After four straight postseason berths — and four more years without a World Series appearance — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday that Aaron Boone “is part of the solution.”
The Yankees announced Tuesday that Boone will return on a new three-year deal, with a team option for a fourth season, after his contract was set to expire following the World Series.
The move came two weeks after the Yankees’ season ended in a wild-card loss to the Red Sox in Boston.
“This is definitely the place I want to be,’’ Boone said. “The reality is, I know rumors were out there, but they were only that. I never stopped being under contract with the Yankees and treated it as such.”
Boone’s deal now runs through 2024 — with a team option for 2025 — and Cashman’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season.
“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,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “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.”
Retaining Boone was expected, at least since the Yankees reached the wild-card game. That was reinforced after the Yankees declined to renew the contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third-base coach Phil Nevin, one of Boone’s close friends.
“It was a tough couple days for me,’’ Boone said of the process of letting go of the coaches.
Their departure, and Cashman’s acknowledgment that the roster was flawed even after the team’s moves at the trade deadline in July, point to an offseason in which there could be plenty of player personnel changes.
“The way our season played out, it was less of a surprise to get knocked out early,’’ Cashman said of the wild-card exit. “This year, the way our team was going, it looked like it could be an early knockout, and I have to take responsibility for it.”
The GM called the team’s performance “Jekyll and Hyde,” referring to it as sometimes “unstoppable” and others “unwatchable.”
Cashman said he’ll be “open-minded to anything and everything on the roster.”
That means the team will permanently move Gleyber Torres off of shortstop and back to second base and will “evaluate” other positions, including catcher, where Gary Sanchez had another rocky season behind the plate.
Cashman said he hopes to give Boone a more “flexible” roster in 2022, but how the organization operates doesn’t sound like it’s going to change.
“I think we have a very strong, sound process,’’ Cashman said, referring to his pro scouts, former players and analytical department.
And Boone is part of that.
“The manager is only as good as the players he’s got and I think Aaron is pretty damn good,’’ Cashman said.
Boone also bristled again at the notion that he is manager in name only and that the front office dictates the lineups and in-game decisions.
“We’ve built this straw man that this is what happens and we call up and ask for permission to push this button,’’ Boone said. “At least in my experience, and I’ve only been doing this with one organization, it’s not the case. People have done a good job of creating this bogeyman for how it all looks, but it’s not quite like that.”
“The information can be picked from,’’ Cashman said of analytics. “It’s not dictated to. I believe it’s served us extremely well.”
Boone will now get another opportunity to get the Yankees their first title since 2009 with some new faces on the field and in the dugout.
“I feel very confident in my ability — and still do — in getting the most out of people,” Boone said.
“If he was entering the free-agent market, I believe he would be the No. 1 managerial candidate in baseball,’’ Cashman said. “Aaron is part of the solution. He wasn’t a problem or part of the problem.”