Yankees reportedly leaning toward keeping Aaron Boone

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Despite falling well short of expectations with 92 regular-season wins (eight behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East), the Yankees, fresh off a loss to the hated Red Sox in last week’s American League Wild Card Game, are reportedly leaning toward keeping manager Aaron Boone, whose contract will expire after the World Series. While ESPN insider Buster Olney did acknowledge the situation in New York is “fluid,” he believes owner Hal Steinbrenner is “inclined” to retain Boone, citing his overall 328-216 record (.601 winning percentage) in pinstripes.

While some within the organization have expressed frustration with Boone for not holding players more accountable (his questionable bullpen meddling has also drawn criticism), Steinbrenner apparently doesn’t “blame” him for the team’s early playoff exit, which extended the Bombers’ title drought to 12 years.

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If Boone becomes a free agent, the 48-year-old, best known for his iconic, series-clinching home run to beat the Red Sox in the 2003 American League Championship Series, would assuredly draw interest from the Padres, who are seeking a replacement for Jayce Tingler. The Mets also have a managerial opening after declining Luis Rojas’ option for 2022.

The Yankees have qualified for the playoffs in each of Boone’s four seasons but haven’t advanced past the ALCS, where they were eliminated by the Astros in 2019. Should New York move on from Boone, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, who spent three seasons on Joe Girardi’s Yankees staff before defecting to Houston, would be a leading candidate to replace him.

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