When the New York Yankees were eliminated in the Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox, it marked the fourth consecutive year they were booted from the playoffs.
Aaron Boone’s contract expired after the 2021 World Series, and the Yankees had their time to look for a replacement if that’s what they wanted to do.
As it turns out, that’s not what they wanted to do, because they barely looked at other candidates before committing themselves to Boone for the next three seasons, with an option for 2025.
Dillon Lawson, promoted from within, is the new hitting coach, while Luis Rojas, the former New York Mets manager, will be the third base coach.
This shows that the Yankees didn’t think Boone was the problem: players and coaches were, in their mind.
Whether they are right or not is another issue, but this is proof that Boone will have some leash.
The Yankees Need To Address Their Roster Before Judging The Manager
The problem, right now, is that the Yankees haven’t been able to improve the roster since losing to the Red Sox in that Wild Card Game.
While other teams spent time, resources, and money to bring upgrades, the Yankees sat idly by.
Yankees: “Cashman and Boone are not the problem. It’s the roster we need to change this offseason.”
Yankees in the offseason: pic.twitter.com/MRiWx4C9LU
— Stephen Geiger (@Stephen_Geiger) November 29, 2021
They will have a lot of homework to do once the lockout ends.
The Yankees’ chances of winning their first World Series since 2009 will depend more on the shortstop, the pitchers, and the outfielders they manage to add before the start of the new season, and not so much on Boone.
As long as the Yankees are a playoff-caliber team, Boone will have job security.
But if the Yankees approach June or July and are far from playoff positions, Boone’s position could be in jeopardy.
Generally speaking, however, a team that re-signs a manager for three seasons with an option for a fourth is confident in his abilities to lead the team to the promised land.
So far, he hasn’t been able to do that in four years at the helm, and has had his fair share of questionable decisions managing the bullpen and building the lineup.
But the responsibility shouldn’t be on his shoulders, exclusively: the team needs to field a balanced, competitive roster.
And so far, the Yankees look like the third or fourth-best team in the American League East roster-wise.
The Yankees Have Boone’s Back
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is one of Boone’s firmest backers.
He even said during the introductory press conference that “Boone is the solution. He isn’t the problem.”
Brian Cashman: "Aaron Boone is the solution. He isn't the problem."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 19, 2021
Yankees managing general partner and owner Hal Steinbrenner said about Boone:
“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. 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.”
If we consider these statements and quotes, the Yankees will give Boone plenty of leash.
But if their place in the postseason is jeopardized, they may be forced to reconsider.