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Pirates fire Rick Sofield, reassign Nick Leyva

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates had previously indicated that their coaching staff would return for 2017, but today there's news that their base coaches will not return.

I hesitate to comment on what's going on with Leyva -- for all we know this is his choice, and I'd bet the Pirates will put him to good use in his new role, since he was known for being a key liaison between the team's analytics staff and its players. If there turns out to be an interesting backstory behind the change, I'll update this post.

As for Sofield, well, he wasn't a very good third base coach. Third base coaches rarely attract much attention unless they do something stupid (or just take a justifiable risk that ended up looking stupid), but let's just say Sofield attracted more than his fair share of attention in recent games like this one. Sofield was also the Pirates' baserunning and outfield coach, and those weren't strengths for the Bucs this season. It's been a hard fall for Sofield in the past year -- last October, he interviewed for the Padres' managerial position.