In addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers having free agents leave the team during the offseason, there also were departures within the front office and coaching staff.
The first to do so was former Dodgers first base coach George Lombard, who earned a promotion the Detroit Tigers as bench coach to new manager AJ Hinch. Lombard was among the original members of Dave Roberts’ staff and spent the past five seasons with the Dodgers as first base coach. His duties also included coaching the outfielders and baserunning.
More recently, Raul Ibañez was hired MLB as senior vice president of on-field operations. Ibañez had been a special assistant with the Dodgers since being hired in 2016, and he previously rejected overtures to potentially take on a managerial role.
With Spring Training camps now open, the Dodgers welcomed back former Boston Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke, who accepted a special assistant position, per Tara Sullivan of The Boston Globe:
Roenicke told the Globe Wednesday that he has joined the Dodgers as a special assistant to the general manager, a role that includes working with players on the field during spring training.
Speaking from Glendale, Ariz., where the Dodgers report Thursday, Roenicke said he spoke with the Sox about returning in some capacity after the team rehired Alex Cora as manager. But as those discussions went on, the Dodgers reached out to him, and it was too good for the 64-year-old California native to pass up.
“We talked; [Cora] knew I didn’t want to come back as a bench coach,” said Roenicke. “I didn’t want to be gone seven, eight months again. He asked if I was interested in coming back and helping out, and I was.
“Chaim [Bloom] and I talked too. We never got down to specifics, and then the thing with the Dodgers came up, Dave Roberts called, and it was a great fit for me.”
Although it’s reported Roenicke is a special assistant to the general manager, that is a vacant position and he presumably will be reporting to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, much like Ibañez did.
Roenicke’s history with Dodgers
The Milwaukee Brewers dismissed Roenicke from his managerial position in May of 2015, and he joined the Dodgers as third base coach on Don Mattingly’s staff three months later. His arrival shifted Lorenzo Bundy to a role as outfield coordinator.
When the Dodgers made a managerial change and Mattingly was hired by the Miami Marlins that offseason, Roenicke became third base coach for the L.A. Angels. He was named Red Sox bench coach in November 2017 and promoted to manager last season due to Alex Cora being fired as a result of MLB’s investigation into the Houston Astros and Boston.
Of course, Roenicke’s ties to the Dodgers organization date back to their selecting him out of UCLA with the 17th overall selection in the 1977 MLB Draft.
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