Via Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald -
In theory, something that strange could occur with Girardi and the Yankees after the Yankees make another run at the title this fall.
The delicate nature of all things Yankee is evidenced by the fact that Girardi staffed me out Tuesday, something he has never done in the 20-plus years I’ve known him.
Rather than throw any chum in the waters, he had his agent return my call to say, essentially, nothing, not wanting to answer the Cubs question he has been getting since March.
Regardless, the Yankees expect to bring back Girardi, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, all free agents in November.
GM Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner family have given every indication that they want Girardi back, but they don’t talk contract during the season, not even for Jeter or Rivera.
So, all things being equal, Girardi will stay with the Yankees and get a nice raise from the $7.5 million, three-year deal that ends in a couple of months.
In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt his leverage that the Cubs have an opening and Girardi grew up in Peoria a Cubs fan, played for the Cubs, and his wife, Kim, is from here.
But unless someone in New York really angers him, it’s hard to imagine him leaving a job where he’s offered a chance to win the World Series every season.
Through his rep, Girardi said Tuesday he intends to focus on winning a World Series again this October and otherwise doesn’t want to talk about it.
He’ll be in Chicago on the South Side on Friday and will get assaulted by media wanting to know if he’s coming home.
Girardi intends to make a brief statement and be done with it, though it rarely works that way.
On Monday in Toronto, Girardi told the New York press: “I’m very happy here (with the Yankees). I have a great working relationship with everyone involved. This organization has been great to me.
“I’m sure I’m going be asked that a lot now that (Lou Piniella has) stepped down. My focus is here. I have a responsibility to the organization and to the guys in that clubhouse.”
Girardi added, “I know I have a background (in Chicago) and I’m not going to skirt (it).
“I grew up a Cubs fan. I played for the Cubs. But I’m worried about what we’re doing now. We’re in a fight.”
At the end of 2007, it cost the Yankees $7.5 million to ink Girardi for three years. How much will Joe want now, that he’s won a ring in New York? He’s going to want another three year deal – at least. But, this time, it will be for more money. How much?
Put it this way: The Cubs were paying Lou Piniella about $4 million a year (this season). And, before that, the Cubs were paying Dusty Baker about $3.5 million a season. Tony La Russa makes about $4 million a year. Ditto Joe Torre.
Then again, Buck Showalter “only” makes about $1.5 million a season. And, Joe Maddon is around that range too. Ditto Charlie Manuel.
In any event, Girardi is not taking a pay-cut. So, bare minimum, he’s going to want at least $3 million a season.
Are the Yankees willing to give General Joe a $12-15 million contract to manage the Yankees for the next four years? If not, he may just look into that Cubs job…and not just for show.