Dodgers Rumors: Mark McGwire Candidate For Padres Bench Coach
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

During the Los Angeles Dodgers’ thorough and prolonged search for their next manager, two members from the 2015 coaching staff have left the organization.

First was Davey Lopes, who agreed to join Dusty Baker’s Washington Nationals staff as first base coach.

More recently, Ron Roenicke returned to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization as third base coach.

Lopes and Roenicke both join their respective new club under the same position they held with the Dodgers.

There were indications Mark McGwire was likely to be hired as Arizona Diamondbacks hitting coach, however McGwire withdrew himself from consideration out of preference to remain close to his home in Irvine, Calif.

Now, according to Dennis Lin of The San Diego Union-Tribune, McGwire is a strong candidate for the San Diego Padres bench coach position:

Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach and former home-run king Mark McGwire is in discussions with the Padres about becoming their next bench coach, sources told the Union-Tribune. While nothing has been made official, one source suggested McGwire is a very strong candidate for the job, one that would keep him close to home.

McGwire, who spent 16 seasons in the Majors, has never served as a bench coach. He joined the Dodgers as hitting coach — a position he held over the last three seasons.

Under McGwire in 2014, the Dodgers led the Majors with a .333 team on-base percentage and .286 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Additionally in 2014, Los Angeles was among the National League leaders in batting average (.265, second), slugging percentage (.406, second), extra-base hits (474, third) and runs scored (718, second).

The Dodgers as a team hit .250/.326/.413 in 2015. Their batting average ranked 19th overall, on-base percentage was fourth, and slugging percentage 10th. They hit 187 home runs, which led the NL and was good for sixth in the Majors.

Prior to joining the Dodgers, McGwire was hired as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach in 2009, working under his former manager Tony La Russa.

If hired, McGwire would replace Dave Roberts as Padres bench coach. Along with director of player development Gabe Kapler, Roberts is a finalist for the Dodgers’ vacant managerial position.

The Padres will be led next season by rookie manager Andy Green. Former Padres manager Bud Black, fired in July by San Diego, reportedly will join the Angels front office as a special assitant.