The New York Yankees announced on Tuesday that they've signed manager Aaron Boone to a new three-year contract with an option for the 2025 season. Boone's previous contract had expired at the end of the season. That, combined with the Yankees' uneven season and loss to the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card Game, had fueled speculation that New York might go in a different direction this winter.
Instead, the Yankees have married themselves to Boone for the foreseeable future while committing to redesigning his staff. In recent days, the Yankees have informed three coaches -- third-base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere -- that they won't be brought back.
The Yankees, then, are hoping that changes to Boone's staff will do the trick. Or, as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during the press conference to announce the news: "Aaron Boone is the solution. He isn't the problem." (Cashman also acknowledged the inconsistency of the '21 Yankees, calling them "unstoppable" for stretches and "unwatchable" during others.)
Here's part of the Yankees' release announcing the decision:
"We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward," said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. "As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period. I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship."
Boone, 48 years old, has been the Yankees skipper dating back to the 2018 season. In those four years, he has compiled a 328-218 record, or a winning percentage north of 60 percent. Boone has guided the Yankees to the postseason each year, but his results haven't been nearly as impressive. Including his recent loss in the AL Wild Card Game, he's 11-11 career, with five of those wins coming during the 2019 playoffs.
Prior to becoming Yankees manager, Boone had served in a broadcasting role with ESPN. He also enjoyed a 12-year big-league career that saw him hit .263/.326/.425 (94 OPS+) with 13.6 Wins Above Replacement. In addition to hitting a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox, an injury Boone suffered during a pickup basketball game before the 2004 season led the Yankees to acquire Alex Rodriguez, making Boone a notable figure in franchise history.
With the Yankees remaining by Boone's side, it appears just three teams will have managerial openings: the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Diego Padres, and the New York Mets. (The Houston Astros may as well, depending on whether they can reach an agreement with impending free agent Dusty Baker.)