The Diamondbacks hope to set their 2004 coaching staff by the end of the week, but it appears now it will not include Mark Grace.
Managing general partner Jerry Colangelo — who along with team president Rich Dozer and general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. met Tuesday with Grace and agent Barry Axelrod — said next season’s staff will be named "soon. This is not something that’s going to (be) prolonged."
Colangelo, Garagiola and manager Bob Brenly, who met Monday, will sit down again today.
"We had a very good first meeting — about a lot of things," said Colangelo, who made clear his strong displeasure with his third-place team’s play this year in a speech to the club after Sunday’s finale. "And this is No. 2."
Colangelo said the 2004 staff would be announced all at once, which hints that most replacements could come from within. Candidates for promotion include Al Pedrique, who managed Class AAA Tucson the past two seasons, and Rick Schu, who has spent six seasons with the organization, last year as the system-wide hitting coordinator.
Grace, who has retired after 16 big-league seasons, said he was given a number of options for work within the organization: as a guest coach in spring training, as a broadcaster and as a minor league coach or manager. In fact, some of those positions could be combined.
Since Grace has made it known his long-term goal is to manage in the majors, putting him on Brenly’s staff could make for an uncomfortable situation. Brenly is signed only through 2004.
"They basically gave us a lot of stuff to put on our plate," said Grace, who probably will also have a chance to broadcast for Fox or ESPN. "It’s up to us to say what we want to do.
"Everything has an upside, and everything has a downside, too."
Grace’s role also is expected to be resolved this week. Grace, whose wife is expecting to deliver their second child this month, would like to stay in the Valley with his family but is also intrigued by an on-field position in the minors.
"We had a good meeting," Colangelo said. "We talked about a lot of options. We’re going to talk further later in the week.
"Whatever it is he does, it’s not etched in concrete that’s his (final career) path."
SHORT HOPS: Surgery to repair damaged cartilage in catcher Rod Barajas’ left wrist went as expected Tuesday. Barajas should return to full activity in about four weeks. . . . Second base prospect Scott Hairston was added to the roster of the Arizona Fall League’s Scottsdale Scorpions just before the season opened Tuesday.