As rumors have swirled regarding 2009-2012 Yankees spark plug Nick Swisher's increased role around the club (and potentially in the personnel department), all we really know is that the team would obviously love to have him involved with the current collection of players.
From an outside perspective, Swisher seems like a perfect bench coach. Having him in the dugout, night in and night out, benefitted his Yankees teams tremendously, and this group could use a little levity (as well as baseball expertise). Sean Casey displayed some of those tendencies as hitting coach. Swisher, as Aaron Boone's No. 2, with the ability to check him on gut instincts while livening things up, feels like a perfect fit.
And, wouldn't you know it, the Yankees will probably need a bench coach sooner rather than later. Carlos Mendoza, who currently occupies the position, has interviewed with the Mets for their managerial job this offseason, and is also on the Cleveland Guardians' short list.
It's certainly a more pertinent need -- and more natural fit -- than "fourth assistant to the GM" or whatever else New York had in mind when they sent Swish to tail Omar Minaya in 2023.
Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza ideal replacement: Nick Swisher
Do we know if Aaron Boone and Swisher get along? No, but we do know that Swisher spent a good deal of time around the team during the second half of 2023, as well as many recent spring trainings. Odds are their relationship is comfortable.
Does it really matter? No! Hiring Boone's friends hasn't exactly gotten the Yankees very far in recent years, from Josh Bard to Sean Casey. A preexisting pal-hood should hardly be a requirement for a coaching staff.
According to SNY's Andy Martino, third base coach Luis Rojas' contract with the Yankees has expired, but the team has strong interest in a reunion. Mendoza's fate likely determines their method of attack there. If he stays, Rojas will be brought back at his current position. If he leaves, Rojas will either be moved into Mendoza's role or kept at third, allowing the Yankees to import an outside hire to replace the departing 43-year-old.
Our take is that it would be both far easier and more beneficial to give Swisher a shot at the role he was born to inhabit, potentially even more so than World Champion right fielder.