Gary Denbo Was Not The Yankees First Choice
By Jason Evans
We all saw the news that Gary Denbo would be taking over Mark Newman running the minor league system. Denbo is one of those baseball lifer kind of guys and has served in all sorts of capacities within the Yankees organization, including hitting coach. Denbo was thought of as an interesting choice and it turns out he wasn’t necessarily the first pick.
According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, new Astros Bench Coach, and former Yankees employee Trey Hillman was offered the job first, but declined it because he wanted to be on the field.
"Hillman said that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman asked if he wanted to take over control of the Yankees farm system from Mark Newman, who retired after staying with the club for 26 years. It’s a great job, but Hillman was steadfast: he wanted to be on a major league coaching staff if at all possible.“(Cashman) said, ‘Trey, I would never hold you back from that,’” Hillman said.Hillman had a two-year deal with the Yankees, and would have been welcome back for the second year had the Astros job fell through."
Hillman also had a very specific job this year; help search for Derek Jeter‘s replacement.
"“I did three different trips scouting potential free agent shortstops to replace a guy named Jeter,” Hillman said."
Would Hillman have been the better choice if he had taken the spot? Only time will tell, but for now it’s Denbo’s time to shine, even though he may not have been the first pick.