Feinsand: Gary Denbo to replace Mark Newman, Pat Roessler out as player development director

Yankees will not hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach
Monday Night Open Thread
Denbo. (NY Post)
Denbo. (NY Post)

According to Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have tabbed Gary Denbo to replace Mark Newman as vice president of baseball operations. Newman, who has run the team’s farm system for more than a decade, is retiring. Denbo has been part of the interview process as the Yankees look for a new hitting coach, which was an indication he was moving into a more prominent front office role. The team has not yet made any kind of official announcement.

Denbo, 53, has worked three stints with the Yankees since 1990. He has served as a minor league hitting coach and manager (1990-96), minor league hitting coordinator (1997-2000, 2006-07), assistant minor league director (2000), hitting coach for the MLB club (2001), and scouting and player development consultant (2009-14). Denbo was also a hitting coach for the Nippon Ham Fighters (2003-05) and Blue Jays (2008). He played four years in the minors (1983-86) as an outfielder with the Reds but never made it above Double-A.

Feinsand also reports Pat Roessler is out as the team’s director of player development, a position he had held since 2005. There is no word on his replacement just yet, but the Yankees are reportedly considering former Expos and Mets GM Omar Minaya for a front office position, and he could be a fit there. When we first learned Newman was retiring a few weeks ago, it was reported Roessler and some other player development folks could be in danger as well.

The brain trust and especially Hal Steinbrenner have not been pleased with the team’s unproductive farm system these last few years, specifically their inability to produce position players. They evaluated their player development system late last year but only made procedural changes. This time around they changed some personnel. (Newman’s contract expires this month and I get the sense the Yankees weren’t going to bring him back anyway.) Hopefully the new voices lead to a more productive farm system.

Yankees will not hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach
Monday Night Open Thread
  • Dalek Jeter

    It’ll be interesting to see what effect these changes have on the actual system…the farm system has been ranked in the middle third of baseball the last few years, even without producing anyone of note on the position player side since Gardner. With three years to turn it around (Cashman’s contract) it’ll be worth keeping an eye on who is drafted and how touted prospects like Judge, Refs, and Jagielo work out with new voices and ideas up top.

  • Andrew DeClerk

    More scapegoats…after 16 years of declining returns. Nothing like the status quo to instill faith in a declining organization!

    • Dalek Jeter

      Really? How many guys need to be replaced/reassigned before it stops becoming “scapegoats” and it becomes “changing the system” to you? They’ve basically completely reworked their minor league development team.

      • CashmanNinja

        The guy (Andrew) is the most obsessive person I’ve seen on here in recent memory. We all understand the love for Long, but you’re really going to complain about this? The farm system has been unproductive, save for relieves, back end starters, and bench caliber players. They’ve had talented guys who simply failed to be developed and you’re going to bring in the whole scapegoat thing and complain? At the very least save that whining for the articles about batting coach options…

        • Dalek Jeter

          I think he thinks the team could change everybody but as long as Cashman is still hired then changing literally every other name is ‘scapegoating’ them…when firing Cashman and not changing anything else would truly be making a scapegoat.

          • CashmanNinja

            At this point they could fire Cashman and he’d probably still complain about scapegoats and what not.

            • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

              Right. I think until the SteinBros sell the team, he’ll complain. Then he’ll complain some more.

              • Andrew DeClerk

                They are looking like some terrible combination of CBS and the Dolans. You really want to defend that?

                • Hankflorida

                  I may not be happy with the power outage of the team in their change of direction but I would not compare them to CBS and Michael Burke as that was the real dark days after my living from 1937 to 1964 in the age of enlightenment. Hal may not be like his father but will never take us back to those days of neglect.

                  • Andrew DeClerk

                    Have you been paying attention the last two years? They cut payroll when they are making more than ever. And so the offense looks a lot like the early 70s team when Bobby Murcer was their best player. Their best player now? Brett Gardner…

                    • CashmanNinja

                      Then go cheer for another team. All you do is bitch and whine about how much you dislike how this team is run. Go find a new team that has everything your little heart desires…

                    • Canarsie Yankee

                      But if I can’t be happy, then no one can!

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Nope. Over 30 years invested in this club. The last few have been the worst.

                    • CashmanNinja

                      You’re serious? Out of 30+ years it’s the last 3 or 4 that have been the worst? We won it all in 2009, but since then these are the worst? Ha. I don’t even consider you a fellow Yankee fan if you’re serious about that statement.The 80’s and early 90’s were far worse than the last 2 years. You sound more like the typical bandwagon fan who may have been a “fan”, but only started paying attention in the mid/late 90’s when they were winning rings left and right.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      The 80s they had the best team in baseball. Fans like you, under the current rules, would have been crowing about them making the playoffs. Similar attitude by the front office then too. Mattingly was the only developed impact player, like Cano over the last ten years.

                      The early 90s were soon forgotten by 1994.

                      This club will end up as a longer run of futility.

                    • Hankflorida

                      I am the one who in jest called them the Bronx Banjos but still can give them some credit for getting a pitcher like Tanaka and trying to build more on pitching. CBS and Burke was total neglect and cannot be compared to Hal and Cashman. Today it is pitching and once A-Rod and Text are gone, the Bronx Bombers may be back.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      In four years?

            • Andrew DeClerk

              Sure, if they kept most of the rest around, absolutely. But Cashman is the biggest problem. Levine is next.

              • BUDDHABING0

                Who hired these guys who are being replaced? Wasn’t it Cashman? So he gets a do over while these other guys get the boot? If that’s not scapegoating i don’t know what is.

                • TB

                  Newman didn’t get the boot – he retired – he has been here for a couple of decades

                  • Andrew DeClerk

                    He got the boot.

          • Andrew DeClerk

            No I want them to clean house. Cashman deserves most of the blame. He promised a youth movement six years ago. What were the results?

            • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              They won the World Series five years ago.

              • Andrew DeClerk

                By acting like the Marlins and dropping a ton of dough. None of those contracts will end up as a net positive.

                By that standard, they’ve been outclassed by the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Giants the last ten years.

                • CashmanNinja

                  What contracts are you talking about in particular?

                  • Andrew DeClerk

                    All of the ones signed in the 2008 off-season. All huge losses.

                    • CashmanNinja

                      Oh, the same ones who helped get us a World Series ring in 2009? Gotcha.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      And have been complete negatives for the following 3-7 years, yup.

                    • CashmanNinja

                      That’s usually what happens with big signings. But fans simply will not stand a rebuild therefore this team will *gasp* sign big name guys, at least for the time being. And you know what? As much as I complain about Tex being made of glass or CC having the knee of an 80 year old man…I wouldn’t change anything because they helped us win a World Series and that is the entire goal. If we could win a World Series every 5-10 years I’d still be happy because there are some teams that would KILL to be that lucky. Go ask Cub fans.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Sorry, I still remember 1996-2001. 2009 is a pale imitation .

                    • Preston

                      The team from 2009-2012 averaged 97.5 wins, made the playoffs every year, won the AL East three times, three times went to the ALCS and won a WS. You go into a 7-8 year deal knowing there’s decline on the end. The front half was pretty fun to watch for me. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Had they developed young players in those ten years, they would have transitioned fine. Instead all they do now is rely on those bad contracts and the bad tail ends have collapsed upon themselves.

                    • CashmanNinja

                      Yet now they’re shaking up their minor league development and you have a problem with that. Scapegoat this and scapegoat that. Wah wah wah. You’re a freaking troll. Nothing satisfies you.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      They aren’t shaking anything, they replaced a few guys. BFD.

                    • Preston

                      Developing prospects is like hitting. You’re going to miss far more than you hit. The Astros are finding out that it isn’t as easy as making player development the main priority and then counting your rings. We’ve had a bad run. I like and have hopes for a lot of players in the current system, they might all miss as well, I’m just glad that in recent years the team is trying. Because that hasn’t always been the case.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Recent years? Besides this year they’ve completely punted in IFAs. And half the time they’ve given up their first round picks, the other half they waste on guys like Culver and Henry.

                • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                  Sorry they didn’t win the World Series in a way that was satisfactory to you :(

                  • Andrew DeClerk

                    Seriously? Where do you rank 2009 relative to 1996-2000?

                    Worse is the after effects. The dynasty had a young core. The later was the last gasp aided by at least three bad contracts. They are still paying the price.

                    Apples and oranges.

                    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                      Oh I’m sure you complained they used their money to acquire Cone and Wetteland and Fielder in 1996 too.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Not at all. Which was the longest contract there?

                      I didn’t complain about Mussina or Giambi either. That was back when they could still dominate in free agency. Both were positive value contracts too, unlike Sabathia and Teixeira.

                      That’s the thing, no one here chooses how 2009 was constructed in contrast to 1996-2001. The poor decisions of 2008 are still being felt. Had they developed one of the Big Three they wouldn’t have needed Burnett either.

                      That all said, we’re also forgetting the joys leading to 2009 – Igawa, Pavano, Andy Phillips, etc.

                    • CashmanNinja

                      If you don’t experience failure then you’ll never appreciate success…

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      1990-1991 team taught me all I need to know, thanks.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    So, if someone threatens to punch BGT, will you go after them instead, or are you enjoying this guy taking over your comment section 24/7?

                    Four of you with “mod” after your name. This guy still craps on your blog under a second screen name.

                • Ron Swanson

                  You literally just whined & moaned in an earlier thread that the Yankees aren’t spending enough on payroll and now you’re whining & moaning because they spent money to win in 2009.

                  You are one of two things: mentally damaged or flat out trolling.

                  • Andrew DeClerk

                    You do realize all spending is not the same right? Or is that 3rd grade math too difficult for you?

                    • Ron Swanson

                      Thanks for proving my statement.

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Pricing what? That you think terrible contracts are the same as smart ones?

                    • Andrew DeClerk

                      Proving what? That you think bad contracts are equal to good contracts?

                    • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

                      Actually, in third grade math, all spending IS the same.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    You still don’t know the answer to that last question? Really?

        • Andrew DeClerk

          You do realize this post is about who will lead that very underperforming farm system, right?

      • Andrew DeClerk

        When they cut off the head.

        • Dalek Jeter

          So my assumption below was right. Unless they fire Cashman and blame everything on him they’re scapegoating everybody else. To quote Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think you know what it means.

          • Andrew DeClerk

            Yeah, cause Cashman would fall on his sword? No chance in hell. He makes millions to do worse every year. Cushy job if you can get it.

      • Deep Thoughts
  • Hankflorida

    It is interesting that Denbo never made to to the big leagues but was a hitting coach, and it bears out Woody Allen’s comment in ” Annie Hall,” ” those who can’t do, teach.” It was said that Ted Williams did not do that well as a hitting coach.

    • CashmanNinja

      It’s not for everyone. Some guys were good players and can be good coaches; other times it’s the opposite. Joe Torre had a fantastic playing career and was a great manager. Bruce Bochy is gunning for a 3rd ring and he stunk as a player. The same goes for coaches at any level…some are simply better than they were as a player. They may have the knowledge, but didn’t have enough talent and when they teach they’re able to help a talented guy become even better.

      • Hankflorida

        I agree as those who do not have that natural ability work harder to learn the fundamentals and are able to pass it on. Ted Williams had difficulty in understanding the difficulties of some of his pupils.

        • TB

          Hank I heard in the end Ted lost his head

          • Hankflorida

            And he was always a head case!

    • Dalek Jeter

      I think it makes perfect sense. Guys who struggle at something, or have to really truly work to even become mediocre at it, need to try different things. Guys like Williams and Jordan were just truly talented…they didn’t need to work at 9012 approaches before they found what worked…they just did and did well.

      • RetroRob

        One unnamed Yankee pitcher asked Posada early in his career why he wouldn’t call for a certain pitch. Posada’s response was something like that pitch in that location is too hittable. The pitcher’s response: hittable for you, but not most MLB players!

        So, yes, sometimes a player’s own skill level might impact how he coaches at the start, although you’d think that would change in time.

      • Canarsie Yankee

        Definitely seems that way much of the time. Kind of hard for a HOFer to go “just do like I do” and expect results.

    • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

      That line is typically spouted by people who can neither do, nor teach; but merely pontificate.

      And that line pre-dates Woody by 60 years. What Woody actually said was “and those who can’t teach, teach gym.”

  • vin

    Two things about Newman:
    1) He was always very open with the media – seems like every blogger and beat guy could get him for a Q&A.
    2) “I’ll only be retired for 2-3 weeks.”

    • CashmanNinja

      He may have been very open…but he was EXTREMELY (!!) vague when it came to injury updates. When he said someone would be out a few days it really meant months.

      • vin

        See my second comment. He was never very forthcoming with the media about the true nature of injuries, but that’s fine with me. Keep it close to the vest. Like Cashman, say a lot without saying anything.

        • CashmanNinja

          I don’t have a problem with only people “in the know” actually knowing anything. As long as they’re straight forward then I don’t have a problem, but the whole “He’ll be back in a few days…” crap was annoying because it was like a game to him. Everyone knew what he said was false and to expect longer and I didn’t enjoy that very much.

          • Havok9120

            It wasn’t for your benefit. The team has its own interests, and those interests are generally best served by being vague about injuries at all levels.

  • Joe Crash

    These are marginal at best moves. I just hope they stop giving contracts to guys like Beltran.

    • LazerTown

      The player development director may not work with the players on a regular basis, but he puts the right people in charge. Newman wasn’t working.

      • CashmanNinja

        Exactly. Newman has had more than enough time to show what he was all about. We’ve actually drafted very, very well in my opinion. The development is the problem and this team could only take so much until they were forced to make a move. In this case Newman is “retiring” and now a new person will get to tinker with things and try to make the farm system work.

    • Canarsie Yankee

      Three years isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially when someone had aged as well as Beltran had through last year. I don’t know whether this year was mostly decline or mostly injuries, but Beltran isn’t even the biggest problem on this team right now.

      • Joe Crash

        A negative WAR player now entering into 38 yrs old….with a declining bat speed…let’s see how that works next year.

        • Hankflorida

          A-Rod may have the same decline in bat speed as Beltran, so the answer may be that both of them cut down on their swing and become Punch and Judy hitters who can find the holes with RISP. In 2012, we had seven power players and two contact hitters, and next year, we reverse the trend.

          • Joe Crash

            Yep, but at least A-Rod is a gym’s rat. Beltran arrived in Spring Training out of shape, and continued to be all year long.

            • Hankflorida

              The bottom line for A-Rod and Beltran is how they deliver with RISP. I have given up on the long ball but singles will do with Ellsbury and Gardner ahead of them.

  • bigdan

    We all know Hal is a “process guy.”: For a process guy, first you have to acknowledge that there is a problem. Then you have to spend some time studying the problem to determine it’s causes. First you’ll make some procedural changes. Then, at some point, you’ll replace some division managers. If that still doesn’t work, after some more time, you’ll get around to replacing the executive team.

    Under this scenario, it looks like Cashman has three more years. But one question. Suppose the farm system starts producing more major league players over the next two to three years. Who will get credit for that?

    • LazerTown

      Takes more than 2 years to see a big change from drafting to mlb regulars.

    • Preston

      Probably Denbo. But Newman built the current farm system. We won’t see the effects of Denbo for 3-5 years.

    • Hankflorida

      You are right as Hal is a process guy, but I think he made a mistake by not replacing power with power. Hal may have been tired of getting to the dance floor with a team that was dependent on the three run homer and not getting the prize, but now with this hybrid team, he is not even getting to the one game playoff. He made a mistake in his new philosophy and has to go back to the drawing board, and he will since he is a process guy.

  • dickylarue

    In another five years Hal is going to switch from regular to decaf and we’ll hopefully compile enough data by year 10 to form a theory and put it into practice. This is an exciting time to be a Yankee fan folks. Process! Patience! Pinstripes!

    • Deep Thoughts

      SF Giants dynasty: five years (2010- )
      Chinese/NY Yankees dynasties: 14 to 571 years

      • Joe Crash

        Duck Dynasty 2012-?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          To way too long.

  • Canarsie Yankee

    Age 53 is the new under 30, right? Can’t believe I haven’t had an anuerysm with all this rage over not doing enough to overhaul the organization/doing too much to overhaul the organization.

  • RetroRob

    Similar to the hiring of the hitting coach, I have little to add here.

  • Game 3

    I’ve never heard of Pat Rosessler in my life.

    • Preston

      That’s because he’s just been insidiously lurking behind the scenes ruining the Yankees farm system.

      • Andrew DeClerk

        Nah, just a lackey being told what to do. See also, Denbo, Gary.

  • PunkPitch

    You can change development personnel to your hearts desire. If the draft picks suck, Damon Oppenheimer is the guy with the bullseye on his back. Whoever hired him is also cancer to the department.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Hilarious comment section. People wanted new faces. They’re getting them. People are still bitching.

    They brought doctors and lawyers and scouts and guys with expert eyes. They even brought their own HR department.

    I’m with Rob. Welcome aboard, and I have nothing else to say on Denbo. Hope he does what they’re hoping he’ll do.

    • LazerTown

      I welcome the change. I don’t know the guy, but it seems like Newman wasn’t working out. We will see in several years how he is doing,

      • FriarFlyer

        Newman… in that Jerry Seinfeld voice

  • Andrew DeClerk

    Hilarious that “changes” are enough for some people. It’s just re- arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Recall the wave of changes when Long and Oppenheimer took lead roles? How’d that work out again?

    • Literally Figurative

      Why are you even following this titanic of an organization? You are truly amazing.

      • Andrew DeClerk

        I have been for 30+ years. These last two are the worst. Never thought I’d see them completely punt whole seasons.

    • louis

      Pretty sure the Yankees were fine at hitting until 2012. None of that is on Long. He was a very good hitting coach.

  • Rick Myles

    Does anyone believe Gary Denbo is the answer to a productive farm system? Hal should pay big money to lure someone who has successfully run a great draft and farm operation for another team…like the Cardinals. The savings in free agent signings would be enormous. This just looks like more of the same.