SAN DIEGO -- Jayce Tingler’s coaching staff is expected to crystallize over the next week or two. But it appears the Padres' new manager has found his right-hand man.
San Diego is expected to hire Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson as its bench coach, sources said on Thursday. The club has not yet confirmed the move.
Prior to last season in Philadelphia, Dickerson spent the previous decade in Baltimore working closely with third baseman Manny Machado. Their history dates back to Dickerson's time as the Minor League infield coordinator during Machado's first season in professional ball.
Dickerson is widely respected as one of the top infield instructors in the sport -- a useful trait for a coach on a team with an emerging 20-year-old star at shortstop (Fernando Tatis Jr.) and a high-upside 22-year-old second baseman (Luis Urías). With the Orioles, Dickerson spent seven seasons as third-base coach after serving in a handful of other roles -- notably, bullpen coach and Minor League manager.
It's unclear what Dickerson's impending hire means for the rest of the coaching staff -- including Rod Barajas, last year's bench coach, who was promoted to interim manager after Andy Green's dismissal. Barajas interviewed for the team's managerial vacancy earlier this offseason, but the job went to Tingler, who was introduced in a press conference on Thursday.
Tingler was asked for his priorities in building a coaching staff.
"We're in that process, meeting with people," Tingler said. "The bottom line is: Can you build relationships, can you impact players, can you make 'em better, can you push 'em? … Those are some of the qualities we're looking for, and they come in all walks of life."
A rookie manager, Tingler noted that he'd be open to adding experience to his bench. Dickerson, with 25 years of coaching under his belt, certainly brings that.
"I like a lot of information," Tingler said. "And I like a lot of information from our coaches and our staff. I really don't believe in hierarchy. So my goal is as the game's going -- and sometimes it goes fast -- I'm probably going to be drawing on a lot of different opinions and experiences in the dugout."
Dickerson's hire is pending a background check and should be finalized early next week. An announcement of the rest of the staff will follow. Some holdovers from Green's tenure are expected, though it's unclear which coaches will remain.
Jankowski dealt as part of roster shakeup
The Padres traded outfielder Travis Jankowski to the Reds on Thursday in exchange for international bonus money. Jankowski spent parts of five seasons as a reliable speed-and-defense threat with San Diego, but he struggled at the plate last year after missing the first three months following a broken right wrist he sustained in Spring Training.
The move helps a bit on the international front, but it's mostly a result of some tricky roster math. The Padres have until Monday to reinstate their injured players from the 60-day injured list. When the season ended, they had 51 players -- including injured ones -- on their 40-man squad. They began the process of trimming that number on Thursday with a handful of moves:
• Lefty swing-man Robbie Erlin cleared waivers and opted for free agency after six seasons in which he posted a 4.57 ERA. With the departure of Erlin, Wil Myers is now the longest-tenured Padre.
• The Padres declined the team options on righty reliever Adam Warren and lefty reliever Aaron Loup. Both missed the bulk of the 2019 season with arm injuries.
• The Phillies claimed hard-throwing right-hander Robert Stock off waivers. Stock was shut down with a right biceps strain in July after allowing 12 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings.
• Right-hander Brett Kennedy was outrighted to Triple-A El Paso.
Those transactions -- along with Craig Stammen's impending free agency -- leave the Padres with 44 players on their roster, meaning they must trim it by four ahead of Monday's deadline. (That doesn't account for any future roster additions.)
Preller talks pitching
General manager A.J. Preller met with the media following Thursday's press conference. He addressed his team's pitching situation heading into the offseason, saying he is pleased with the in-house options, but he offered a caveat:
"You always want to add starting pitching," Preller said. "You're open-minded, open ears on any starting pitching. Even if you have four 20-game winners, you look to add starting pitching."
As things stand, Chris Paddack and Garrett Richards are seemingly the only two locks for the Opening Day rotation. Dinelson Lamet, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer and Cal Quantrill are also options, while top prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño could arrive early next season as well.
Still, Preller will look to add to that group this winter.
"Starters are like gold," he said. "We're going to look to examine [the pitching market]. We looked to examine it at the Trade Deadline, and we're going to look to get back in it again. But the bigger thing is, we're confident in the guys we have. We have some talented individuals."