The hiring of James Rowson to fill the hitting coach role and Brad Ausmus to fill in the bench coach role have rounded out many of the Yankees’ coaching vacancies, but they’ve also had some decisions to make on coaches who had expiring deals. Luis Rojas, who the Yankees brought in following the 2021 season when the New York Mets let him go, had been the team’s third base coach for the past two seasons. Rojas, who spent time as a prospect in various organizations, had spent his entire coaching career in the Mets’ organization.
It seems that the team was pleased with his clubhouse presence, as they’ll choose to bring him back for 2024 according to Andy Martino, re-signing him to a new deal.
Luis Rojas Returns as 3B Coach, Yankees Gearing Up for Busy Winter Meetings
Luis Rojas brings a former player’s experience, which is something that the team has come to value with the hirings of Rowson and Ausmus, who were also former professional players. Communication was a well-documented issue for the team in 2023, as they struggled to relay the influx of information in a manner that was consistent with what players were accustomed to at the Minor League level. While Rojas is the third base coach and not necessarily in a player development role, the team certainly wants to have that presence in their clubhouse.
The Yankees will still have to decide on the fate of various hitting coaches at the big league level, as James Rowson steps in and is probably going to get the opportunity to select his staff for 2024. While the front office has remained largely untouched in the public sphere, there’s some shake-up on the coaching side as the team looks to improve on the communication issues that held them back all of last year. Furthermore, this allows the Yankees to put more stock into what they’re doing at the Winter Meetings, which could get hectic fast.
Juan Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are hot topics in Nashville, and while Andy Martino has reported that Yamamoto likely won’t make a decision until after the meetings, Soto could be dealt soon. Brendan Kuty of The Athletic reported that the Yankees and Padres will re-engage in conversations at the Winter Meetings and that the team feels good about its standing in negotiations. Local reporters for the Blue Jays have shown less confidence in their ability to land Soto, and Ken Rosenthal even labeled it a ‘long shot’.
As for the Seattle Mariners, who on the surface make a lot of sense for Juan Soto, likely, the $30 million price tag that comes with his arbitration will be too much for them. The Yankees will look to land the superstar outfielder, who would give the team a huge boost and silence many of the team’s critics. It should be a busy week for Brian Cashman, who has a chance to follow up his fiery presser from the GM Meetings with a blockbuster move that gets the Yankees right back into championship contention.
However things shake out, the Yankees have their third base coach back, and now will turn their sights on trying to do something ‘dramatic’ as Andy Martino put it yesterday.