The position of bench coach was left vacant as the New York Mets hired Carlos Mendoza to be their new manager. Mendoza had been with the team since Aaron Boone took over as manager in 2018, ascending to bench coach when Josh Bard was let go after the 2019 campaign.
Ausmus will be a fairly familiar face to Yankee fans, having worked for multiple teams in the AL over the past decade or so after an 18-year playing career (mostly in Houston). This is even a homecoming of sorts, as the Connecticut native Ausmus was a 48th-round Yankees pick back in 1987, though he was taken by the Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft before he had a chance to debut. Although Ausmus’s last stint was as a bench coach with the A’s, he’s best known for his four-year role as the Detroit Tigers manager. Ausmus had big shoes to fill at the time, taking over for the legendary Jim Leyland, who retired after 2013. He ended up overseeing the last contending Tigers team, and also oversaw its decline.
After not renewing his contract with the Tigers in 2017, Ausmus worked with the Angels, ultimately taking over as manager in 2019. He didn’t last long there, as he was dismissed after one disappointing campaign. Ausmus wouldn’t return to the dugout until 2023, working for the first time in a role other than manager on a coaching staff as the bench coach in Oakland.
After one year, Ausmus left that role and was in the running for some front-office gigs, including the Astros GM job. Ultimately, though, he’ll settle in as an experienced right hand to Aaron Boone on the Yankees’ bench. Joining new hitting coach James Rowson, Ausmus will be another fresh face on staff ahead of what’s sure to be a pressure-packed 2024 after a disappointing season in New York.