Jay Bell, who was the first major leaguer in Diamondbacks history and scored the winning run in the 2001 World Series, is likely to be bench coach under new manager Wally Backman, sources said.

General manager Joe Garagiola Jr. declined Wednesday to speak specifically about possible coaches.

"I’m in the process of reaching out to everybody to see if we can make deals," Garagiola said. "I’d like to have this done by the end of the week."

Four of the six coaches on the 2005 staff could be holdovers from the group that finished out this year.

Al Pedrique, who managed the second half of the season, said Wednesday that Backman has asked him to return as third-base coach. Pedrique, who earned praise for his work as third-base coach last year, has not signed a contract but does intend to return.

Coaches Mark Davis (pitching), Tommy Jones (first base) and Glenn Sherlock (as bullpen coach, his role in 1998-2002) also seem likely to be retained, sources said.

For a hitting coach, sources said, Backman would like to bring in Gregg Ritchie, who was hitting coach while Backman managed Class AA Birmingham (Ala.) in 2002-03.

Ritchie, 40, has been a hitting coach in the Chicago White Sox organization since 1996, spending the past season with Class AAA Charlotte (N.C.). He played for the Phoenix Firebirds in 1990-92 as a minor leaguer in the San Francisco organization.

Bell, an infielder who played five seasons with Arizona (signing as a free agent on the eve of the expansion draft) and retired after spending the 2003 season with the New York Mets, was a teammate of Backman’s on the 1990 Pirates.

Messages left for Bell were not returned.

Backman has not yet signed his contract to manage the team, but Garagiola said it was only a matter of preparing the document and getting it to Backman, which should happen next week.

Garagiola said he spoke Wednesday with controlling investor Ken Kendrick and CEO Jeff Moorad about first baseman Richie Sexson, a free agent who rejected a threeyear contract extension.

It is possible Arizona will make yet another offer to Sexson.


Four of the Diamondbacks’ free agents could be worth compensation draft picks, according to baseball’s annual player rankings. Sexson and Matt Mantei are Type A free agents, meaning Arizona would get two 2005 draft choices if either signs elsewhere before Dec. 7 (or after Dec. 7 if the DBacks offer the player arbitration). Danny Bautista is a Type B free agent (one compensation pick) and Carlos Baerga is a Type C free agent (one lower pick).

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