Mariners hire Jared Sandberg for new staff role

Former Rays player, Minors skipper tabbed as field coordinator

November 21st, 2018

SEATTLE -- Jared Sandberg, who spent the past 10 seasons as a manager in the Rays' Minor League system, was hired by the Mariners on Wednesday to fill a new "field coordinator" position on the Major League coaching staff.
Sandberg, the nephew of Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, is a native of Olympia, Wash., and he said it's a perfect scenario to return home after 20 years in the Rays' organization as a player, coach and manager.
"It's a huge homecoming," Jared Sandberg said. "I grew up in Olympia and have been away ever since I graduated [from Capital High School]. My wife and kids are excited to finally spend the summer in the Pacific Northwest. We've missed the beauty of it.
"The Mariners are the organization and team I grew up watching and rooting for. I idolized a lot of the players. The No. 1 reason for me to come back for me was my family. I did have some other strong offers out there, but being away from family for so long in the game of baseball definitely weighed out in this decision."
The Mariners are restructuring their coaching staff, with bullpen coach Brian De Lunas taking a new organization-wide role as director of pitching development and strategies. Jim Brower, who filled an assistant coach position last year while working with the pitchers, will take over as bullpen coach.
De Lunas' promotion opens up a spot on the Major League staff for the 40-year-old Sandberg in a new role created by general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais.
"It's a position at the Major League level that is able to bring the staff and players and organization together, and be on the same page," Sandberg said. "What Scott and Jerry have laid out to me is it's a position simply as a man of many hats, having a hand in a lot of different things. Coming from player development, I'm looking to help bridge any gap between the Minors and Major Leagues."
Sandberg spent the previous four seasons as manager of the Rays' Triple-A Durham squad, leading the Bulls to International League titles in 2017 and '18. He was a manager at lower levels the previous six seasons after retiring following a 12-year playing career as a third baseman, including three seasons in the Majors from 2001-03.
"Jared brings a lot of experience in building relationships with young players, having managed successful teams in Durham," Dipoto said. "He has a demonstrated track record of using a wide expanse of tools, from data analytics to sports psychology to traditional baseball education, and allowing each of those things to affect his decision-making. We think he is going to impact our staff in the ability to create order, deliver messages and convey plans, both among our staff and our players."
Sandberg laughed when asked about having any prior relationship with Servais. Turns out, Servais, as the Rangers' director of player development, was the one who released Sandberg from camp in 2007, his final year as a player.
"It was one of the first couple things I brought to the attention of everybody in the interview room," Sandberg said. "It was kind of an icebreaker to get everybody laughing. Scott said he was wondering how long it would take for me to bring that up."
Now, Servais has hired Sandberg for his first Major League coaching position.
"You dream as a kid to be a Major Leaguer," Sandberg said. "Starting as a player and working my way up, my goal was definitely to reach the Major Leagues. I want to be in an impactful position. Being a Triple-A manager is definitely that, but to be able to be at the Major League level and impact Major League players, and an organization and city and region like Seattle, that's the ultimate goal."
Servais has one remaining opening on his staff as the Mariners have yet to announce a new hitting coach to replace Edgar Martinez, who stepped down to become an organizational hitting advisor. D-backs assistant hitting coach Tim Laker is expected to fill that spot, according to sources.
The club has already hired former Cardinals Minor League pitching coordinator Paul Davis to replace Mel Stottlemyre Jr. as pitching coach, while longtime Marlins infield coach Perry Hill has been hired to replace the departing Scott Brosius.
Hill will coach first base, with former first-base coach Chris Prieto shifting to third base. Manny Acta is returning as bench coach.