New York Yankees: Will Aaron Boone remain Yankee Manager at the end of 2020?

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Aaron boone
Mar 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) points in the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of December 2017, the New York Yankees officially replaced Joe Girardi with Aaron Boone.  He signed a three-year contract with the Yankees for $1.15 million a year with a team option for 2021.  That amount is high for a rookie manager but low compared to many in the MLB, including the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Scioscia, who earns $6MM a year for a team that has won one World Championships in 60 years.  Scioscia last brought the Angels to the World Series 18 years ago.

Many Yankee fans were sorry to see Joe Girardi go, and just as dissatisfied with the Yankee’s pick of Aaron ‘who” Boone.  Some Yankees had remembered him as a player that was unremarkable except for his famous home run that brought the Yankees to the World Series against the Red Sox.  Their main concern was that he had no managerial experience, not even being a baseball coach.  But, in his first year, he managed a team that produced 100 wins, he gained some respect among Yankee fans.

Upon his hiring New York Yankee owner and General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said:

“I firmly believe that Aaron possesses the attributes needed to follow in the tradition of great Yankees managers,” Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “From all accounts, he is a polished communicator who possesses the ability to cultivate and grow relationships. Aaron has also spent a lifetime immersed in baseball, affording him a unique and intimate understanding of what fosters team success.

 

“Aaron’s name is already etched into Yankees history, and my family and I are excited to welcome him back to this franchise. This opportunity will allow him to continue to make a positive impact on this organization in distinctly new and meaningful ways.”

Enter the 2019 season.  Boone would be faced with unimagined problems in managing a team that would have an unprecedented number of injuries, 39 to 30 different players.  Boone had to continually bring up players from the minor leagues and shift his lineups almost every day.  In that task, Aaron Boone was masterful, and he brought his team to even more wins (103) and take them to the postseason.  The New York Yankees would sweep the Minnesota Twins in four games in the ALDS.

After winning the ALDS, they moved on to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS.  The Yankees shut out the Astros in Game one 7-0. By the time Game 5 came about, the Yankees would find themselves in an elimination game in which the Yankees James Paxton would best the Astros at Yankee Stadium.  The series moved to the last two games at Minuteman Field in Houston.  In Game 6, it would be the top of the ninth that the Yankees would tie the game up when first baseman DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run homer.  But at the bottom of the frame, Altuve’s walk-off Astros home would take them to the World Series.

Many in baseball think that the Houston Astros cheated in the ALCS and that the may have worn electronic devices that alerted hitters what pitch was coming, thus cheating the Yankees of a World Series berth.  MLB later proved that the Yankees were cheated in the 2017 ALCS.  Leading to the further belief that they continued to cheat, although MLB could not find enough evidence to support the claim.  Whatever the case, the Yankees went to the 6th game of the ALCS, proving that Boone’s management success wasn’t just a fluke and further endearing him to fans.

This year with the coronavirus, the season, if played at all, will be greatly shortened with an expanded postseason.  Regardless, Boone’s contract is up whether a season is played or not.  The Yankees do have a team option to hold on to him for a 2021 season when his contract will expire.  19 managers in MLB make more money than Aaron Boone, most of which haven’t made the postseason in years.  With the exception of Davey Martinez, who won the World Series last year for the Washington Nationals.  He earns only $850k a year.

With Boone’s success, the New York Yankees are bound to take up their option and keep Boone for the 2021 season unless he fails miserably in 2020.  What happens after that depends on Boone’s performance and whether the Yankees will be willing to pay Boone, who undoubtedly will demand a salary commensurate with managers that usually take their teams to the postseason.