According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the New York Yankees have made a contract offer to manager Joe Girardi – far before the Chicago Cubs even have the opportunity to talk to him.
The two sides – the Yankees organization and Girardi – met today to discuss the offer. However, Girardi countered with parameters and the two sides have agreed to meet again on Thursday to further discuss a deal.
The Peoria, Illinois native and former Cubs draft pick called the Yankees’ job a “dream job” prior to accepting the role prior to the 2008 campaign. His current contract, which expires at the end of October, is reportedly worth roughly $3 million per year – and his new deal is expected to be between $4 and $5 million annually.
A report earlier today confirmed what many had come to suspect. Theo Epstein and the Cubs’ front office are extremely interested in bringing Girardi to the Windy City as the team’s manager. The reasoning behind the motivation was that they believe the former big league catcher can revitalize fan interest in a franchise that has seen a declining attendance rate for the past five seasons.
While Girardi is obviously the ideal candidate for the opening, several other names have been mentioned included Brad Ausmus and A.J. Hinch – both of whom have ties to Cubs’ general manager Jed Hoyer. As much as I’d like to see Girardi back in Cubbie Blue, I just don’t see him leaving the Big Apple.
Heyman delved into a series of reasons why Girardi could stay in New York in his piece.
– Girardi called the Yankees job his “dream job” upon taking it before the 2008 season. He might have had a chance to go to the Dodgers at that time, but he jumped at the Yankees’ job. He’s now won four rings as a Yankee, three as player and one as manager, in 2009.
– Girardi relishess working for baseball’s most historic franchise (would he wear No. 28 if he didn’t?)
– Girardi is not only very close to general manager Brian Cashman but also managing partner Hal Steinbrenner.
– Girardi and his family have settled in the northern New York City suburbs of Westchester and are thought to be happy there.
– The Yankees for more than a decade have paid their manager near the top of the scale, though Mike Scioscia and Dusty Baker are two who make more presently, at $5 million and $3.5 million, respectively. With their payroll expected to go down for 2014, the Yankees also might have a hard time claiming budgetary issues (manager salaries do not count against the luxury-tax thresshold).
With Brian Cashman extremely hesitant to allow Girardi to even speak with Chicago and contract negotiations underway, Cubs fans could see their golden goose snatched up off the market before the courting process even began.