Yankees silently make third base coaching decision during Winter Meetings hoopla

Blink and you missed it.

New York Yankees v New York Mets
New York Yankees v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees' coaching shuffle didn't officially end with the import of an external bench coach.

That would be Brad Ausmus, who took home the honors after ex-Cubs manager David Ross declined the opportunity to interview for a role other than "head honcho." It had previously been reported long before Ross' ouster that the Yankees would prefer to go external for the role, and Ausmus' managerial experience could come in handy. At the very least, the Yankees now have a man with bonafides prepared to breathe down Aaron Boone's neck.

But the Yankees' "external" desire made it suddenly feel unlikely that incumbent third base coach Luis Rojas would return. The former Mets manager's contract expired at the end of 2023, but he was by all accounts well-liked within the organization. If he wasn't going to be their bench coach, would he be allowed to seek outside opportunities (or even follow Carlos Mendoza back to Flushing)?

Perhaps he was, but, in the end, the Yankees and Rojas settled. The ex-Met re-signed during Winter Meetings week to serve as New York's third base coach once again.

Yankees bring Luis Rojas back as third base coach after bench coach flirtation

The role of a third base coach is thankless, and, to outsiders, it doesn't exactly scream, "Great baseball mind! Must retain!". But the voices in the locker room spoke volumes here, and it seems like a win-win for everyone that he wasn't exiled. Just ... maybe make sure he's got a full primer onGiancarlo Stanton's speed before next season.

Fans in the Twitter/X comments demanded a status update on the team's incumbent assistant hitting coaches, Casey Dykes and Brad Wilkerson, whose contracts remain intact but who've yet to serve under new lead hitting coach James Rowson. Theoretically, some confirmation of their job status is still forthcoming; Aaron Boone seemed to indicate at the Winter Meetings on Thursday that Dykes was safe, while Wilkerson's spot was up for grabs.

Otherwise, the coaching staff seems (mostly) settled. All that's left is a final stamp of approval on Dykes/Wilkerson, which is especially important for the folks up in Toronto. After all, John Schneider needs to know who he can call "Fat Boy" mid-brawl next summer when he doesn't get his way. Will the Yankees stick with the status quo, or will they uncover an even fatter boy and employ him? Who can say?

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