The A's hired Chip Hale as their bench coach Wednesday, and they are zeroing in on candidates to fill the two biggest vacancies remaining on manager Bob Melvin's staff.

Two sources familiar with the A's thinking confirmed they are targeting Mike Aldrete as their new hitting coach and Bryan Price as their new pitching coach.

Aldrete, who played three seasons alongside Melvin with the Giants, is currently an assistant hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals, meaning the A's can't interview him until the Cardinals are eliminated from the postseason.

Price, the Cincinnati Reds pitching coach, served in the same role under Melvin when Melvin managed the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks, and the two are tight. Price has one year left on his contract with the Reds, but it's possible for him to be released from that and join the A's.

Melvin declined to comment on any candidates and said there was no timetable for hiring hitting and pitching coaches.

Hale, who was born in San Jose and starred at Campolindo High School in Moraga, replaces former A's bench coach Joel Skinner, who was let go last week along with hitting coach Gerald Perry and pitching coach Ron Romanick.

Melvin, who took over as the A's interim manager in June before getting hired full-time Sept. 21, said familiarity would be a key as he brought his own coaches aboard.

Hale, 46, served as Melvin's third base/infield coach with Arizona from 2007-09. He spent the past two seasons in the same capacity with the New York Mets and was a finalist last winter to become the Mets manager before Terry Collins was hired.

"When Bob got the interim job, I started watching (the A's) a lot closer," Hale said. "I really feel like they have a lot of talent -- a lot of pitching and a lot of young, athletic players."

Hale grew up in Cupertino and lived there until the eighth grade, always cheering for the Giants and 49ers. But upon moving to Moraga, his allegiances shifted to the A's and he remembers frequent BART trips to the Coliseum during the early 1980s.

A 17th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1987 after finishing his college career at the University of Arizona, he played parts of seven seasons with the Twins and Dodgers as a backup infielder.

Hale, who received a two-year deal to serve as the A's bench coach and Melvin's right-hand man in the dugout, was a minor league manager for seven seasons in the Diamondbacks' chain.

Melvin said one of Hale's primary tasks will be helping improve the A's defensively, and that he'll work in tandem with infield coach Mike Gallego -- one of two holdovers from Melvin's old staff along with first-base coach Tye Waller. Rick Rodriguez remains a candidate to return to his position as bullpen coach.

  • Former A's radio voice Bill King is a top-10 finalist for the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award, the annual honor that sends one baseball broadcaster to the Hall of Fame. The other finalists are Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon. The winner will be announced Dec. 6 at the winter meetings.