Aaron Boone will be entering his 2021 option season with no future contract, but what will the criteria be for him to receive an extension?
Three seasons into his managerial career, the Yankees have made the playoffs every season since Aaron Boone took over before the 2018 season. Since then, they have exited in the Divisional round twice and the Championship series once and have yet to make the World Series.
The 2021 season is not only crucial for Brian Cashman and the front office but is incredibly crucial for Boone if he wants to stick around in the Bronx. There are two scenarios that I believe will keep Boone around if he accomplishes any one of the three this season.
Have Positive Feedback from the Players
In the current era of baseball, there is nothing more important than having a manager that the players can relate to. Boone is not a spring chicken by any means but is young enough to understand how the current system works with analytics.
The Chicago White Sox hired Tony La Russa this offseason, which was faced with much criticism. Why would La Russa’s hiring be so terrible considering the last game he managed was the World Series-winning game for the Cardinals? Because he hasn’t managed a game since 2011 and more than likely cannot relate to the players.
Age isn’t a problem in this league when it comes to hiring managers, as Dusty Baker is 71 years old and still managed to take the Houston Astros deep into the playoffs in 2020. But Baker has experience dealing with the “new age” of baseball, where La Russa does not.
Boone cannot lose 80 games and expect to keep his job, but if they experience a Wild Card or another Divisional round exit in 2021, maybe ownership will look for player feedback to see if they believe Boone can bring a title to the Bronx in the upcoming seasons.
Making a Deep Run in the Playoffs
Although I do not believe it will take a World Series win to keep Boone in a job, making a deep run in the playoffs might be what gets him another contract.
A deep run is not making it to the ALCS and losing in four or five games. The series must go to six, preferably seven, games in which the Yankees are constantly showing their competitive nature. The only exception to Boone losing his job in this scenario is if the Yankees hold a 3-0 or 3-1 lead in the series, and are sent home after seven games.
Going to the World Series may be an automatic contract lined up for Boone, simply because he broke the drought of not making the fall classic since they last won it in 2009.
Even if Boone does not remain with the Yankees past the 2021 season, he will find a job almost instantly, even without the success the Yankees have wanted from him. I do not see the Yankees extending him before the season starts or during the season, but waiting until the end of the 2021 season to make that decision.