Even though they had the second-highest payroll in baseball in 2021 and have some of the highest expectations from fans year in and year out, the New York Yankees couldn’t make it out of the wild-card round this fall and haven’t won a World Series since 2009. Despite that, manager Aaron Boone could be returning to the club next season, according to ESPN senior writer Buster Olney.
“‘[Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner] likes [Boone], and I don’t think he blames him for what happened,’ a source told Olney.”
Olney’s Tuesday morning report said that Steinbrenner cited “underachieving player performances” as the main cause of the Yankees’ struggles. Olney doesn’t mention specific players, but it’s notable that none of the Yankees’ regulars posted a batting average above .287 and three of them (Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez and Rougned Odor) were below .225.
Of the team’s starting pitchers, Gerrit Cole was the only one to reach a double-digit win total at 16-8, but the four-time All-Star was lit up for three runs on four hits in just two-plus innings of work during the wild-card game against the Boston Red Sox.
While Steinbrenner may be vouching for Boone right now, the former MLB corner infielder currently does not have a contract in place for the 2022 season.
“Some within the franchise privately complain about Boone, with the common refrains being that he should more bluntly assess team performance to the media when the Yankees play poorly, and that his bullpen choices too often don’t work out,” Olney wrote.
If the Yankees opt to go with a new manager, Olney reported that rival officials believe they will consider Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada, among others. Espada coached for the Yankees before joining the Astros in 2018.
Victor Barbosa is a passionate follower of MLB, the NBA and NFL, with a specific interest in the Boston-area teams. As a 90s kid, he knows how spoiled he’s been, particularly with the BoSox run of championships (he grew up with a dog named Nomar and a cat named Big Papi). Now he lives with his fiancee and two pups (Hershey and Mosby) outside of Albany, NY. Follow Victor on Twitter at @vbarbosa1127.