Manager/Coaching Staff Search Notes: Beltran, Thomson, Paul

Beltran. (Bob Levey/Getty)
Beltran. (Bob Levey/Getty)

It has now been four weeks and six days since the Yankees parted ways with Joe Girardi, and prior to today they’d conducted only five managerial interviews. The GM Meetings and Thanksgiving slowed things down a bit, but this has certainly been a slow-moving process. Here’s the latest managerial search and coaching staff news.

Yankees interview Beltran

As expected, the Yankees did indeed interview Carlos Beltran for their managerial opening today, the team announced. Beltran retired as a player earlier this month and said he wants to stay in baseball and hopefully manage one day. Not counting player-managers, he would be only the fourth person to go from playing one year to managing the next if he were to get the job, joining Yogi Berra, Joe Adcock, and Gil Hodges.

Beltran has long been considered a future manager because he’s a top notch clubhouse dude with a long history of taking young players under his wing. (He mentored Aaron Judge in Spring Training 2016.) It doesn’t seem communication would be an issue with Beltran at all. Is he familiar with analytics? That’s a big question. I don’t love the idea of hiring someone with zero coaching or managerial experience. If the Yankees do name Beltran their manager, I hope they’d bring in an experienced bench coach (and coaching staff in general) to help him out.

Yankees will interview at least one more managerial candidate

According to Mike Mazzeo, the Yankees will interview at least one more managerial candidate after Beltran. It’s possible they will interview several more candidates, in fact. Earlier this month both Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner indicated the Yankees would interview fewer than ten candidates total. Beltran is the sixth, and the next interview would be the seventh. Can’t imagine there will be many more after that.

Most of the managerial candidates the Yankees have interviewed have come out of left field — Rob Thomson was no surprise, and Hensley Meulens getting an interview wasn’t that unexpected, but everyone else? not many saw them coming — so your guess is as good as mine as to who the Yankees will interview next. Maybe Triple-A Scranton manager Al Pedrique? Matt Kardos says Pedrique hasn’t been contacted about an interview yet. Maybe Cashman’s longtime pal Trey Hillman, assuming Hillman has an out in his contract with the SK Wyverns in Korea?

Thomson to interview with Phillies

Thomson. (Brian Blanco/Getty)
Thomson. (Brian Blanco/Getty)

At some point this week Thomson will interview with the Phillies for their bench coach vacancy, reports Sweeny Murti. Thomson was the first managerial candidate the Yankees interviewed, and he said he wants to stay with the team even if he doesn’t get the job, but he’s going to cover his bases and interview elsewhere in case things with the Yankees fall through. If nothing else, interviewing with the Phillies might give Thomson some leverage to use against the Yankees when it comes time to talk contract, for whatever role.

Thomson has been with the Yankees since the early 1990s and he’s held a variety of coaching and front office roles. He knows the organization inside and out. And, as Joel Sherman recently noted, Thomson has run Spring Training for the Yankees for a while now, and their camp is arguably the most organized and well run in baseball year in and year out. Thomson has obvious and considerable value to the Yankees, in my opinion. Even if the Yankees don’t name him manager, keeping him in a no-brainer, especially if they hire a rookie skipper.

Paul joins the Angels

Minor league catching coordinator Josh Paul has left the Yankees to join the Angels as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach, the club announced. Paul played for the Halos from 2004-05, and I’m sure he and GM Billy Eppler have a relationship dating back to their time with the Yankees. Scioscia’s contract is up after 2018. Maybe Eppler is grooming Paul to take over? Catching coordinator to bench coach is a big jump.

Paul, who had been with the Yankees since his playing career ended in 2008, was speculated as a potential managerial candidate soon after Girardi was let go. He never did get an interview though, and I’m sure that contributed to his decision to join the Angels. That and the fact he got promoted to bench coach. Hard to turn that down after years of coaching and instructing in the minors. Paul worked with all catchers in the minors and was highly regarded, which is why he was considered a potential managerial candidate and another team named him bench coach.

Front Office & Coaching Staff News: Cashman, Hairston, Paul

(Jim Rogash/Getty)
(Jim Rogash/Getty)

It has now been four days since the Yankees parted ways with Joe Girardi, and we’re still waiting to hear who they’re considering for the job. I imagine we’ll hear something soon. It took the Red Sox eleven days to find a new manager. It took the Nationals nine days. It took the Yankees eleven days to replace Joe Torre with Girardi. The managerial search could be wrapped up by the end of next week. We’ll see. Here are some notes.

Cashman/Girardi friction started over the summer

According to Jack Curry and Joel Sherman, Brian Cashman‘s decision to recommend parting ways with Girardi has been brewing since the summer, when friction increased between the two. The decision was made after lots of smaller disagreements built up into one big problem. Cashman supposedly decided to recommend parting ways with Girardi even before the ALDS.

At some point after the World Series, Cashman figures to hold his annual end-of-season press conference, and I’m sure he’ll be asked about the friction with Girardi, and whether winning the ALCS or World Series would’ve saved his job. Either way, this was not a rash decision. It’s not because of the non-challenge in Game Two of the ALDS or anything like that. The relationship between the two had deteriorated over time, and when that happens, it’s time to make a change.

Hairston connected to managerial job

Jerry Hairston Jr., the former Yankee and big league utility man, is among those connected to the Yankees’ managerial opening, reports Ken Rosenthal. Hairston, now 41, played 45 games with the 2009 Yankees after coming over from the Reds at the trade deadline. He last played in 2013, and following that season, he joined the pregame and postgame crew on SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ regional network.

Hairston comes from a baseball family — his father, grandfather, uncle, and brother all played in the big leagues — so I guess he has that going for him. Still though, Hairston has no coaching or managerial experience, so he’d be a rookie skipper in New York. I know nothing about his communication skills or interest in analytics, and according to Sherman, good communication and an understanding of analytics are two top requirements for the next skipper.

Paul not a managerial candidate

Catching coordinator Josh Paul, who apparently has a lot of fans within the organization, is not a candidate for the manager’s job, reports George King. He could be considered for a coaching position, however. Paul has been with the Yankees since his playing career ended in 2008, and over the years he’s coached and managed in the lower levels of the farm system. He’s spent the last three years working with catching prospects. To wit:

Going from coaching and managing in the low minors to doing so at the big league level is quite a jump, though it wouldn’t be unprecedented. These days teams are hiring managers with no experience at all. I’m not sure the Yankees want to go that route, but if they find someone they consider the right man for the job, I don’t think they’ll worry too much about his background.

Yankees want to replace Denbo before Girardi

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees want to name a replacement for departed farm system head Gary Denbo before naming a replacement for Girardi. They have already interviewed four candidates for Denbo’s job and are likely to promote someone from within. Meanwhile, both Heyman and Sherman say the Yankees are likely to look outside the organization for a few manager. Here’s the list of candidates I put together for CBS.