MIAMI — Speculation keeps growing that New York Yankees executive Gary Denbo, a close confidant of Derek Jeter’s for years, will join the Miami Marlins in some key capacity, maybe even as GM. And while the Yankees haven’t heard officially that that is the case, many Yankees people are assuming he will go to Miami with Jeter.
Denbo’s Yankees contract is up after the year, and while the Yankees like him very much, a person familiar with the situation said, “I have to believe he will go with Derek.”
Denbo’s relationship is so close to Jeter that even folks with the Yankees, Denbo’s long-time employer, assume it to be the case. Robert Murray recently wrote about this likelihood.
Longtime Marlins baseball president and GM Michael Hill has been assumed to be retained for quite some time, as FanRag wrote for months. However, with Jeter and Co. this week laying off four of Hill’s underlings, there is plenty of room for new hires.
Denbo, a former Yankees hitting coach, has done a terrific job with the Yankees’ minor league system, which is thriving, and is given some of the credit for that.
Another rumor, as mentioned here by the Miami Herald, has another current Yankees executive, Jim Hendry, in the mix for a Marlins job, and while the Yankees haven’t been contacted about Hendry, this one also seems to be gaining legs. It isn’t known how close Hendry and Jeter are (though Jeter was still a player with the Yankees when Hendry was hired by them).
The Hendry link is mostly speculation for now, but people close to the situation say Hendry has a good rapport with Jeter’s long-time agent Casey Close, who is sure to be used as a sounding board by Jeter — though there’s no evidence Close himself would leave his very successful agent business at Excel to go with Jeter to the Marlins, at least not at this point. Close has actually told people that there were no plans for that to happen.
However, as far as Denbo goes, most see the marriage with Jeter as almost a fait accompli.