The Oakland Athletics have reportedly cut ties with first base coach Tye Waller. The team has not yet made an official announcement but Waller said he got a call from manager Bob Melvin letting him know that he would not be coming back for the next season. The coach said that he was being let go because the team is going more "cutting edge."
"I was told the team was going cutting edge when I asked why I was being let go,'' Waller said. "I know they are making changes, but other than this, I don't know what else they want to do.'' Waller told the San Jose Mercury News.
The 58-year-old coach spent nine seasons with the A's as the first base coach and outfield instructor. He also served two years as former manager Bob Geren's bench coach from 2009 to 2010. In his time in Oakland, he served under three managers namely Ken Macha, Bob Geren and the Bob Melvin.
As mentioned, the A's has yet to formally announce Waller's dismissal. Moreover, there has not been any mention as to who will potentially replace him as first base coach. The team is known for promoting from within when it comes to its coaching staff, so it would not be a surprise if Oakland eventually name a new coach who is already part of the organization.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics, as well as other teams that are not in the playoffs, will soon begin planning for the 2016 season and what can be done to improve their roster. In Oakland's case, one area that is said to be in need of attention is its bullpen.
Several speculations have recently hit baseball rumor mills that the Cincinnati Reds might be looking to trade Aroldis Chapman. The relief pitcher's successful 2015 season is said to carry a handful of hot young players over to Cincinnati.
The Oakland Athletics may go after Chapman, according to a report by Samantha Riley of Swingin A's. His acquisition is seen as advantageous to the team's bullpen. Last season, Chapman had a 1.63 ERA with 116 strikeouts and over 66.1 innings pitched, as well as a 1.15 WHIP. The 27-year-old pitcher also has 33 saves with only three blown save opportunities.
Chapman is also one of the best closers in the MLB and the hardest thrower in the whole league as he clocks in more than 100 mph when he pitches his fastball, Cincinnati.com reported. However, the pitcher will likely come with a hefty price, a price that Oakland may find to be too high. Chapman will become a free agent in 2017 and the Athletics would probably want a more long-term solution for their bullpen.