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Tony Franklin won’t return as Thunder manager, could be reassigned in organization

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Could Tony Franklin be the Yankees next hitting coach?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It's been over a month since the Yankees decided not to bring back longtime members of it's coaching staff, including hitting coach Kevin Long and first base coach Mick Kelleher. Kevin Long immediately found a new position with the Mets, but the Yankees are taking their time. Although they've interviewed numerous candidates for the position of hitting coach, they still haven't filled either role. Now, thanks to some minor league staff decisions, it sounds as though Tony Franklin could be under consideration.

Franklin spent eight years as the manager of the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. The team has decided that he will not return to that role in 2015, and sources say that he will be reassigned to another position in the Yankees' organization. He led the Thunder to three Eastern League titles during his time as manager, and they made the postseason five times. Franklin has expressed that he likes working in the organization and was hopeful they would bring him back. It seems unlikely that he would be reassigned to a lesser role, unless they want to promote someone else currently coaching in the system, and have Franklin take that spot.

There's no way of knowing exactly what the Yankees are looking for in their next hitting coach, but Brian Cashman has said that he wants "a guy who will use every tool in the toolbox," and he referred to wanting a someone who is going to help the team work against the shift. He has also said that the team is interested in the possibility of creating an assistant hitting coach role, though he said he would only create such a position based on the new hitting coach's feedback.

As of last week, none of the candidates who have interviewed had been asked back for a second interview. The Yankees were interested in Raul Ibanez, who decided he was not interested in the position, though he's somehow ended up as one of the final three candidates being considered to be the Rays' new manager. Eric Hinske turned them down, Chili Davis signed with the Red Sox, and they decided they weren't interested in Dave Magadan. They also interviewed Marcus Thames and James Rowson, who both currently hold coaching positions in the farm system. Cashman supposedly interviewed someone new last week, but didn't disclose a name.

If nothing else, we know that they certainly aren't rushing into a decision. Who would you like to see as the Yankees next hitting coach?