Longtime Oakland A's third base and infield coach Ron Washington is leaving the Oakland A's for a lateral move to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves announced their 2017 coaching staff on Tuesday and that staff included Washington, who will serve as the team's third base coach. Washington had interviewed for the Braves' managerial position. Atlanta elected to remove the interim tag from manager Brian Snitker's title rather than hire from outside of the organization.
Washington was in his second stint with the A's. He served as a base and infield coach from 1996 through 2006 before leaving the A's in 2007 to manage the Texas Rangers. Washington led the Rangers to their first two World Series appearances before stepping down midway through the 2014 season. In 2015, he re-joined the A's mid-season, first as an infield instructor and then as the third base coach and infield instructor. He continued those positions in 2016.
Washington is known for his work with infielders and his "School of Wash", which had major leaguers out doing drills before and after big league games, a rarity in the major leagues. He is widely considered one of the best infield instructors in baseball. The Braves, led by shortstop Dansby Swason, are building a talented infield and they should benefit from Washington's tutelage.
The A's released an official statement from team President Billy Beane saying that "this is a unique professional opportunity for Wash, which allows him to be closer to his family in New Orleans. His professionalism and enthusiasm have left an indelible mark on everyone in our organization. We are all excited for him and wish him the best."
The A's have yet to announce their 2017 coaching staff.