Barry Jackson

Miami Marlins co-owner Jeter makes first big hire

New Marlins CEO and co-owner Derek Jeter
New Marlins CEO and co-owner Derek Jeter

New Marlins co-owner Derek Jeter has made his first big hire.

According to a source, Gary Denbo is leaving his job as Yankees’ vice president of player development to become the Marlins’ director of player development and amateur scouting.

Denbo is not expected to be above Marlins president/baseball operations Michael Hill in the team’s hierarchy. Hill has three years remaining on his contract. But Denbo will have a strong voice on Marlins personnel matters.

According to a Marlins source, baseball decisions are expected to be made by a group of people, including Jeter, Hill, Denbo and potentially others.

Jeter, as CEO, will retain final say on baseball matters. But Jeter made clear he will consult with Hill on Giancarlo Stanton and other players before any personnel decisions are made.

Former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is strongly in the mix for a position with the Marlins and would join that group of key inner circle decision-makers if he comes, according to a Marlins source.

Hendry, 62, is now a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Denbo’s last day working for the Yankees is Monday.

Denbo, 55, has worked as a coach, scout or executive for 31 years and has a long history with Jeter.

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 a slump in 2011 and for helping him on other occasions, according to a Marlins 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.

He 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 will replace ousted Marc DelPiano as the team’s head of player development. The scouting title is a new position in the Marlins organization.

Stan Meek has been the Marlins’ vice president of scouting, and it’s unclear if he will remain with the organization. But if Meek remains, he likely would report to Denbo.

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