Joe Torre has ended his career as manager of the New York Yankees, rejecting a substantial pay cut after the team failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year.
The 67 year old turned down a $5 million one-year contract, $2.5 million less than he earned last season.
Rather than accept a salary cut coupled with a performance-based contract, the man who led the Yankees to 12 playoff appearances decided to walk.
Bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to replace Torre, who won four World Series championships with the Yanks but none since 2000.
The former New York Mets player, Torre, who took over the team to start the 1996 season, made his decision after traveling from New York to the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Florida, and meeting with owner George Steinbrenner, the owner's sons and top executives for about an hour.
New York's offer included $3 million in bonuses if the Yankees reached next year's World Series and an $8 million option for 2009 that would have become guaranteed if New York won the AL pennant.
Torre had just completed a $19.2 million, three-year contract.