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Aaron Boone received a three-year contract to remain the manager of the New York Yankees. Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Aaron Boone will be back with the New York Yankees next year, their first manager since Miller Huggins in 1922 to return for a fifth season after failing to win a title during his first four.

“A manager is only as good as the players he’s got,” General Manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday after announcing a three-year contract for Boone that contains a club option for 2025.

“If he was entering the free-agent market, I believe he’d be the number one managerial candidate in baseball,” Cashman said. “There’s a number of different vacancies, and we would be going to market looking for someone like him.”

Cashman and Boone held lengthy end-of-season news conferences, explaining the decision to fire third-base coach Phil Nevin, hitting coach Marcus Thames and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere.

Boone had talked to Nevin about returning and said of getting rid of the trio: “That hurt, honestly.”

“That was one of the things I had to struggle through with for a couple days,” Boone said. “That was a tough couple days for me, honestly. I did have to, I guess, do some soul searching.”

A third-generation major leaguer who hit a pennant-winning home run for the Yankees in 2003, Boone led the team to a 328-218 record and four postseason appearances but just one AL East title.

“I think I can help lead us to the top. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I came back,” Boone said. “Ultimately, though, the proof will be in the pudding.”

Cashman revealed he is in the market for a shortstop to replace Gleyber Torres, who was moved to second base on Sept. 13. He also said right-hander Jameson Taillon will have ankle surgery next week and will not be 100% when spring training is scheduled to start.

“Bottom line, shortstop is an area of need,” Cashman said. “I think Gleyber is best served at second base.”

Cashman has been GM since 1998 and is signed to a five-year contract through 2022.

QUALIFYING OFFERS: The price of a qualifying offer to Major League Baseball free agents dropped by $500,000 to $18.4 million, a sign of the slide in salaries.

The figure is determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year and marks only the second fall. The price fell by $100,000 to $17.8 million in 2019, then rose to $18.9 million in 2020.

Among the top players eligible for free agency following the World Series are Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Corey Seager, Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, Colorado shortstop Trevor Story, Toronto shortstop Marcus Semien, Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo, San Francisco third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant, and Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, outfielder Michael Conforto and shortstop Javier Baez.

A qualifying offer can be made through the fifth day after the World Series, and a player has a week after that to accept. If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the amateur draft, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round or at the end of competitive balance round B. The placement depends on whether the new contract is worth $50 million or more and the revenue-sharing and luxury tax status of the team losing the player.

While the collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 1, the rules remain in effect until a successor agreement or until implementation of new work rules following an impasse in bargaining.

A free agent can be made a qualifying offer only if he has been with the same team continuously since opening day and has never received a qualifying offer before.

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