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Yankees announce several front office moves

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News broke earlier today about the Yankees hiring former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Later in the day, the Yankees went ahead and made that signing official, along with several other non-player moves. Here’s the announcement. 

The New York Yankees today announced the hiring of Jim Hendry as Special Assignment Scout. The Yankees have also named Steve Donohue as Major League Head Athletic Trainer and Mark Littlefield as Major League Assistant Athletic Trainer. Additional promotions to the baseball operations department include naming Jean Afterman Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager, Billy Eppler Assistant General Manager and Will Kuntz Manager, Pro Scouting.

Hendry spent the previous 17 seasons with the Chicago Cubs organization, the last nine-and-a-half years as Vice President/General Manager. The Cubs made the postseason three times in his tenure (2003, ’07 and ’08), making him the first general manager in franchise history to accomplish the feat. He began his time with the Cubs as the Director of Player Development in November 1994, before taking over as the club’s scouting director prior to the 1996 season. He assumed the role of Director of Player Development and Scouting in October 1998 and then became assistant general manager from August 2000 until his promotion to GM two years later.

Prior to his time with the Cubs, Hendry worked for three seasons with the Florida Marlins in roles as a scout, minor league manager and Special Assistant to General Manager Dave Dombrowski. He served as the head baseball coach at Creighton University from mid-1984 through 1991, earning Baseball America’s “National Coach of the Year” Award in 1991 after leading the team to a third-place finish in the NCAA College World Series.

Afterman enters her 11th season as the Yankees’ Assistant General Manager and first as a Senior Vice President. She became only the third female to hold the position of Assistant General Manager when she was hired by the Yankees prior to the 2002 season, and is the only female to currently hold such a title. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law, Afterman was recently named one of 2010’s “Women of the Year” by Women in Sports and Events (WISE) as well as a “2010 Power Woman” by New York Moves magazine.

Eppler assumes the role of Assistant General Manager under Brian Cashman as he enters his eighth season with the Yankees organization. He joined the Yankees as Assistant Director of Baseball Operations in November 2004 and has also served as Director of Professional Scouting (2006-09) and Senior Director of Professional Personnel (2010-11). He began his career in professional baseball in January 2000 as an Area Scout (Southern California) for the Colorado Rockies and served as Area Scouting Supervisor before being promoted to Assistant Director of Pro Scouting and Player Development in February 2003. A native of San Diego, Calif., Eppler earned a finance degree, with honors, in 1998 from the University of Connecticut where he also played baseball until a labrum tear prior to his senior year.

Donohue takes over the Head Athletic Trainer position in 2012 following the retirement of his longtime partner and mentor Gene Monahan. The upcoming season will mark Donohue’s 34th in professional baseball – all with the Yankees franchise. He had served the previous 26 seasons working directly under Monahan, sharing the honor of “Best Athletic Trainers” in Major League Baseball in 2010 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society (PBATS) and “Athletic Training Staff of the Year” from Major League Baseball in 1990. A Bronxville, N.Y., native and graduate of the University of Louisville, he began his athletic training career in 1979 with the Yankees’ Double-A West Haven affiliate.

Littlefield, who joined the Yankees organization in 1991, enters his 22nd season with the club. He served as the minor league head athletic trainer in each of the last 18 seasons, also overseeing all Major League rehab assignments.

Kuntz has been named Manager, Pro Scouting after serving as a Pro Scouting Assistant for the Yankees since October 2006. He began with the organization as a Baseball Operations summer intern from 2003-05 before joining the organization full-time as a Baseball Operations assistant in June 2006.