KANSAS CITY – Departing A’s hitting coach Chili Davis accepted a three-year contract to fill the same role for Boston, and he said he chose the Red Sox job over one with the New York Yankees.
Davis interviewed with both teams, but he is more familiar with Red Sox players and coaches, having served as the hitting instructor for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2011.
Davis also acknowledged that finances played a role in deciding to leave Oakland.
“It’s a tough thing to do, to make that decision,” Davis told CSN California on Monday. “I had an opportunity to be either the Red Sox or Yankees hitting coach. I opted to go to Boston, being familiar with the organization, knowing the personnel, knowing the players.
“There are other teams that will compensate you a little better (than Oakland), and I just felt like it was the right time. It was time for me to see what else was out there, and if there was a fit.”
Davis served the past three seasons coaching A’s hitters, helping the team to two American League West championships. He spoke highly of people up and down the A’s organization, from ownership to the front office to the clubhouse staff, and he called Bob Melvin an “exceptional manager who allowed you to do your job and always had an open door.”
He said his only regret was not being able to help the team advance deeper into the postseason.
“Everyone looks at the way we finished the season (struggling offensively),” he said. “There were a lot of guys we had that were playing through a lot of injuries – (Brandon) Moss, (Josh) Donaldson, (Stephen) Vogt, (Jed) Lowrie with his broken finger. A lot of guys would have (asked) out of the lineup. I’ve gotta commend all the players on that.”
Now the A’s have two important spots to fill on their coaching staff – hitting coach and bench coach, as Chip Hale left last week to become Arizona’s manager.
Dave Magadan, who is still under contract as Texas’ hitting coach but has been allowed to talk to other teams, figures to be an Oakland target to replace Davis.