The first few weeks of the Derek Jeter era for the Miami Marlins have been eventful, if nothing else. Jeter has already fired eight special assistants and front office members, including franchise icons Andrew Dawson, Jack McKeon, and Jeff Conine. .
On Monday, Jeter reportedly made his first hire as Marlins co-owner, poaching longtime executive Gary Denbo from the Yankees. , but Denbo will instead run the farm system.
Today is Gary Denbo's last day with Yankees. He is joining the Marlins as the director of player development and amateur scouting.— George A. King III (@GeorgeAKingIII) October 9, 2017
Denbo and Jeter go back a very, very long way. Denbo was Jeter's first professional manager in the rookie Gulf Coast League, after the Yankees selected Jeter with the sixth overall pick in 1992. The two have worked together at various points over the years, including when Denbo served as New York's hitting coach in 2001.
Since 2014, Denbo has been the Yankees vice president of player development, and giving him the job was a turning point for the organization. New York's farm system hadn't been very productive prior to 2014, but since Denbo took over, the Yankees have had Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Judge come out of their farm system and become All-Stars. Greg Bird, Jordan Montgomery, and Chad Green are other player development success stories.
Baseball America ranked Miami's farm system as the worst in the game following the trade deadline, and for a small payroll team like the Marlins, the farm system is the organizational lifeblood. Tough to remain competitive with a bad farm system. Jeter and the Marlins are bringing in Denbo because they want him to do for them what he did for the Yankees the last few years. The fact Jeter and Denbo are close surely helped lure him away from New York.