With Aaron Boone’s status still unknown, Phil Nevin and Marcus Thames are the first casualties of the Yankees’ offseason.
Nevin and Thames confirmed to The Post that their contracts weren’t being renewed. The moves are seen by some as a possible shift even more toward analytics.
Thames just finished his fourth season as the hitting coach after also serving as the team’s assistant hitting coach.
Boone’s contract, like those of Nevin and Thames, is up at the end of the World Series, and the expectation is that he’ll remain as manager, but that’s not guaranteed.
The coaching staff shake-up wasn’t unexpected after another early playoff exit.
The Yankees struggled offensively throughout the 2021 season, finishing with 4.39 runs per game, 19th in the majors— but had excelled prior to this year with Thames in charge.
“They decided not to renew my contract,’’ Thames said. “They wanted to move in a different direction, and it was probably time for me to go in a different direction, too. I was a hitting coach with the Yankees for six years, which is a long time.’’
Assistant hitting coach P.J. Piliterre is out, as well.
“I hate that we didn’t win a championship,’’ Thames said. “That’s my only regret. I gave my all to the organization and hope I leave with them knowing how hard I worked, and helped guys as hitters and people.”
Nevin, one of Boone’s closest friends in the game, came on as the third base coach when Boone got hired prior to the 2018 season. Nevin drew criticism this season with the Yankees having an MLB-high 22 runners thrown out at home, but remained a respected voice in the dugout and the clubhouse.
He also played a hand in the Yankees’ season-ending loss to the Red Sox in the AL wild-card game, sending Aaron Judge on a Giancarlo Stanton single with one out in the sixth inning.
But Nevin said he was told he wasn’t being let go because of on-field performance.
“I love the players, love the relationships,’’ Nevin said. “It’s just frustrating that the game has changed, and [those relationships are] not a priority to some new people in the game.”
That lines up with the thought within the organization that the moves will push the Yankees into a more analytically driven direction.
The moves were foreshadowed by Boone after the disappointing ending to the season.
“We didn’t score the runs like we normally would, so we’ve got to examine a lot of things and where can we help guys that are going to be back here, where can we help them get better individually,” Boone said after the Yankees lost to Boston. “Are there things we can do to help them? Obviously there will always be some personnel shake-ups, and roster construction gets a little bit different each and every year, and hopefully it all works to be a slightly better fit. … But this was overall just tough for us to really be the offensive juggernaut we’ve kind of come to expect, and I’m not sure why we didn’t realize our potential there.”