Joe Girardi wants to return to manage the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman says the feeling is mutual.
Even so, with this being the Yankees, it’s never that easy and Cashman realizes there’s a sense of urgency to get something done with Girardi before his contract expires at the end of the month.
If he doesn’t, there’s a reasonable chance he could be swayed to leave because he will have options.
Cashman is not inclined to grant the Chicago Cubs, who fired their manager Dale Sveum on Monday, permission to negotiate with Girardi. However, Cashman knows if he doesn’t secure Girardi this month, the Cubs would be a formidable obstacle. So might the Washington Nationals, whose manager, Davey Johnson is retiring.
Both teams have the financial resources to compete with the Yankees. Chicago represents home to Girardi; the Nationals might offer a better chance to win, even better than the Yankees.
In what will be an extremely busy and probably expensive off-season, Cashman said re-signing Girardi is the Yankees’ first priority, even above bringing back Robinson Cano.
“He is obviously under contract,’’ Cashman said in his post-season press conference. “And we have an interest in clearly trying to keep him.’’
Girardi is in the last season of a three-year contract that pays him $3 million a year. It isn’t unrealistic to speculate the Yankees might double his contract.
“We are going to give him a real good reason to stay and he has earned that through his six years,’’ Cashman said.
The Yankees’ goal is to have a payroll of $189 million, which could be attainable if Rodriguez is suspended. A manager’s salary doesn’t count toward that cap.
Although the Yankees failed to reach the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years, this was arguably Girardi’s best year as his team stayed in contention until the final week.
Girardi mixed and matched his line-up from the first day of the season as injuries sidelined Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira for substantial stretches; the bullpen was spotty; and CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte had off-years; and Philip Hughes had a terrible season.
Because the perception is the Yankees have unlimited resources and are expected to win, Girardi will probably be overlooked. Both Boston’s John Farrell and Cleveland’s Terry Francona will merit serious consideration for manager of the year honors.
Girardi said he’d like to get his contract resolved soon. The sooner, the better.
John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Yankees and Mets beats. He is a Hall of Fame voter, and currently owns and operates NewYorkMetsReport.com.