After just a year at the post, John Halama is no longer the York Revolution pitching coach.
Halama and Revs' manager Mark Mason confirmed the move Wednesday evening when reached by phone. The Revs had announced the vacancy earlier in the day Wednesday after an MLB.com report surfaced stating that Halama is one of many former big leaguers currently at Major League Baseball's winter meetings in Florida prospecting for potential jobs in affiliated ball.
"Yeah. I want to see what's out there," Halama said Wednesday evening. "I know there are some things going on in the Atlantic League. I want to see what my options are."
While Halama said Mason "didn't want me back," Mason said the decision was mutual for Halama and the team to part ways.
"John was interested in moving on with an affiliated job," Mason said. "I'm not sure if he got one or not and that's the path he wanted to take. That's a mutual thing where he's interested in getting a job in affiliated ball."
Mason said that decision was made in October, and he's been busy since then trying to find Halama's replacement.
"What I'm looking for is a guy with pro baseball coaching experience and somebody that's excited for the opportunity," he said. "I should say successful pro experience. Someone who is excited to work here and someone who has worked in non-affiliated baseball. I think those things are really important. The player procurement part, I don't expect the pitching coach to get involved in that. Obviously, if they know people and recommend players, we're all about that, but it's not really a prerequisite."
Halama, 41, pitched nine years in the big leagues with seven different teams. After pitching the 2006 season with the Orioles, Halama spent the next six seasons in Class AAA and the independent Atlantic League before retiring after the 2012 season. Mason hired Halama to replace him as York's pitching coach when Mason took over the managerial reigns from Andy Etchebarren following the 2012 season.
In Halama's lone season on the job in 2013, York posted a 4.32 team era, and led the Freedom Division in strikeouts with 935.
"You know what? I learned a lot," Halama said. "I had a veteran staff. I leaned on them. They spoke to me and filled me in on what they like from a pitching coach. I tried to keep them positive and keep them focused on the task at hand. That's the biggest thing I tried to do and tried to learn."
Mason said he expects to name York's next pitching coach by Jan. 1. He also confirmed that third-base coach Enohel Polanco will be returning in 2014.