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Aaron Boone says he definitely wanted to stay as Yankees manager

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on from the dugout before an MLB baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Brian Cashman said if Aaron Boone hit the open market, he might be "the No. 1 managerial candidate in baseball," but Boone said that was never anything that crossed his mind.

"This is definitely the place I want to be," Boone said Tuesday after the club announced he had been retained on a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth season.

Boone, 328-218 in four years with four playoff appearances after taking over for Joe Girardi, described himself as being "really excited to be back here, moving forward with this group and trying to reach our goal of being a champion."

The Yankees have come up short in that area since their last title in 2009. This season ended with a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the wild-card game.

Three of Boone’s coaches quickly lost their jobs as hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and third base coach Phil Nevin, one of the manager’s closest friends in the game, were not asked back.

"That hurt," Boone said.

He acknowledged not "having a lot of say necessarily in some of the decisions that came down" when it came to those coaches, but he expects to have a voice in who replaces them (or regarding any other staff changes that could come).

"Certainly, putting a coaching staff together, that's always something that I have a heavy hand in," Boone said. "And I think my opinion is valued, and certainly me signing off on things I believe is very important and expected."

Shopping for a shortstop

Cashman acknowledged that Gleyber Torres is not the answer at shortstop.

"The bottom line is shortstop is an area of need and we have to address it," Cashman said. "Gleyber is best served at second base, in reality."

Torres, an All-Star at second base in 2018 and again in 2019, when he split time between second and short, was transitioned to a full-time shortstop in 2020 with mixed results.

The results were far less mixed this season. Torres was a disappointment in the field and at the plate before being moved back to second late in the season.

As a result, Gio Urshela went from third to short and DJ LeMahieu, a three-time Gold Glove winner at second, shifted to third.

The Yankees don’t have an obvious in-house solution at short. Two of their top prospects at the position — Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe — are considered at least a year away from the big leagues.

The free-agent market will be flush with quality shortstop options — Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Trevor Story head the list — but it remains to be seen whether managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner will give Cashman the go-ahead to offer the kind of money it would require to land one of them.

On the injury front

Cashman said LeMahieu, who struggled at the plate much of the season and dealt with a sports hernia the last part of the year, underwent surgery last week that has a recovery time of roughly eight weeks. Cashman also said Jameson Taillon will undergo surgery Oct. 28 to repair a tendon tear in his right ankle and that the righthander is expected to be "fully operational" in about five months.

New York Sports