Minutes after the Yankees’ wild-card loss to the Red Sox on Oct. 5, Aaron Boone briefly discussed his future.
He acknowledged that his contract was up at the conclusion of the World Series and that his job status was a hot topic of conversation following an up-and-down year and another early playoff exit. He didn’t have any updates or details, but the manager made himself clear.
“I love being here,” Boone said.
A full two weeks and one staff exodus later, the Yankees have decided that they feel the same way. Boone will return as New York’s skipper after agreeing to a new three-year deal.
The news was first reported by Jack Curry of YES Network. The club officially announced the decision later on Tuesday morning.
"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 in a statement released by the team. “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 owns a 328-218 record over four seasons since taking over the Yankees as a first-time manager in 2018. His .601 regular season winning percentage ranks seventh all-time among managers with at least 450 games and 10th among those with at least 315.
The Yankee have made the postseason in each of Boone’s seasons at the helm, but they have yet to advance past the American League Championship Series. New York returned to the playoffs for a game in 2021 following a regular season plagued by uneven play. New York has not won or been to the World Series since 2009.
The Yankees’ response to the underachieving campaign was to keep Boone and remake his coaching staff. Third base coach Phil Nevin and hitting coaches Marcus Thames and P.J. Pilittere were told that their contracts would not be renewed last week. Thames and Pilittere have long been staples among the organization’s coaching ranks, while Nevin is a longtime friend of Boone’s and has been on his staff since the skipper was hired.
Some fans wanted to see Boone meet a similar fate. He often receives criticism for his ever-positive, collected demeanor and New York’s in-game decisions, such as pitching changes and pinch-hitter usage. But this is a manager who has operated in lockstep with the front office; it’s not surprising to see Boone return.
Boone’s players have also spoken in support of him since the season ended. That includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner.
“I could spend all night giving you reasons why he should still be the manager," Judge said after the wild-card loss.
Judge and company got their wish. Boone will get another chance to end New York’s championship drought, the third-longest in franchise history.
Before that can happen, the Yankees have several more tough decisions to make this winter, all complicated by the expiring collective bargaining agreement. A handful of in-house free agents are set to hit the open market, and even more are eligible for arbitration. The Yankees have serious questions at shortstop, catcher, first base and in the rotation, and New York’s staff has three vacancies that need to be filled.
For now, however, the most pressing item on the to-do list has been checked off. After weeks of uncertainty and a year of inconsistency, Boone is staying put.