FanDuel - WFBC

October 09, 2013

Girardi Spurns Cubs, Signs 4-Year Deal with Yankees: The Chicago Cubs' search for a manager will take another direction after the New York Yankees announced that Joe Girardi agreed to a four-year contract through 2017. Girardi, a former Cubs player and Illinois native, was the focus of the Cubs' managerial search after Dale Sveum was fired Sept. 30. Possible hires include former major league managers Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch and San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria.

posted by rcade to baseball at 04:21 PM - 17 comments

I would have been surprised if he left. Although he's not the greatest of strategists known to MLB, Girardi's alwyas shown a fairly easy-going demeanor in New York, which doesn't seem to be a simple thing to pull off.

posted by dyams at 06:17 PM on October 09

I wonder whether he'll be able to finish that new contract in New York, given the rocky times ahead for the Yankees.

posted by rcade at 06:45 PM on October 09

I'm not sure what the upside in his staying is.

The Yankees are a mess, he's already won a WS with them, and if he does manage to bring them back he wins championship #456. If he brings the Cubs to the WS he's a legend. But hey, lot of money.

posted by justgary at 08:31 PM on October 09

If he brings the Cubs to the WS he's a legend.
I agree, but then again that was the same siren song when Theo Epstein became President of the Chicago Cubs... and they've lost just shy of 200 games over the last two seasons.


That franchise seems to have problems no mere front office or clubhouse management changes can fix. I haven't been paying attention as to whether Theo and Jed Hoyer have been quietly rebuilding that roster and farm system so as to explode into the playoffs unexpectedly, like the Ben Cherington-led Red Sox have.

posted by hincandenza at 10:08 PM on October 09

I'm not sure what the upside in his staying is

He makes great money, he's achieved near rock star status in NY, and his employer has the means and has and will continue to buy him anything he needs to be somewhat successful.

No dis to the Cubs, but Girardi only leaves NY if he's moving to a team loaded with young talent poised to move up. Cubs are at least 3 years from fitting that bill.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:22 PM on October 09

He makes great money

Agreed, as I mentioned. It was rumored the Cubs would beat any offer by the Yankees, but I don't know if that was true or if they actually would have.

he's achieved near rock star status in NY

Which could vanish with a losing season or two.

and his employer has the means and has and will continue to buy him anything he needs to be somewhat successful.

I'm not sure what somewhat successful means, but it doesn't sound like 'somewhat successful is something that will fly in NY. If he doesn't get the Yankees back in the playoffs he won't last his contract (though that's not unusual). And I'm not sure how closely you follow the Yankees, but not many people believe this Yankees ownership is as concerned with winning as with getting under the luxury tax.

Cubs are at least 3 years from fitting that bill.

And he signed a 4 year contract.

Maybe I should have worded my comment better. I think the upside is much greater in Chicago, not that there is no upside to staying in NY. He's with a team that is use to winning, and he's not going to match Joe Torre's record. So yes, if he's successful in NY that's awesome, but it's not going to be, in any way, as great an accomplishment as the first manager that brings a WS title to Chicago.

But yes, the safe move is to stay in NY, and I don't blame him for doing so. Perhaps he looked at the Cubs situation and didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel, and I can't blame him for not wanting to uproot his life.

posted by justgary at 10:52 PM on October 09

I should add that maybe Girardi is looking at the challenge of being the guy that rebuilds the team after the core four are gone, into the next era, and that would be a big accomplishment.

The Yankees look like they have a lot of holes, but so did the Red Sox last season, and it didn't take long to turn it around.

posted by justgary at 10:56 PM on October 09

The Cubs are a dead-end you save for the end of your career. At 48, Girardi is one of the youngest managers in the AL.

Meanwhile, he couldn't possibly fuck things up in New York. The fact that he can stick up for A-Rod in the media and get a 4-year deal out of the front office is practically the stuff of legend. I bet he's one of the few people keeping that clubhouse together. Now it's just a matter of seeing where Cano lands.

posted by phaedon at 12:21 AM on October 10

I haven't been paying attention as to whether Theo and Jed Hoyer have been quietly rebuilding that roster and farm system

Seemed like it from the deals I noticed this year. It looked to me like they've been dumping players for prospects all season.

posted by yerfatma at 09:17 AM on October 10

The Cubs are a dead-end you save for the end of your career. At 48, Girardi is one of the youngest managers in the AL.

Which is what could have been said about the Red Sox pre-2004.

He is young, but I'm not sure why that wouldn't be a positive for taking over the Cubs, especially if it's going to take a few years to turn things around.

posted by justgary at 02:22 PM on October 10

No one seems to remember that Girardi became a success as an active player while with the Yankees. He steered them to their first modern-dynasty-era title, in 1996, and was present for '97 and '98 while graciously molding Jorge Posada into a star. The 2009 championship he achieved as manager was his fourth World Series title, all with the Yankees.

The Yankees of recent vintage are a loyal bunch; they've had two managers in the past 18 years and the same GM for 15. Girardi and Brian Cashman and Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners have a decades-long relationship now, one that by and large seems respectful and appreciative. The Yankees made no hesitation in privately and publicly asking Girardi to come back.

You're the manager of a successful baseball team that has taken good care of you since your 20s. You make millions and have a happy, stable family life in a home not far from work. Your employer offers you a 50% raise to stay for four more years. Would *you* shrug and move to Chicago?

Welcome back, Joe. Glad you never left.

posted by werty at 04:18 PM on October 10

The Yankees of recent vintage are a loyal bunch

The Yankees of recent vintage are in trouble. From the farm system to current contracts. It's the current administration that has put them in that situation. Loyalty doesn't trump winning. They'll either turn it around, or in a few years loyalty will be out the window.

Would *you* shrug and move to Chicago?

I get all the reasons to remain with the Yankees. I'm not denying that's the easier decision. Where I disagree is that there isn't a a chance of a lifetime to bring the Cubs a WS victory. If Girardi doesn't want to try, great. Eventually, someone will, and they'll be treated like a god.

Girardi decides to go down with the ship

posted by justgary at 05:29 PM on October 10

Apparently (you'll just have to trust that I read this in a reputable source that I cannot currently find), Girardi was loathe to leave NY and uproot his family. So it's worth noting that money and the potential for success on the field are only two factors among many, and who knows how Girardi ranks those personally.

As to the Cubs, I think the rebuild is going to take a while longer than just the next couple of years. They did flip some vets (e.g., Garza, Feldman) for prospects and apparently signed the two best international free agents, but their cornerstone stars (Rizzo, Castro) regressed this year and they are going to have to try to become competitive in a division with two other teams with good young talent in St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Epstein and Hoyer inherited a pretty mediocre roster and a relatively barren farm system, and it's going to take a while to build both up.

posted by holden at 05:46 PM on October 10

Girardi was loathe to leave NY and uproot his family

Yep, read the same thing. Said his kids loved NY, loved coming to the ballpark, didn't want to change schools.

But he's now the second highest paid manager, so let's be honest, if he's leaving money on the table in NY, it's minimal. I also doubt he would have stayed with NY if he didn't feel he'd be successful. I'm guessing the front office assured him they would do whatever it took to become successful again.

Keith Law ranked the Cubs the as the 5th best farm system, the Yankees 10th. Of course, predicting success of prospects is pretty sketchy.

posted by justgary at 07:14 PM on October 10

Where I disagree is that there isn't a a chance of a lifetime to bring the Cubs a WS victory. If Girardi doesn't want to try, great. Eventually, someone will, and they'll be treated like a god.

This has been the same siren song for the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last 30 years. A whole lot of coaches/GMs have been wrecked on the rocks of failure in that time.

posted by grum@work at 08:56 PM on October 10

a successful baseball team that has taken good care of you since your 20s.

31. Guess we're not the only ones with memory problems.

posted by yerfatma at 12:06 PM on October 11

they are going to have to try to become competitive in a division with two other teams with good young talent in St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

What, no love for the Reds? I'd argue that the Reds' talent is every bit as good and young as those other two teams, despite the sour finish this year.

Anyhow, carry on.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:58 PM on October 11

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