Kimberly Jones, YES’ lead pregame and postgame reporter for the past seven years, will not return to the network for the 2012 season.

“It was a terrific seven years, especially when I didn’t know if I’d make it through the first one, and neither did anyone else,” she said, laughing. “It was filled with highlights and moments that only the Yankees can provide. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity at YES.”

YES had offered Jones a new contract, and the parting was amicable. “We would love to have her on the YES team this season, but certainly understand her decision,” YES spokesman Eric Handler said. “She was a valued member of our Yankees broadcast team, and we wish her nothing but the best.”

Handler said YES is “looking at a number of options” to fill Jones’ role. One logical candidate would be Jack Curry, primarily a studio analyst at the network.

There is indeed only one logical candidate and it’s not Jack Curry. It’s NESN’s Heidi Watney.

This would be the best acquisition of the offseason.