The Toronto Blue Jays' off-season recruiting efforts got a little more complicated with the news that Kevin Seitzer has opted to join the Atlanta Braves.
So you can add "sign a new hitting coach" to Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos's to-do list, along with a new bullpen coach, perhaps a second baseman and some additions to the bullpen and outfield.
Add it up and Anthopoulos has a lot of work to do heading into the 2015 baseball season.
The departure of Seitzer, officially confirmed on Monday by the American League club, initially came as a bit of a surprise to the Blue Jays, although they have been working on the premise that their hitting coach would not be coming back for about a week.
The two sides could not come to an agreement on the value of a new contract.
Seitzer, whose one-year deal with the Blue Jays was up after the 2014 season concluded for Toronto, was announced on Monday as the new hitting coach for the Braves.
Last season, the Braves used both Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher as hitting coaches, but that two-headed approach did not go as planned – the Braves finished 29th among the 30 baseball teams in runs scored and averaged 81/2 strikeouts a game.
After the season, Walker resigned and Fletcher was fired, creating the opening for Seitzer.
Seitzer's marketability was high after doing a good job in Toronto this past season. The Blue Jays finished fourth in the AL in runs scored, and tied for third with the L.A. Angels with a .259 team batting average.
And Seitzer, who enjoyed a 12-year playing career with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians before turning to coaching, also has a bit of a comfort zone with the Braves organization.
Back in his playing days, Seitzer played in Kansas City when current Braves president John Schuerholz was general manager of the Royals. And Seitzer played in Cleveland when John Hart, the Braves' newly minted president of baseball operations, was the GM there.
The Blue Jays are in the market for a new bullpen coach now that Bob Stanley has accepted reassignment to the minors.
The remaining members of Toronto manager John Gibbons' coaching staff from 2014 have all reached agreements for the 2015 season, with bench coach DeMarlo Hale, pitching coach Pete Walker, first-base coach Tim Leiper and third-base coach Luis Rivera all set to return.
Baseball's free-agency frenzy does not officially begin until after the World Series has concluded, at which time Anthopoulos will have to decide what will become of outfielders Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera and closer Casey Janssen, who are all eligible to test the market.
While Rasmus and Janssen are not expected to return to Toronto, the Blue Jays will try hard to reach a new deal with Cabrera, one of the best hitters in the game during the 2014 campaign.
But a team insider says there is no validity to a report out of Boston over the weekend that suggested Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle will be made available in a trade during the off-season. The lefty logged more than 200 innings for the Blue Jays this past season en route to a 13-10 record with a 3.39 earned run average, numbers that are not easily replaced via trades or free agency.