Make that two Yankees coaches who are not returning to Aaron Boone’s staff.
Bench coach Carlos Mendoza became the latest on Monday, as the Mets are hiring the 43-year-old to be their next manager. Hitting coach Sean Casey previously announced that he would not return to the Yankees due to family reasons.
Mendoza spent the last four seasons as Boone’s right-hand man, and he has coached within the Yankees’ organization since 2009. Prior to that, he spent 10 years playing in the minors for the Yankees and Giants’ systems.
Mendoza never made it to the major leagues, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a well-respected and liked figure with the Yankees. A bilingual coach from Venezuela, Mendoza had an easy time teaching and connecting with Spanish-speaking players, including a handful of younger countrymen who cracked the Yankees’ roster by the end of the 2023 season.
The Mets will give Mendoza his first chance to run a major league squad, but he does have experience managing in the Arizona Fall League, the Gulf Coast League and at Single-A. Mendoza also managed the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League in 2021 and 2022.
While the team from Queens now has its next manager, the Yankees must conduct another job search in the Bronx.
When it comes to replacing Casey, it would benefit the Yankees to hire someone with MLB playing experience, a grasp of analytics, and strong communication skills.
A strong communicator would also help in the bench coach role, as would a Spanish speaker. The Yankees could also look for someone with previous managing experience, though MLB playing experience is not necessarily a must.
One potential option could be third base coach Luis Rojas, who coincidentally managed the Mets before joining Boone’s staff. Rojas’ contract recently expired, but the Yankees could bring him back as their bench coach and hire a new third base coach.