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Yankees front office rumors: Gary Denbo replaces Mark Newman, Pat Roessler out

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While the Yankees' new hitting coach has not been leaked, other front office positions have reportedly changed.

Pat Roessler
Pat Roessler

The Yankees had not only positions on the field to fill at the end of the season, but also front office jobs after longtime Senior Vice-President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman retired in September after 15 years on the job and 26 overall in the organization. While the official stance was that Newman was departing due to retirement, news from behind the scenes suggested that the Yankees weren't going to bring him back anyway since his contract was up. Unsatisfied with the results from the minor league system recently, which hasn't produced a good position player since Brett Gardner, the Yankees could be seeking a change in player development philosophy.

According to Mark Feinsand, Newman's replacement will be Gary Denbo. (Special assistant Trey Hillman was initially considered a frontrunner for the job, but he left the team to become the Astros' bench coach for 2015.) If Denbo's name rings a bell, then it's not surprising since the 53-year-old has been associated with the Yankees for quite some time. An unsuccessful minor leaguer with the Reds, Denbo became a minor league coach and joined the Yankees' organization in 1990. For the next 11 years he served in a plethora of roles for the team: minor league hitting coach, minor league manager, organizational hitting coordinator, Assistant Minor League Director, and finally the 2001 AL champion Yankees' hitting coach.

Denbo shares a close bond with Derek Jeter, who he managed way back when Jeter was a raw 18-year-old in the 1992 Gulf Coast League, and he's always known Jeter's swing better than anyone. He lasted only one year as the team's hitting coach though, as the team's playoff struggles at the plate prompted George Steinbrenner to let him go, for better or for worse. Since then, he's bounced around a few teams in various roles, even coaching in Japan at one point before returning to the Yankees again in 2009 as a player development consultant. Since the Yankees chose him to replace Newman, this previous experience in development appears to have prepared him for the highest development job in the system. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, another notable move was revealed, as the director of player development, Pat Roessler, has reportedly been let go. Roessler had been on the job since 2005, and his decade did not produce much major league talent for the Yankees aside from Gardner and some pitchers here and there. With Newman departing, it was rumored that Roessler would be gone as well, and that has come to fruition. The person to replace him has not been announced, though as Matt Kardos noted, this could be the job that the recently-linked Omar Minaya would fill. Although not a good general manager with the Mets, Minaya (currently with the Padres) has long had a reputation for a keen scouting eye, and this position seems like a nice fit for him if he is chosen for it.