrete as bench coach, rejoining Manager Bob Melvin for a third time in his 13-year coaching career. Aldrete, who has served as bench coach for the St. Louis Cardinals the past three seasons, previously worked under Melvin as first base coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2004 and as hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2005-06.
He replaces Chip Hale as the A's bench coach. Hale recently was hired as manager of the Diamondbacks.
Aldrete, 53, is returning to his home region. Born in Carmel, Calif. and a graduate of Monterey High School and Stanford University, the former first baseman/outfielder played for seven different teams during his 10-year Major League career, including both the San Francisco Giants (1986-88) and the Oakland A's (1993-95). A .263 lifetime hitter in 930 games, Aldrete also played for Montreal (1989-90), San Diego (1991), Cleveland (1991), the California Angels (1995-96) and the New York Yankees (1996).
He began his coaching career in 2001 as hitting coach for Yakima in the Diamondbacks' minor league system. He was promoted to manager of Yakima the following season and then managed Arizona's High Class A club in Lancaster in 2003. His first coaching opportunity in the majors came in 2004 when he was named first base coach on Melvin's staff in Seattle. He moved to Arizona the following year when Melvin was named manager of the Diamondbacks, serving as hitting coach there for two seasons.
Tony La Russa, whom Aldrete had played for in Oakland, hired him as assistant hitting coach with St. Louis in 2008. After four seasons in that position-including the 2011 Cardinals team that was crowned World Series champions-he was promoted to bench coach in 2012 when Mike Matheny replaced the retiring La Russa as manager. During his three-year stint as bench coach, the Cardinals advanced to the World Series in 2013 and to the National League Championship Series in both 2012 and 2014.
Aldrete's finest season as a player was with the Giants in 1987, when he batted a career-high .325 on a team that lost to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series. He split his final season between California and New York in 1996, ending his career as a member of the World Series Champion Yankees.
A third team All-American his senior season at Stanford, Aldrete was chosen by San Francisco in the seventh round of the First-Year Player Draft in 1983.