Hal Steinbrenner plans to have Aaron Boone return as manager

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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TAMPA, Fla, — Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner plans to keep Aaron Boone as his manager.

“As far as Boone’s concerned, we just signed him and for all the same reasons I listed a year ago, I believe he is a very good manager,” Steinbrenner said as he left the Yankees player development complex. “I don’t see a change there.”

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

Cleveland extended the Division Series to five games before New York was swept in four games by Houston in the AL Championship Series.

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

“But you’ve got to give it to the Astros,” Steinbrenner added. “They’re a very good team top to bottom. We just didn’t bring our `A’ game.”

New York changed managers 21 times in 36 seasons while George Steinbrener was controlling owner from 1973-2008. There has been one change in 14 seasons under Hal Steinnbrenner, with Boone replacing Joe Girardi after the 2017 season.

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

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

Steinbrenner declined to address the pending free agency of outfielder Aaron Judge.

In the hours before opening day, Judge turned down a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29, choosing instead to remain eligible for free agency after the World Series.

He set an American League record with 62 homers, tied for 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 strikeouts in the postseason, going 1 for 16 (.063) with no RBIs against the Astros.

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

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

Cashman, the GM since 1998, is finishing a five-year contract.

In addition to Judge, pitcher 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 (setback following Tommy John surgery), Michael King (fractured elbow) and Ron Marinaccio (shin) were key relievers sidelined during the playoffs.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.