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Yankees begin interviews for vacant manager position with bench coach Rob Thomson

Yankees' bench coach Rob Thomson at spring training

Yankees' bench coach Rob Thomson at spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2017. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

First up, Rob Thomson.

The Yankees kicked off interviews for their vacant manager position Wednesday with Thomson, who has been with the Bombers for 28 years in a variety of roles, the last four as Joe Girardi’s bench coach. A source confirmed that the Yankees were interviewing Thomson.

The 54-year-old Thomson, a classic baseball lifer well-respected throughout the industry for his overall knowledge of the game, was the Yankees third base coach from 2009-2014.

Though on the surface considering Thomson would seem to run contrary to general manager Brian Cashman saying he wanted a “new and fresh” voice in the clubhouse, the longtime coach does check several of the boxes the Yankees GM is looking for in his next manager.

In no particular order, Thomson is well-versed in analytics and popular among players in the clubhouse, both for his knowledge and ability to communicate that information to players.

During a conference call Monday, Cashman said he was entering the process “completely open-minded” and that he would be interviewing candidates from both inside and outside the organization.

“There’s a lot of boxes that you would love to have checked,” Cashman said. “There’s no one that you’re going to find that’s going to check every box, I can tell you that. I’m not going to discuss what the criteria are outside of I’m looking for the right person, that’s regardless of age.”

Cashman mentioned several times Girardi’s shortcomings in the areas of “connectivity and communication,” so it’s fair to speculate those qualities will be weighed heavily.

“I can’t tell you anything more than it’s certainly one important attribute of many,” Cashman said of communication skills. “I do believe we’re going to find somebody that we’re comfortable with that can lead us into the next phase of where we are with this franchise.”

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