Now that the offseason has officially arrived, the Los Angeles Dodgers will soon have some difficult decisions to make regarding the roster and other personnel. Last week, the club saw six players become free agents and reach the open market.
Another name was added to the group when the Dodgers declined their 2018 option on Andre Ethier’s contract. As for the coaching staff, it appears longtime pitching coach Rick Honeycutt finds himself in a precarious situation.
The 63-year-old’s contract expired and his future with the club is up in the air. A report indicated Honeycutt is not expected to return in the same capacity.
With that, Honeycutt said he enjoys working with the organization’s pitchers but will speak with his family to determine a next step, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I just want to take a couple days and get in touch and see what they’re thinking and talk to my family and see what they’re thinking,” the 63-year-old Honeycutt said. “In a lot of ways, I never want to take off the uniform. I love what I do, love working with the guys. That part is always in you. I definitely enjoy all that. Parts of it you don’t like, the travel and stuff. We’ll talk. I’ll consider it again. We’ll see where everybody’s at.”
Honeycutt joined the Dodgers organization in 2006 and has served as the club’s pitching coach ever since, working under four different managers.
Since taking the job, Honeycutt’s Dodgers pitching staff has the led the league in nearly every statistical category. Over the last 12 seasons, Los Angeles owns the best ERA (3.64), FIP (3.69), strikeouts per nine (8.1) and FanGraphs’ WAR (245.5).
In 2017, the Dodgers placed second in ERA (3.38) and FIP (3.67) while ranking third in WAR (24.3). Los Angeles saw career years for Kenley Jansen, Brandon Morrow and Alex Wood — not to mention another Cy Young-worthy season from Clayton Kershaw, who’s been honored with three such awards during Honeycutt’s tenure as pitching coach.
Should Honeycutt retire, he could conceivably remain with the club as an advisor to the front office. That was said to be the expectation at the time he last signed a two-year contract.