New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter is already mulling potential hires that he would make once he takes over as one of the Marlins’ owners and the head of the team’s baseball operations department.
And New York Yankees executive Gary Denbo is one name that’s very much on his radar, two big-leagues sources said Thursday afternoon.
Jeter has interest in Denbo for a high-level front office position, according to someone with direct knowledge. We’re told that Denbo, who is the Yankees’ vice president of player development, has legitimate interest and a fondness for Jeter, but it’s also possible the Yankees could keep him or another team could lure him.
The two men have a history; Denbo was the Yankees’ hitting coach in 2001 and spent several other seasons working as a hitting instructor in the organization. Jeter credits Denbo for helping him snap out of slump in 2011 and for helping him on other occasions, according to a person familiar with their history.
Denbo joined the Yankees organization in 1990, left in 2002 to become a scout for the Cleveland Indians and later served as the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008.
Denbo returned to the Yankees in 2009, his third stint with the organization, as a player development consultant and was named vice president of player developmet in October 2014.
Denbo never played in the majors; a pitcher out of Princeton, Indiana, he was drafted as by the Reds as an infielder in the 17th round of the 1983 draft and played four years in the minors.
Denbo’s name in connection to a potential job with the Marlins was first raised by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Feinsand earlier tweeted that there’s “growing buzz” that Denbo is a “top candidate” for the Marlins’ GM job.
Another name to keep in mind for a potential Marlins job, according to a source: Tino Martinez, the former big-league first baseman who is close with Jeter.
Martinez was named the hitting coach for the Marlins for the 2013 season, replacing Eduardo Pérez. On July 28, 2013, Martinez resigned amid allegations of physically abusing Derek Dietrich several months before the resignation. Martinez's behavior reportedly included verbal attacks towards the Marlins' Justin Ruggiano and Chris Valaika, as well as minor-league player Matt Downs.
Martinez was the hitting coach of a Marlins team that was arguably the most tepid offensively in franchise history.
The sale of the Marlins’ from Jeffrey Loria to a group headed by Bruce Sherman and Jeter is expected to be approved by Major League Baseball owners in late September or early October.
All the key members of the Marlins’ front office are uncertain if they will be retained.
▪ Though there have been reports of interest in Giancarlo Stanton, no team called the Marlins inquiring about him in recent weeks, according to a team source with direct knowledge.
Trades must have been completed by Sept. 1 for a player to be playoff eligible elsewhere, and players dealt after July 31 would need to clear waivers. (There was a previous published report than Stanton did so.)
Whether the new owners will look to trade Stanton remains to be seen; USA Today has said Stanton is expected to be dealt this winter. The Giants have strong interest, according to multiple sources. St. Louis is among others expected to inquire.