And the coaching staff winners are….

Appears to be a good mix of experience and acquaintance – some with ties to the M’s, some with ties to Eric Wedge, some with ties to both … and one new guy.

“I think it’s really important that we had somebody within the organization, somebody outside the organization and somebody connected to last year’s staff, too,” Wedge said Thursday in a conference call. “We really tried to cover the bases.”

Hiring the coaching staff was the first major step for Wedge and Zduriencik as a team. Wedge was hired a little more than two weeks ago.

“We’re happy with the staff we were able to put together,” Zduriencik said. “Eric and I spent a lot of time together as we considered our needs and desires.”

Chris Chambliss * Hitting Coach

Chambliss, 61, played on four World Series champions with the Yankees and has worked 13 years as a major league hitting coach with the Yankees, Cardinals, Mets and Reds. He managed the past two years at Class AAA Charlotte in the White Sox organization.

“He’s a guy who really knows hitting,” Wedge said. “His experiences and his presence are going to be a big plus for us as we get our hitting program on track.”

Bench ~ Robbie Thompson
Bullpen ~ Jaime Navarro
Pitching ~ Carl Willis
First base ~ Mike Brumley
Third base ~ Jeff Datz