Yankees’ Aaron Boone could end up the scapegoat

mlb: new york yankees at atlanta braves, aaron boone
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

As the tumultuous 2023 season draws to a close, the New York Yankees find themselves facing some monumental decisions. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has already signaled that drastic moves are on the table, especially if the team, mostly healthy, misses the playoffs. Given their current last-place position in the AL East, a roster shakeup seems inevitable.

The Aaron Boone Misconception: Why He Shouldn’t Shoulder the Entire Blame

One rising narrative points to manager Aaron Boone as the likely scapegoat for the Yankees’ woes. However, that wouldn’t actually resolve any issues. Boone didn’t trade for Josh Donaldson or acquire Frankie Montas; those calls were made by General Manager Brian Cashman and his analytics team.

If Steinbrenner doesn’t intervene, Cashman may have no option but to throw Boone under the bus despite players vocally supporting Boone just this Friday.

Boone’s Job Security: A Bleak Outlook

Boone himself acknowledges his precarious position, considering the team’s disheartening distance from playoff contention. “I don’t know. If there is or isn’t [anything he can do to save his job], it doesn’t change anything for me,” Boone said. “I’m going to keep preparing and working the same way.”

The looming possibility of Boone losing his job seems more a reflection of organizational failures rather than his own doing. Cashman should shoulder more blame due to a series of poor contracts and trades over recent off-seasons.

Cashman’s Role: The Real Culprit?

For Cashman, navigating the challenges of those regrettable deals has become a significant hurdle. The waiting game for those contracts to expire handcuffs the team in a way they can’t readily control. Boone, for his part, maintains a stoic outlook.

“I can’t worry about any of that stuff because it’s out of my control,” Boone said fore Friday’s game. “I try to have perspective on things and just do the work. I try to separate certain things, and I think I do that better than most.”

The Yankees’ Path Forward: Prospects and Free-Agent Acquisitions

The Yankees do have a potential exit route from this slump, but it requires a mix of fortune and spot-on free-agent acquisitions in the coming off-season. There’s also a pressing need for several prospects like Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira to step up. Additionally, we might witness the promotion of Jasson Dominguez next year to bolster the outfield.

Plugging the Gaps: Upcoming Free-Agent Market

Cashman faces another daunting task: reconfiguring the starting pitching rotation. With Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German likely hitting the open market, there will be some salary space to reallocate toward new acquisitions.

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Educated Guess: Cashman and Boone Get Another Shot

In my opinion, it’s probable that both Cashman and Boone will be given another chance to right the ship. However, a second consecutive year of underperformance would inevitably put their jobs on the chopping block.