Coach Dave Jauss is Headed for Pirates

Los Angeles bench coach Dave Jauss is reportedly close to signing with Pittsburgh as either a minor-league field coordinator or a special assistant to new Pirated General Manager Neal Huntington.

Dodgers Bench Coach to Leave for Pittsburgh     Jauss recently finished his second year as the manager Grady Little's right-hand man after spending 2003-05 as the Major League Advance Scout for Boston. He was director of player development for Boston in 2002, was the minor league field coordinator 2000-01, first base coach from 1997-99 and managed three seasons in the Montreal minor league system.

Therefore, the Dodgers will be seeking to fill at least two positions on their coaching staff in the coming days. Hitting coach Bill Mueller filled that position on an interim basis after Eddie Murray was fired June 14, but Mueller returned to the front office after the season.

The rest of the coaching staff - pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, bullpen coach Dan Warthen and base coaches Mariano Duncan and Rich Donnelly - are signed through Dec. 31. All were given permission by Little and general manager Ned Colletti when the season ended to seek employment elsewhere because it wasn't clear how long it would take Little and Colletti to decide which coaches they want to re-sign.

Rumors surfaced that former Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone and former Dodger minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace were under consideration as the pitching coaches.

Meanwhile, Dodgers minor- league outfield/baserunning coordinator Gene Clines is believed to be the frontrunner for the minor- league hitting coordinator's position that has been vacant since the death of Bill Robinson in late July.

Despite the sudden availability of Joe Torre, there is no indication from the Dodgers that anything has changed from the last day of the season, when owner Frank McCourt and general manager Ned Colletti said Grady Little would return as manager.

Little was signed during the 2005 Winter Meetings to a two-year deal plus an option for 2008. After guiding the club to a 17-win improvement in 2006, Little's 2008 option was guaranteed and a 2009 option was added. Little's salary is estimated around $600,000, with incentives based on postseason advancement.

Little's extensive player development background and good nature provided in 2006 a calming leadership influence on a team in transition after a tumultuous season that ended with the departures of field manager Jim Tracy and general manager Paul DePodesta. Then, as the club fell out of contention in 2007 and clubhouse tension between veteran players and youth surfaced, Little came under fire but was given assurances by both McCourt and Colletti that he would return.

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