The annual baseball Winter Meetings have begun today in the Washington, D.C. area (last year they were conveniently right here in Nashville so we had you covered in all sorts of ways). There is still a Sounds contingent in our nation’s capital this week, though, as all major league and minor league teams convene for things like league meetings, affiliate receptions, awards ceremonies, workshops, trade shows, job hiring, and just overall planning for the coming season. And of course, the major league teams’ baseball operations departments are there to discuss and make trades, free agent signings, and the annual Rule 5 Draft. Basically, this week our nation’s capital is the center of the baseball world.
The Sounds’ 2017 roster is continually taking shape based on what the parent-club A’s do over these months. Every move has a direct and/or indirect effect on the Sounds’ roster. For example, the A’s recently signed Matt Joyce to a two-year deal and had to make room for him on the 40-man roster. So they designated Sounds infielder Rangel Ravelo for assignment. He cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the Sounds (i.e. none of the 29 other clubs was willing to put him on their 40-man roster, and he’s no longer on the A’s 40-man). Ravelo now is one of the many “non-roster invitees” to A’s spring training come February. That extensive list is right HERE and includes a boatload of recent and future Sounds.
Another component happening this time of year is major league teams’ establishing their player development staff and field staffs at their various minor league affiliates. In case you missed it, the Sounds, in conjunction with the A’s, recently announced that Ryan Christenson has been named Sounds manager for 2017 following the A’s promotion of Steve Scarsone to a traveling instructor. Christenson has never missed the playoffs as a manager and led the A’s Double-A Midland club to yet another Texas League title this year. Then he managed for the Mesa club in the Arizona Fall League, and that club won that league’s crown.
Christenson will be one of several new managers in the Pacific Coast League this season. Several teams in the circuit haven’t announced their manager yet. The current list is below, and note that “TBA” with last year’s manager in parenthesis doesn’t mean that guy isn’t returning. It just hasn’t been announced publicly yet one way or the other, as far as I’ve read.
Sounds: Ryan Christenson (Steve Scarsone promoted to instructor)
Round Rock: Former Sound Jason Wood returning
New Orleans: TBA (Arnie Beyeler last year)
Memphis: Stubby Clapp (Mike Shildt promoted to St. Louis)
Iowa: TBA (Marty Pevey last year)
Omaha: TBA (Former Sound Brian Poldberg last year)
Colorado Springs: TBA (Former Sounds manager Rick Sweet last year)
Oklahoma City: TBA (Bill Hasselman last year)
Fresno: TBA (Former Sound Tony DeFrancesco last year)
Sacramento: TBA and new (Jose Alguacil promoted San Francisco)
Reno: TBA and new (Phil Nevin hired by San Francisco)
Tacoma: TBA (Pat Listach last year)
El Paso: TBA (Rod Barajas last year)
Salt Lake: TBA (Keith Johnson last year)
Las Vegas: Pedro Lopez (Wally Backman not returning)
Albuquerque: TBA (Glenallen Hill last year)
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