When manager Aaron Boone chose to wear a full Yankees uniform, somewhat inexplicably, against the Braves last week, some theorized that he was soaking in his final moments in the managerial position. He wanted to remember the feeling of the Nike fabric, the authority that comes with the belt, stirrups, and road grays.
It wasn't that far-fetched. If true, expect him to wear the full pinstripes one last time down the stretch, too, as his rumored dismissal feels almost certain now.
Boone reportedly met with Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman over the weekend prior to the Yankees being officially swept by the Red Sox (though that outcome felt written in stone far sooner than Sunday evening). That meeting (supposedly) was about making swift changes to the roster with 2024's season in mind -- though, of course, the changes weren't nearly swift enough to avert disaster this weekend. Everson Pereira, Austin Wells and Oswald Peraza raked at Triple-A while the big-league team stayed stagnant.
While Cashman apparently has a job for life even after creating this bloated mess of an incomplete roster and whiffing on deadline deals five years running, Boone is not so lucky. His contract expires at the end of next year, and it's painfully obvious to all involved that while he might have been able to skate by during the team's 2018-19 streak, "not being an active detractor" is no longer seen as an asset. Anthony Volpe said it best; this team is having no fun. This team doesn't share a killer instinct or a common goal. That falls on the manager, even if he's not the root cause of the malaise.
Boone remaining in place for 2024 would be a cringeworthy shock, at this point, so it's finally time to -- earnestly -- try to replace him. Each of these four candidates would bring something different to the table, and hopefully would be able to coexist with, while not being beholden to, Cashman.
4 Yankees managers who can follow and replace Aaron Boone
Espada represents the era the Yankees (for whatever reason) tried to make a clean break from the second things started getting interesting. He was Joe Girardi's lieutenant in 2017, and seemed to be a prime candidate to replace him as manager before instead heading to Houston and helping to start their machine as the Astros' bench coach from 2018-present.
You want to make an impact in the Bronx? Learn from the best. Use your financial muscle to facilitate the Braves, Rays and Astros' brain drains. Add coaches and voices who've been in winning locker rooms over the past several years -- not just Wild Card-winning locker rooms, but World Series-winning locker rooms.
The only knock on Espada, the "establishment candidate" here? He interviewed for the Texas Rangers' managerial gig after 2018 and (reportedly, very seriously) for the Chicago Cubs job after 2019. For whatever reason, he did not receive either position, and has remained in place in Houston. Perhaps he's just comfortable? Wouldn't you like to be thriving in Houston? Perhaps he's next in line to replace Dusty Baker, as has been recently theorized. Either way, those two interview processes that didn't go his way -- plus whatever led to his tenure ending in 2017 in New York -- have to be considered.