Less than an hour after another coaching change, the Blue Jays have reportedly found their first base coach, plucking Mark Budzinski away from the Indians.
According to Robert Murray of the Athletic, the Blue Jays are hiring Mark Budzinski as their major league first base coach, replacing the recently fired Tim Leiper. In 2018, Budzinski, 45, served as a “major league coach” for the Cleveland Indians.
Prior to that, Budzinski, a former minor-leaguer in the Indians organization, was the manager of the Class-A Lake County Captains of the Midwest League. He then moved up to manage the Double-A Akron RubberDucks of the Eastern League. He was named to the Indians major league staff in December of 2017.
Now, the coaching picture becomes even more clear for the formerly confused Toronto Blue Jays. Though this is, at this point, strictly a report, it should soon, as many reports do, prove to come to fruition within a short period of time.
Additionally, Budzinski has a connection to Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, as Baseball Toronto’s Keegan Matheson aptly noted shorted after the news broke. Atkins and Budzinski both played together at various levels of minor league competition. While the Cleveland connection probably wasn’t the only reason Budzinski was hired, it certainly played some sort of a role.
Now, the team will likely concentrate on the player roster going forward, as the coaches are beginning to, with this recent hire, fall into place. It remains to be seen what role DeMarlo Hale will have in the organization going forward, if he does indeed remain with the team.
Regardless, this is a development we’ll be watching closely as it becomes more detailed. With trades and deals going on all across the league, the Blue Jays could be the next team to join in.