The fallout from Yankees“The disappointing 2021 season has begun as New York will not renew the contracts of batting coach Marcus Thames and third baseman Phil Nevin, sources confirmed to ESPN.
The Yankees are also not expected to renew assistant hitting coach PJ Pilittere’s contract, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The moves mark a staff reshuffle under the leadership of manager Aaron Boone, whose job security has also come under scrutiny following the Yankees’ third-place finish in the AL East and loss to rival. Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild-Card game.
Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is inclined to keep Boone as a manager, although the situation remains fluid. Boone has led the Yankees to the playoffs in each of his four seasons in the Bronx but does not have a contract for 2022.
Some sources within the Yankees’ organization questioned Thursday afternoon how Boone would react to the sacking of some of his coaches.
If Boone indicates he wants to return as manager, the parties should negotiate a new contract at a time when there are at least two more managerial positions open with the New York food and San Diego Padres.
Thames was an assistant batting coach for the Yankees under former manager Joe Girardi, but was promoted to batting coach in 2018 after the club hired Boone.
The Yankees led the majors over a four-season span from 2017 to 2020 in points scored, and at the start of the 2021 season, the organization expected the offense to be the backbone of the performance again. , creating a margin of error for other potential weaknesses.
Instead, the Yankees offense was the club’s most glaring problem: They finished 19th in the majors in points scored (711) and had long stretches of incompetence. The Yankees also had the sixth-worst strikeout rate, and there were complaints at the front office about the team’s in-season adjustments. Thames and Pilittere paid the price for these issues directly.
Nevin, who also joined the Yankees after the 2017 season, is a close friend of Boone’s and is highly regarded and respected in the sport. He played a key role in last week’s season-ending loss to the Red Sox as the Yankees tried to come back from an early deficit at Fenway Park.
With one out, Nevin beckoned home Aaron Judge, who was easily knocked out at home on a good throw by Boston’s shortstop Alex Bogaerts, ending a potential rally for the Yankees. Nevin then defended his decision in an interview with the New York Post, but evaluators from other teams privately said it wasn’t the right choice given the Yankees were down two points.
There is history for the Yankees in a decision leading to the firing of a third base coach. In the 1980 playoffs, third baseman Mike Ferraro signaled Willie Randolph, who was sent off – and owner George Steinbrenner insisted Ferrero be fired immediately. Manager Dick Howser refused and ultimately resigned after the season.