The A’s were probably going to get around to giving title bumps to Billy Owens and Dan Feinstein this winter, given that Billy Beane and David Forst have already been elevated.
It didn’t hurt any that when they were shopping for a general manager the Phillies interviewed Owens. Forst, now the general manager, said it made sense that if another team is going to dip into the A’s front office talent pool, it wouldn’t be any kind of sideways move.
The club announced Friday that Owens was being promoted to assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personnel and Feinstein to Assistant General Manager/Pro Scouting and Player Personnel.
“With Billy interviewing with Philly for the GM position, on a practical level a move like this allows us to recognize that if they come to get him, it has to be for that level of position.
“This is a way to recognize the job they’ve been doing. Billy is a tireless worker; he doesn’t get that many days at home in a year. And Dan has brought a lot of institutional knowledge to us and has effectively been working at this job already.’’
Owens, who’d carried the title of Director of Player Personnel since 2004, has spent 18 seasons with the A’s. Feinstein is in his second tour of duty with the A’s, having been with the club first from 1999-2004 before spending time with the Dodgers and Rays before returning to the A’s as Director of Professional Scouting and Player Development.
–Forst and most of the A’s brain trust are heading Sunday to the General Managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., which start Monday.
By the time they come home, the club could have a new bench coach, and a new minor league hitting instructor. The club interviewed four candidates for the instructor’s job Friday and may talk to one or two more while in Florida.
And two big league sources have confirmed that former A’s outfielder/first baseman Mark Kotsay will interview with the club as a candidate for the bench coach job. The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the A’s were given permission by the Padres to talk with Kotsay, who just finish his first year as hitting coach with San Diego.
The club has an open spot on the big league coaching staff with the release of first base coach Tye Waller and for the moment at least is looking for a bench coach. If they find one they like, such as Kotsay, it’s probable that last year’s bench coach, Mike Aldrete, will move to another position on the staff, probably first base coach.
–The A’s picked up an outfielder on waivers Friday, claiming Andrew Lambo off waivers from the Pirates.
He missed almost all of the season with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but Forst said he’s healthy now and playing in minicamp.
“He had an outstanding 2014,’’ Forst said, referring to Lambo’s rise from Class-A to Triple-A while hitting .312 with a dozen homers along the way. Lambo also can play some in the outfield. “He fits our need for guys who are flexible. He’s a good guy for depth who may have some upside.’’