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Candidates for the Yankees' open coaching positions

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Who will they hire?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Long and Mick Kelleher are out from the Yankees coaching staff, so it's time to start speculating about who might take their place. The organization is likely going to replace them relatively quickly, but we still have some time to speculate before then. If no one else loses their job, the team will need a new hitting coach and a first base coach, someone who can also take on the duties as infield instructor. There are plenty of candidates, but will any of them end up with the job? We'll see.

First thing's first: Paul O`Neill is not interested in a coaching position and Tino Martinez is not being considered for the open hitting coach position.

Someone who might already be considered the favorite for that position is current Athletics hitting coach and former Yankee Chili Davis. Oakland beat writer Susan Slusser has heard talk of him being pegged for either the Yankees or the Red Sox. He's been with the A's since 2012 and is considered to be a big part of their recent success. Though nothing official has been said yet, another name to seriously consider is Dante Bichette. The ex-slugger was the hitting coach for the 2013 Rockies before stepping down after the season to seemingly fix his son's swing, and he's also best friends with Joe Girardi from back in their Colorado days. Girardi named his own son after him. Don't underestimate the power of friendship here.

As far as internal options go, Trenton Thunder hitting coach Marcus Thames is reportedly getting a chance to interview for the job. He's probably not the favorite, but a lot of the young players he's worked with seem to like him and the organization has noticed. Other people in the organization who could make sense, but have yet to be officially considered are longtime infielder and minor league coach Luis Sojo, and, though he doesn't officially work for the organization, Hideki Matsui. The hiring of Matsui, someone who has been seen throwing a lot of batting practice across the minor league system, would fall in line with Brian Cashman's comment about bringing a "global perspective" to the team.

One idea that seems to be picking up steam is that Mike Harkey could return as the Yankees bullpen coach after spending a year in Arizona as the pitching coach. Bringing him back in would allow Gary Tuck to move in as bench coach, a position he filled when Girardi was with the Marlins, which would make Tony Pena the first base coach.

Instead of all that shuffling, the Yankees could hire current special assistant Trey Hillman as their new first base coach/infield instructor. Hillman has experience working with infielders and it could be a way to keep him in the organization as George King is reporting that the Astros have interest in hiring him on as their next bench coach. He helped the organization at scouting in 2014 and is considered to be a great asset to hold onto so it's possible he will be considered a favorite.

It doesn't appear that the Yankees have much in the way of candidates for infield instructor, but we probably haven't heard of all the candidates yet. Who do you want the Yankees to hire? Are there any other people you'd like them to consider?