Aaron Boone, who hit one of the most famous homers in New York Yankees' history and has served as an analyst on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball the past two years, is among the candidates to be the Yankees' next manager, according to sources. An interview has not yet been scheduled.
Boone, 44, joined the Yankees in a midseason trade in 2003, and ended Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox that fall with an extra-inning homer. He was set to return as the Yankees' third baseman in 2004 but blew out his knee in a pickup basketball game, the first domino in a series of events that led to the Yankees' acquisition of Alex Rodriguez.
Boone is part of a family that has had three generations of major leaguers -- his grandfather Ray Boone, his father Bob Boone, and Aaron and Bret Boone. Aaron Boone has never managed before but talked last month about his interest in managing. His father served as a major league manager for six years, with the Royals and Reds.
The Yankees also have interviewed coach Rob Thomson, who met with team executives for between five and six hours Wednesday.
Thomson, 54, has spent 28 seasons with the organization, including a decade as a coach under Joe Girardi, who wasn't retained after this season.
General manager Brian Cashman cited "connectivity" with players as the reason the team parted with Girardi.
"I really don't want to compare myself to Joe. I love Joe," Thomson said Thursday. "But I do know this: My strengths are my communication and my trust with the players, and because of that trust we can implement more things into our game, whether it be analytics or sports science, whatever it is. ... I'm intense, but I'm still calm and I'm still poised."
After playing in Detroit's minor league system from 1985 to '88, Thomson was hired by the Yankees in 1990 as third-base coach at Class A Fort Lauderdale. He spent five seasons coaching, then managed Class A Oneonta in the New York-Penn League in 1995, his only time as a skipper.
He was the third-base coach at Triple-A Columbus in 1996-97, became a field coordinator in 1998, director of player development in 2000 and vice president of minor league development before the 2003 season. He served as a special assignment instructor in 2004-06 and major league field coordinator in 2007.
Thomson moved to the major league coaching staff when Girardi replaced Joe Torre, serving as bench coach in 2008, third-base coach in 2009-14 and again as bench coach for the past three seasons.
"I've always wanted to manage. I love it," Thomson said. "Every game I've ever watched or been a part, I've kind of managed it in my mind."
He was interviewed by Cashman, assistant general managers Jean Afterman and Mike Fishman, vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring and assistant director of professional scouting Dan Giese.
Thomson's only previous manager interview was by telephone with Toronto after the 2010 season, when the Blue Jays hired John Farrell. This one was more involved.
Thomson realizes the job of a big league manager has changed in recent years.
"The analytics and the sports science have gone to a new level," he said. "It's not like we've never looked at numbers, but the numbers have evolved so much and there's so much to it and they're such great tools to have. It's like watching video -- it's another tool to have. And if you're not paying attention to it and you're not utilizing the analysts that are upstairs, I think you're kind of foolish."
Cashman has not specified how many people he plans to interview or his timetable. Former Yankees David Cone and John Flaherty, both analysts for the team's YES Network, said Wednesday they would like to be considered. They spoke at the annual dinner of Torre's foundation.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.