The New York Yankees are heading home for the offseason. Tuesday night, the Yankees dropped the American League Wild Card Game to the rival Boston Red Sox (BOS 6, NYY 2), advancing Boston and eliminating New York. The Red Sox will now face the Tampa Bay Rays in the League Division Series. It is the second time in four years the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees.
"We just didn't get the job done, all season long," Aaron Judge told reporters, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, following the Wild Card Game loss. "We've got to keep working. Individually and as a team, there's a lot of things that we need to continue to work on and continue to improve to push us to the next level. So I guess it's back to the drawing board."
By any measure, this was a disappointing season for the Yankees. They came into the season as AL East favorites -- SportsLine, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus all forecast the Yankees as division favorites -- yet settled for 92 wins and the second wild-card spot, and did not clinch a postseason berth until the final day of the season. It was a long, difficult year.
The pitching was excellent. The Yankees finished third in the league in ERA and second in ERA+, and that was despite COVID-19 outbreaks and injuries. The offense greatly underperformed. The Yankees finished 18th in runs scored per game and were exactly league average in terms of OPS+, which is far below expectations. The defense and base running was also suspect.
As is the case every year they don't win the World Series, the Yankees head into the offseason with significant questions to answer, and the possibility of some sort of shakeup. They've resisted such a shakeup for a few years now, but another quick exit in October can change the equation. Here are the three biggest questions facing New York this offseason.
1. What is Boone's future?
The Yankees did not win the World Series, which means it's time to question the manager's job security. That's just the way it is, though in Boone's case, questions about his job security have lingered all year. His team has underperformed and it's now four straight disappointing postseason exits under his watch. Questioning whether Boone is the right manager is fair game.
"I really don't," Boone told reporters, including NJ.com's Randy Miller, prior to the Wild Card Game when asked whether he worries about his job security. "I'm sure my faith has something to do with it, my family. This is my livelihood. This has been a huge part of my life. I love it. It means a lot to me. But at the end it's not everything."
GM Brian Cashman has backed Boone consistently -- Cashman regularly says he hopes Boone will manage the team another 10 years -- and so has chairman Hal Steinbrenner. In July, Steinbrenner told the New York Post's Dan Martin that "no one works harder" than Boone, and laid the blame for the team's disappointing start to the season squarely on the players.