It is unknown exactly what role Woodward will have with the Dodgers, but he was on the Mariners major league staff the last two seasons, as infield coach in 2014 and both infield coach and first base coach in 2015. Before that, he spent a year (2013) as Seattle's minor league infield coordinator.
Woodward, who turns 40 in June, was offered a job on new manager Scott Servais' staff in Seattle for 2016, but Woodward declined in October to spend more time with his family in Florida, per Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. It was an abrupt change in a seemingly positive situation for Woodward, whose 12-year major league playing career ended in 2012.
Woodward played his high school baseball at Northview High School in Covina, and was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 54th round in 1994. Woodward, primarily a shortstop, played all over the infield in his career, starting at every position except catcher, pitcher, and center field.
He hit .239/.296/.365 in 659 games in parts of 12 MLB seasons for the Blue Jays, Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox.
New Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto had good things to say about Woodward at the end of the 2015 season, and Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager, older brother of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, was in the pro-Woodward camp as well, again per Dutton:
"Woody has worked so much with me," Seager said. "Everything he says makes sense from a practical perspective, and it’s repeatable."
Dipoto said he quickly reached the same conclusion.
"I felt that with Chris Woodward," he said, "we were watching a real impact coach. It’s hard in the big leagues to step in and make an impact early in your coaching career as a young guy like Chris did."
The Dodgers have yet to make any sort of official announcement regarding their coaching staff, but through various reports it is starting to take shape:
- Rick Honeycutt, pitching coach
- Bob Geren, bench coach
- Turner Ward, hitting coach
- Gabe Kapler, unknown position
- Chris Woodward, unknown position
"I want the players to know that the coaches around them are there to make them better, that they trust them, and they care about them," Roberts said on Tuesday. "If a coach can check those three boxes, then I'm all in."