Ryan Christenson is a Candidate for Pirates Manager

Oakland A's bench coach, Ryan Christenson, is set to interview for the Pirates manager vacancy left by Clint Hurdle.

Ryan Christenson, former outfielder and current bench coach for the Oakland A's, will interview for the open position as Pirates manager some time next week.

This feels very natural for Pittsburgh to go looking through the coaching ranks of successful small market teams. The Oakland Athletics, like the Pirates, are always towards the bottom in terms of payroll. 

Over the last two seasons, the A's were 28th and 25th (respectively) in terms of payroll, but 4th and 5th in the league in wins. Christenson has had a front row seat, as A's bench coach, to Bob Melvin managing the A's to 97-wins in both of those seasons.

This is not to say that we should expect someone like Christenson to come to Pittsburgh and instantly replicate what the Athletics have been able to do. It would take improvements throughout the organization in terms of player development and acquisition to accomplish that. But, the A's have clearly figured out how to develop young players, and it's not unreasonable to think that someone like Ryan Christenson could bring some of Oakland's expertise to Pittsburgh. 

This is all assuming that Christenson's interest in the Pirates job is anything more than exploratory. According to a report out from the San Francisco Chronicle, Christenson has been identified within the A's organization as a future major league manager. If that feeling exists outside of Oakland, Christenson may pass on a job in Pittsburgh in favor of waiting for a role with an organization that has shown more of a commitment to win. This will no doubt be the struggle Neil Huntington will have throughout the managerial search. Pittsburgh is simply not near the top of the list in terms of desirable jobs. So, it is likely the Pirates will lose out on some of the top candidates. Christenson could fall into that category.

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Comments (3)
No. 1-1
oct131960
oct131960

No one person can build an organization, especially not a big league manager. That is the GM's job, with a lot of help from many others. Why not give Jay Bell a shot as Pirate manager? He has much more big league experience than just about anybody else being considered. He always made the most out of his talent, even winning a gold glove after being a defensive liability early in his career. He's an exceptionally hard worker and has good experience as a minor league manager and big league coach. I think Jay Bell would love to come back to Pittsburgh.

2 Replies

Jared Martin
Jared Martin

Editor

Well, Jay Bell was my favorite player growing up. So I’m in on that. There would just need to be mutual interest and there doesn’t seem to be on either side.

oct131960
oct131960

I think there might be from Jay Bell. I mentioned that I'd like to see him manager the Pirates someday to him after an Altoona Curve game two years ago. He was the manager of the Trenton Thunder at the time. He responded "We'll see".