Hal Steinbrenner plans to have Aaron Boone return to Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner plans to keep Aaron Boone as his manager.

“As for Boone, we just signed him and for the same reasons I listed a year ago, I think he’s a very good manager,” Steinbrenner said on Wednesday when he opened the player development complex at the Yankees left. “I don’t see any change there.”

Boone agreed to a three-year contract with a team option for 2025 last October. In his fifth season as manager, New York sprinted to a 61-23 record in early July, setting a comparison with the 1998 Yankees champion. But hampered by injuries, the Yankees went 38-40 the rest of the way.

The Cleveland Guardians expanded the American League Division Series to five games before New York was defeated in four games by the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series.

“We didn’t get the job done. … It’s time to take them down,” Steinbrenner said. “Any time we don’t win a championship, it’s a disappointing year. We’ve had a lot of good ups, we’ve had some downs, we’ve had some injuries like everyone else.”

“But you have to give it to the Astros,” Steinbrenner added. “They’re a very good team from head to toe. We just didn’t play our A-game.”

The Yankees have not appeared in the World Series since winning their 27th championship in 2009.

New York was in the postseason without chart-setter DJ LeMahieu, who may need toe surgery, and Andrew Benintendi, who is recovering from wrist surgery.

Steinbrenner declined to address outfielder Aaron Judge’s pending free agency.

In the hours leading up to Opening Day, Judge turned down a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29, opting instead to remain eligible for free agency after the World Series.

He set an AL record with 62 home runs, took the major league lead with 131 RBIs, and finished second in the AL with a .311 batting average. But he hit just .139 with three RBIs and 15 postseason strikeouts, going 1 for 16 (.063) with no RBIs against the Astros.

Steinbrenner spent Monday at Yankee Stadium with general manager Brian Cashman for an early chat about the upcoming offseason.

“We haven’t talked about anything yet,” Steinbrenner said. “Cash and I had some preliminary conversions.”

Cashman, GM since 1998, is ending a five-year deal.

Along with Judge, pitchers Jameson Taillon, Benintendi and utilitymen Matt Carpenter and Marwin Gonzalez are eligible for free agency along with relievers Chad Green, Miguel Castro, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman.

Green (Tommy John surgery), Britton (Tommy John surgery setback), Michael King (fractured elbow), and Ron Marinaccio (shin) were key recoveries who were sidelined during the playoffs.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34883866/hal-steinbrenner-plans-aaron-boone-return-yankees Hal Steinbrenner plans to have Aaron Boone return to Yankees

Emma Bowman

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