SAN FRANCISCO – SEPTEMBER 5: Pitcher Randy Johnson #51 of the Arizona Diamondbacks waits for manager Al Pedrique to reach the mound and relieve him in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants on September 5, 2004, at SBC Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Internal Options

Rob Thomson:

Thomson checks all the boxes in terms of fit to fulfill a managerial position. He was on Girardi’s staff throughout his entire Yankees’ coaching tenure, starting in 2008 as the team’s bench coach. He also worked as the team’s third base coach for six seasons before the 2015 season, when he was named bench coach — a position he has held since. Before his Major League coaching career, he was in the Yankees’ front office starting in 1998 as a Field Coordinator and became Director of Player Development in 2000. Prior to the 2003 season, he was named Vice President of Minor League Development. Before being assigned to Girardi’s staff in 2008, Thomson was the Yankees’ major league field coordinator, acting as a bridge between the Yankees’ advance scouts and the coaching staff (per Baseball Reference). He has extensive knowledge of the organization and his work with Brian Cashman will surely warrant a legitimate examination by the front office for the open spot.

Tony Pena:

Looking for another qualified candidate to be the next Yankees’ manager on the same level as Thomson? Look no further than Tony Pena. His candidacy features both managerial experience and familiarity with the organization. In 2002, he was hired by the Kansas City Royals as the manager and led the 2003 Royals to record of 83–79, marking the franchise’s first season with a winning record since 1994. With that, Pena took home the 2003 AL Manager of the Year Award. He resigned in 2005 before being hired by the Yankees as the first base coach in 2006. He interviewed for the vacant managerial position in the Bronx in 2007 when Joe Torre declined a one-year contract extension but retained his first base coach position in 2008 before earning the bench coach spot from 2009-14. He returned to first when Rob Thomson moved from his third base coach position to bench coach to make room for Joe Espada, who is the team’s current third base coach. Pena was also a candidate to replace Terry Francona in Boston in 2011 before Bobby Valentine earned the job. After the latter was fired, Pena was interviewed once again to be the Red Sox manager. The Dominican Republic National Baseball Team hired Pena as manager for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, where he led his squad to an 8-0 record and a championship. There is very little doubt that he will interview for Yankees’ manager this time around as he enters with an impeccable resume.

Al Pedrique:

Pedrique could be considered a solid given his experience and his work with the Baby Bombers over the last five years. The 57-year-old spent one season managing Low-A Charleston, High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton before wrapping up his second year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, where he has won back-to-back International League manager of the year honors. Before becoming a part of this farm system, Pedrique managed in the minors for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, and Kansas City Royals from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, he took over as Arizona’s before managing the Tucson Sidewinders, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, the following year. In July of that season, he was hired as the team’s interim coach after Bob Brenly was fired and posted a 22–61 record. If Cashman is looking for the perfect leader for his new core, he may look no further than the guy who managed Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres during their most significant development period.

Jay Bell:

Bell enjoyed a successful 18-year career as a shortstop and infielder for the Cleveland Indians (1986–88), Pittsburgh Pirates (1989–96), Kansas City Royals (1997), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998–2002) and New York Mets. During his playing career, he was a two-time All-Star, Gold Glove winner, Silver Slugger, and a World Series champion. He is currently the manager of the Yankees’ Class-A affiliate, where he was just named the best managerial prospect in the Florida State League by Baseball America. At the Major League level, Bell was the bench coach for the Diamondbacks (2005-06) and Cincinnati Reds (2014-15) as well as the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2012). He was also the bench coach for the New Zealand national baseball team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He would also enter 2018 with extensive knowledge of the Yankees’ farm system. More specifically the prospects closest to the bigs, as he most recently became the manager of the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League — where Justus Sheffield, Billy McKinney, and Estevan Florial, among other prospects, are playing.

Josh Paul:

Paul, a journeyman catcher who never played more than 58 games in a single season from 1999 to 2007, formerly managed the Single-A Staten Island Yankees in 2009 and 2010. Paul is currently working in the organization as a catching coordinator and shouldn’t be ruled out during this hunt for a new skipper. For what it’s worth, the 42-year-old was thought highly enough to step in for Dave Eiland as the interim bullpen coach when the then-Yankees’ pitching coach left the team for personal reasons in 2010.