Even though the Yankees vowed not to promote Luis Rojas to bench coach, it's getting late early out here. If New York still wants to find an external fit, they'll have to move quickly, after both directly and indirectly being turned down by two top options this weekend.
Last week, once it was reported the Yankees would prefer an outside alternative to Rojas in the dugout next season, the insider theorizing began. Now, less than a week later, nearly every name mentioned has been spoken for -- and not by the Yankees.
Carlos Beltrán? He's, supposedly, staying with the Mets, retaining a special assistant role despite turnover above his head. Eric Chavez? He interviewed for the hitting coach job, which seems likely to go to James Rowson instead (and why isn't that finalized, by the way?). David Ross turned down the opportunity to join the Yankees by Aaron Boone's side; the news dropped late Saturday night. If he's going to halt his unrequested vacation so soon, he's only interested in doing so for a managerial role.
And now it's Joe Espada's turn. Admittedly a long shot to leave Houston and rejoin his old organization, the Astros have instead finally decided to give the 48-year-old his due, promoting him to Dusty Baker's seat and scheduling a press conference for Monday morning.
David Ross won't return for Yankees, Joe Espada gets Astros manager gig
Ross, understandably, isn't too keen on taking an immediate demotion after being blindsided. If he's not interested or motivated, then it wouldn't do the Yankees much good to keep sniffing. Espada, though he's long gone from the organization, will finally get a long-awaited shot to prove his mettle. It's hard to begrudge the Yankees of seven years ago for letting him go, but there's certainly a shot -- with an Astros team this talented -- to get a Rob Thomson 2.0 here.
And the Yankees? External still makes sense, especially if you're looking for an easy way to get a check on Aaron Boone (even if the external hire is one of his allies). Unfortunately, that likely means it's back to the drawing board. And that drawing board includes a slightly more unfamiliar list of names than the first one they consulted.