Detroit Tigers: Next managerial hire could come from New York Yankees

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers may poach a New York Yankees coach to be their new manager as they have interviewed Phil Nevin and Marcus Thames.

As the Detroit Tigers continue to prepare for the offseason and all that it will bring for the organization, they are going through the interviewing process for a new manager. Ron Gardenhire had to step away and retire from baseball out of nowhere, leaving the team manager-less.

It was bench coach Lloyd McClendon who absorbed the duties and was given the “interim” tag as manager of the Tigers, but now the organization has started searching for a permanent solution. The rumors have been buzzing around since the news about Gardenhire’s retirement had been announced.

Since then, even more rumors have poured in about the Tigers managerial search. They have been tied to names like A.J. Hinch, in-house candidates Lloyd McClendon and Ramón Santiago, and even Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach George Lombard, among many others.

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The latest rumors have the Tigers tied to the New York Yankees, with speculation that they could be looking to poach one of their coaching staff members.

The team has reportedly started the interview process with both Phil Nevin and Marcus Thames.

Phil Nevin- New York Yankees Third Base Coach

First up, Phil Nevin, who was more recently linked to the Tigers. Jason Beck of MLB dot com tweeted out that there was some interest from the Tigers, who were going to interview Nevin. As expected, Nevin did play for the Tigers during his 12-year playing career across the big leagues.

Since his playing career, Nevin moved onto his post-playing career, which would end up with him joining the Tigers organization. After the Tigers promoted Tom Brookens to the big-league first-base coaching job, Nevin would replace him.

Nevin took over as manager of the Erie Seawolves and was then promoted to the Toledo Mud Hens, where he spent some time before being hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks for their minor-league affiliate.

His first big-league gig was in 2016 when the San Francisco Giants hired him as their third-base coach. After the 2017 season, Nevin would join the Yankees organization, where he has spent the last three years.

He may not have any big-league managerial experience, but he was considered a future big-league manager candidate during his time at the Triple-A level. The Tigers have started the interview process, and they could be poaching a Yankees coach to fill the open role.

Marcus Thames- New York Yankees Hitting Coach

The other candidate, the Tigers, have been tied too, is a former Tigers player, Marcus Thames, who serves as the Yankees hitting coach for the time being. Given the Yankees’ success in the box in recent years, why not give the former Tiger a look.

Thames had a ten-year big league career, spending six of them with the Tigers. Thames logged 485 total games in a Tigers uniform where he hit .245/.307/.501 with 99 home runs and 255 total RBI. However, his playing career is not as important in this scenario; his managerial prowess is what the Tigers care about.

After his playing career, Thames would stick with the Yankees organization, moving through the minor leagues as a hitting coach for various affiliates. He would work through these levels, helping players refine and rework their swings and ultimately help some of the Yankees prospects get to where they are today.

Nowadays, Thames is with the big league club and has been since 2015; he was an assistant hitting coach, being promoted to the head hitting coach after the 2017 season. Like Nevin, Thames does not have any managerial experience but is the hitting coach for arguably one of the best hitting teams in the league.

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It seems like the Detroit Tigers will take time to make any decision on a new manager, but they might be poaching a New York Yankees coach to fill the role.