Who will be John Sterling's long-term Yankees replacement? Decision timeline revealed

97th annual New York Baseball Writers' Dinner
97th annual New York Baseball Writers' Dinner / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

The New York Yankees will honor John Sterling on Saturday after the 85-year-old abruptly announced his retirement on Monday just a couple weeks into the 2024 season. Many speculated he was dealing with health issues, but Sterling refuted that notion, claming he wanted to spend more time with his family and that he was tired of making the commute to and from the ballpark.

Sterling had scaled back the number of games he called in recent years, opting out of road trips and sticking to home games to alleviate the grind.

Nonetheless, both the Yankees organization and WFAN knew the end was near for Sterling, whose had retirement rumors surrounding him for four years now. At 85 years old and sporting a reduced schedule, it was only a matter of time, though not many saw the decision coming in the manner that it did.

That would probably mean a long-term successor has been lined up for a decent while, right? After all, Justin Shackil and Ryan Ruocco saw themselves more involved as a result of Sterling's reduced schedule. 24-year-old Emmanuel Berbari got in on the action, too.

But a recent report from The Athletic (subscription required) suggests the Yankees and WFAN are in "no rush" to reveal Sterling's permanent replacement.

Yankees News: John Sterling replacement to be announced after 2024 season

We can expect a decision when the offseason arrives, according to executives briefed on the matter. The Athletic said there are no favorites for the job, even though Shackil and Berbari have seen increased usage over the last year.

Ruocco was mentioned as a likely "top candidate," but that could conflict with his other duties as a broadcaster for the NBA, WNBA and women's college basketball (ESPN coverage plus Nets games with YES). Brendan Burke is another voice the Yankees have used for coverage and could be an option, but he's the full-time play-by-play announcer for the Islanders, in addition to NHL work on TNT.

Whoever it is, they'll have legendary shoes to fill, as Sterling became a legitimate broadcast icon over the last 35-plus years. Yankees fans are undoubtedly upset, but they're excited for new beginnings with whoever will usher in a new era of Yankees baseball over the airwaves.