TAMPA — Aaron Boone is taking an immediate medical leave of absence to receive a pacemaker because of a low heart rate, the Yankees announced Wednesday.
The 47-year-old manager, who underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, was scheduled to undergo surgery later on Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
“Over the last six-to-eight weeks I’ve had mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath,” Boone said in a statement. “As a result, I underwent a series of tests and examinations in New York prior to the beginning of spring training, including multiple visits with a team of heart specialists. While the heart checkup came back normal, there were indications of a low heart rate which, after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.”
Boone said doctors were confident the surgery would allow him to resume his professional and personal activities and that he looked forward to getting back to work “in the next several days.”
The Yankees did not say who would replace Boone in the interim, but general manager Brian Cashman was scheduled to speak with reporters later on Wednesday.
“The thoughts of the entire organization are with Aaron and his family as he undergoes this procedure and takes the time he needs to properly heal,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Aaron leads our players, coaches and staff with a rare combination of work ethic, intelligence and a genuine concern for others. Our only priority at this time is Aaron’s health and well-being, and we will support him in every way throughout his recovery.”
In his first three seasons as manager, Boone led the Yankees to a 236-148 record. He was the runner-up for AL Manager of the Year in 2019.
The former third baseman’s playing career ended in 2009, shortly after he had undergone open-heart surgery in March to replace a bicuspid aortic valve. He returned to play 10 games for the Astros later that season before announcing his retirement.