The Orioles made the obvious official this afternoon – announcing that pitching coach Rick Adair will not be returning in 2014.
Adair, who had a year left on his contract, took a leave of absence in August to deal with personal issues including the impending death of his father, who passed away in September.
Here's what Orioles manager Buck Showalter had to say after the Adair decision was made official.
"I'm not going to get deep into [the reasons], but Rick was a very knowledgeable pitching guy. He is very sharp," Showalter said. "Somebody will be lucky to have him."
The Orioles have already begun scheduling interviews for Adair's successor, with former Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee coming in Tuesday. Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis and Texas Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins are also expected to interview for the job.
"I look at it as an opportunity to get a good pitching coach and there are some out there that I'm real excited that we might get," Showalter said. "I wish Rick well. He made contributions to our team and he will land on his feet. I'm very appreciative of his friendship and his contributions."
Initially the Orioles will interview candidates from outside the organization, Showalter said, but there are also internal options, including Bill Castro (who served as pitching coach when Adair left the club in August), Scott McGregor (who took over as bullpen coach when Castro was promoted) and Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin.
"We will consider Billy [Castro] and McGregor and Griff," Showalter said. "And we'll end up with a good one."