SAN FRANCISCO -- Gabe Kapler's first move as Giants manager was a popular one.
Longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus was offered a job on Kapler's staff and accepted, pulling his name out of the running to be the bench coach for the Mets. Wotus, who interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Kapler, told NBC Sports Bay Area that his preference has always been to work for the Giants and stay in the Bay Area.
During Kapler's introductory press conference, the new Giants manager announced that Wotus will serve as the team's third base coach.
Wotus, 58, will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization and will be working for his fourth manager. He is the longest-tenured coach in franchise history and has previously been on staff for Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy.
Wotus was the bench coach before moving over to the third-base box in 2018. Through both jobs, he drew endless praise for his work with Giants infielders, and Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy are among those who have credited him in recent years for helping them become Gold Glove-caliber defenders.
Wotus should provide a valuable bridge for Kapler, who is learning a new clubhouse and will have to gain the trust of the existing core. He also should be a perfect fit for an organization that is going heavy on analytics and modern methods while also trying to pay respect to traditional coaching and scouting. Wotus was the first on the big league staff to really dive into defensive shifting and he was instrumental in helping the Giants change the way they positioned infielders.
Wotus was one of two internal candidates to interview for the manager job, along with former bench coach Hensley Meulens. It had been previously reported that Meulens was joining the Marlins' staff, but a source said he has not yet committed to that. Meulens also interviewed to be Mets bench coach.