With season ending, Rangers mull over coaching options

With season ending, Rangers mull over coaching options

ARLINGTON -- With the World Series ending on Wednesday night, the Rangers are at liberty to announce any and all coaching appointments.

There are little if any indications they are ready to do that.

Hitting coach Dave Magadan is ready to return for the final year of his contract. But pitching coach Mike Maddux's contract expires on Friday and a new one isn't in place yet, despite multiple discussions with new manager Jeff Banister and general manager Jon Daniels.

"We're in the process of trying to hammer out a contract," Maddux said. "I'm optimistic. I have to be optimistic."

The Rangers, with an injury-riddled pitching staff, were next to last in the American League with a 4.49 ERA, although it improved to 3.86 in the second half. In Maddux's first five seasons as the Rangers' pitching coach, they had a combined ERA of 3.94 which was third best in that stretch in the American League.

Steve Buechele, who served as the Triple-A manager last season, is considered to be a candidate for the all-important bench coach, but that doesn't appear to be done either.

"I was at the [organizational] meetings and had conversations with everybody," Buechele said. "I had a conversation with our new skipper, but I don't know if that's considered an interview. We had a one-on-one talk, but he's done that with a lot of people. I haven't heard anything."

The Rangers are also looking for a third-base coach after Gary Pettis was hired away by the Astros. Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins, first-base coach Bengie Molina and assistant hitting coach Bobby Jones all need their situations settled as well.

Daniels and Banister are working jointly on setting the coaching staff. Banister was introduced as the new manager two weeks ago.

The end of the World Series also means the Rangers enter into a five-day window of negotiations with their own free agents in pitchers Colby Lewis, Neal Cotts and Scott Baker. All have expressed an interest in returning. The Rangers have been in contact with Lewis' agent Alan Nero, who also represents free-agent manager Joe Maddon.

Pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla was scratched from his fourth Arizona Fall League start with a torn fingernail. The injury is not considered serious. Bonilla is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts for the Surprise Saguaros.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.