Boone, Yankees re-up with 3-year deal

October 19th, 2021

Aaron Boone is continuing his quest to manage the Yankees to a 28th World Series championship.

Two weeks after the Yankees’ season ended in the American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees announced Boone’s upcoming return to the dugout on Tuesday, with both parties agreeing to a three-year contract extension. The deal includes a club option for 2025.

“This is definitely the place I want to be,” Boone said at Yankee Stadium. “I’m really excited to be back here, moving forward with this group and trying to reach our goal of being a champion.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. The extension follows a 92-70 regular season campaign in which the Yankees qualified for postseason play -- their fourth time doing so in as many years with Boone at the helm -- but fell to the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card Game.

“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,” said managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. “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.”

A third-generation big leaguer who hit a pennant-winning home run for the club in 2003, Boone has compiled a 328-218 record across four seasons as the Yankees’ manager. His .601 winning percentage is the fourth-best in franchise history among managers with at least 500 games, trailing Hall of Famers Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre.

“I thought Aaron Boone was part of the solution. He wasn’t a problem or the problem,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “I think Aaron brings a lot of great qualities. He’s a great baseball mind, comes from an amazing family that has a history in this industry for quite some time.

“His ability to connect, to communicate, to be open-minded … to be quite honest, if he was entering the free-agent market, I believe he’d be the No. 1 managerial candidate in baseball. We would be going to market looking for someone like him. I think he’s been a good hire and he’s going to continue to be a good hire.”

Boone’s contract would have expired at the end of the World Series, and Boone said he walked out of Fenway Park unsure about his future after the Oct. 5 loss to the Red Sox, adding that he “was certainly at peace with whatever direction it went.”

In recent chats, Steinbrenner and Cashman expressed their desires for Boone to return for a fifth season and more. Negotiations proceeded smoothly from there between the Yankees and Boone’s agent, Adam Katz, according to Cashman.

“My biggest thing was, for me personally, it’s all about my family and making sure we’re all on board,” Boone said. “Organizationally, it was just wanting to make sure with Cash and with Hal that I felt they wanted me here as much as I want to be here.”

Boone’s coaching staff will look different when pitchers and catchers report to Tampa, Fla. in February. The club opted not to renew the contracts of third-base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.

“That was one of the things I had to kind of work through and reconcile,” Boone said. “That hurt, honestly. Those are people in Marcus and P.J. and Phil that not only do I respect and think they’re really good at what they do in this game, but they’re also people that I love and care about a lot.”

One of baseball’s streakiest teams in 2021, the Yankees recovered from a 41-41 start to post a 50-29 record (.633) across their final 79 regular season games. They qualified for postseason play with the fourth-best record in the Majors in that span, trailing only the Giants (54-24, .692), Dodgers (53-24, .688) and Rays (51-26, .662).

“We put ourselves in a position to have a chance,” Boone said.

Boone has piloted the club to an 11-11 record in the postseason, advancing no further than the 2019 American League Championship Series. After the club’s ’21 ouster at Fenway, several players spoke in favor of the Yankees retaining Boone, including All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge.

“When you’re the manager of this team, you wear the ‘NY’ and wear these pinstripes, it's a heavy burden,” Judge said that night. “A guy like Boonie wears it with pride, shows up to work every single day ready to go … he's just a special person, a special coach, and we hope for more in the future.”

Boone said that he remains proud of what the Yankees have achieved since 2018, praising the efforts of players, coaches, support staff and front office members.

“Going into this year -- and really every year since I’ve been here -- we believe that we’re a team capable of competing for a championship,” Boone said. “That’s been our expectation. We’ve had varying degrees of success along the way, but we want to get to the top of the mountain.”