Brewers in talks with Peterson
(UPDATED, at 5:30 CT with comment from Peterson)
The Brewers have focused on Rick Peterson for their pitching coach vacancy and were working Friday to conclude negotiations quickly.
Peterson, the former A’s and Mets pitching coach considered an expert on biomechanics, worked closely in the past with Brewers manager Ken Macha and third base coach Brad Fischer in Oakland and Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph in New York. He would be called upon to turn around a Milwaukee staff that posted the second-highest ERA in the National League last season including the worst mark among starters.
Speaking generally about the search late Friday morning without naming any candidates, Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said that the process was “moving along.”
“It’s getting into the final bits here,” Ash said.
Reached later in the day, Peterson declined to say that he had been offered the job but said, “I think it’s a great fit, without question. I’m really excited to hear what decision they make and where we’re going to go with this. I have talked to some other teams and interviewed with some other teams, so I want to find out what’s on the table as soon as possible. …
“Philosophically, we are totally, totally in line,” he said of his discussions with Brewers officials. I’m incredibly optimistic. I think this is a great, great fit. I walked out of the interview going, ‘Wow.’ I am incredibly excited.”
The Brewers might have some competition in wooing Peterson. He has also had contact with other teams in need of a pitching coach, including the Cincinnati Reds, but as of last week he had not formally interviewed for that job. This week, Peterson indicated an interest in the Florida Marlins’ opening to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, though that story did not say whether the Marlins had called him in to interview.
Peterson has spoken with several Brewers officials about the job in recent days but that does not necessarily mean negotiations will be a slam-dunk. Former Brewers coach Mike Maddux set the standard when he left Milwaukee last winter for a deal in Texas that made him one of the game’s highest-paid pitching coaches, with an annual salary reportedly in the neighborhood of $600,000. When the Mets hired Peterson away from Oakland after the 2003 season, negotiations lasted nearly a month, according to one report.
The Mets dismissed Peterson along with Randolph in June 2008 and he spent his year out of the coaching ranks focused on a business, 3pSports.com, that offers biomechanical analysis and training programs to amateur and professional pitchers.