Not everyone is sold on the New York Yankees’ decision to sign manager Aaron Boone to a three-year contract extension two weeks after the Boston Red Sox eliminated the Bronx Bombers in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game at Fenway Park.
“I would reiterate that I thought Aaron Boone was part of the solution,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters during a news conference. “He wasn’t a problem — or the problem.
“Listen, I think Aaron brings a lot of great qualities. He’s a great baseball mind, comes from an amazing family that has a history in this industry for quite some time. But his ability to connect, to communicate, to be open-minded. He’s had a lot of success here despite obviously our postseason ultimate results. Our big goal happens to be a world championship, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of goals that are getting accomplished or things to be proud of along the way.”
The Yankees have had success under Boone, reaching the playoffs in each of his four seasons as New York’s manager. They simply haven’t been able to get over the hump in October, raising questions as to whether he’s capable of leading the franchise to its first World Series title since 2009.
So, why is Cashman so confident Boone remains the man for the job?
“To be quite honest, if he was entering the free agent market, I believe he’d be the No. 1 managerial candidate in baseball,” Cashman told reporters. “There’s a number of different vacancies, and we would be going to market looking for someone like him. I think he’s been a good hire and he’s gonna be a continued good hire in that position.”
The Yankees have won the AL East once under Boone. They’ve secured a wild-card berth in his other three seasons in charge. His tenure by no means has been a disaster.
However, the Yankees obviously have tremendous expectations. And they’re coming off a 2021 season in which they underachieved relative to the talent on their roster. It was fair to wonder whether the team might go in a different direction with Boone’s contract expiring.
“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,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement, per a press release announcing Boone’s contract extension. “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.”
The Yankees own an 11-11 postseason record under Boone.