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Would impending free agent Joe Girardi leave the Yankees?

Sep 13, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman Getty Images

Joe Girardi is getting a ton of praise for keeping the Yankees in the playoff picture despite an incredible number of injuries wrecking the roster all season, which is interesting timing with the manager’s contract up after the season.

Ken Rosenthal of broaches the topic of whether Girardi would ever leave the Yankees as a free agent or, short of that, if he can at least leverage the situation into a big raise. Girardi is from Chicago, so the Cubs job might be appealing, and high-profile teams like the Nationals, Angels, and Phillies may all have openings. And he’s about to finish up a three-year, $9 million contract.

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear he wants Girardi back and Girardi has dropped some hints suggesting he plans to be back, such as revealing how he’ll try to talk Mariano Rivera out of retiring to pitch another season for the Yankees. Girardi has a .583 winning percentage in six seasons managing the Yankees, which is the equivalent of a 94-68 record prorated to one 162-game season.

My guess is that he’ll be back in New York, but for a lot more than $3 million per season.

  1. jarathen - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    They’ve also had incredible luck in one-run games this year, which I just realized today. They’re like the Orioles of 2013.

    • peymax1693 - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Well according to Oriole fans luck had nothing to do with why they won as many one run games as they did last year. Instead it was . . . because they scored more runs than their opponents. Yeah, that’s it.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Thanks for painting all Oriole fans with that wide (and uninformed) brush. Most of us recognized their luck in one run games as such, and sat back and simply enjoyed it. Why people insist on poking us regarding something that happened last season is beyond me.

      • jarathen - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        I’m not saying you can’t enjoy luck. I’m saying they’ve been lucky. You can’t look at that lineup and say they’ve been anything but very lucky. And probably well-managed.

        Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if it’s luck or skill or exploding pigeons or scurrying squirrels. All that matters is if you win at the end.

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I still don’t see him as a great manager. He’s done a really good job with his collection of spare parts and with the chaos surrounding A-Rod, though, and has earned a nice raise. The questions are whether Cashman and the Sons of the Boss value him enough to pay him what he wants, and whether he is ready to deal with another season like this one, since I think next year could be like this. A gig with the Cubs, who are getting close to being contenders, might be more rewarding. Then again, he would have to live all those pitching changes unique to the NL.

    • bh0673 - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Look what he was able to do in Florida back in 2006 with a team full of rookies and the lowest payroll in baseball, the guy does know the game. Is he a great manager, time will tell, is he a very good manager the answer is yes. He is able to handle the personalities, some of whom he played with as a teammate and he is able to deal with the New York media which can be brutal. However I can’t see the Yankee brass wanting to take a chance on bringing in a manager who can’t handle the heat in New York either. The guy knows the game very well and has a pulse for the most part on who to get the most out of the pieces he has to work with and can handle the pressure.

    • jm91rs - Sep 13, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      The Cubs are not close to contending in the NL Central. 3 teams on the way up in that division and I don’t see the Cubs being relevant for awhile. If he wants to go there to move home and make more money, fine, but no amount of solid coaching is going to take that team anywhere in the next 2-3 years.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        The Cubs have a crap ton of talent on the way and the resources and intelligence to supplement effectively through FA. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them competing in 2015.

  3. cackalackyank - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Joe is not the problem this year. If anything he is auditioning for a NYY team that, for at least the next season or two, is going to have to do more with just a bit less in order to stay relevant and in contention. The farm system is a mess, years of over paying and over rating talent has taken a toll. It just isn’t going to be as easy to get quality FA anymore. So yeah, it is more with a bit less if they really are going to continue to contend..and that’s what Girardi is doing. Even if it is contending for the second wild card, and not the Divison.

  4. largebill - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Not going anywhere. While it is a stressful environment, it is still the top managerial gig in baseball. Deep pockets and a willingness to spend will help avoid losing seasons. Sure everybody wants more money, but shouldn’t take much of a raise to convince him to keep best job in his chosen profession. Joe is no fool and he sees that a great decade in pinstripes is going to send Torre to Cooperstown. He could parlay that payroll to a similar career. He is 18th in winning % and if he maintains that through a much longer career he’ll eventually end up in HoF. If he goes to the Cubs not as likely.

  5. pisano - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    He’s done a good job with what he’s had to work with. Soriano, and Mark Reynolds have at least given some pop from the right side of the plate, but some of those moves left a lot to be desired. Hafner is a total bust, and people rag on Vernon Wells, but the guy is way above average on defense, and he has had some timely big hits. Joe does what the Yankees want him to do, he’s a company man and owners like that. He’ll be back, no doubt.

  6. rathipon - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Girardi is a decent manager but not an elite one. Like most of us, he is good at some things and bad at others. The worst thing about him is that he is a serial over-manager. One thing he doesn’t understand (surprising since he’s a former catcher) is that on any given day a pitcher might just not have it. He is way too quick to take out a reliever who is pitching well in order to bring in an unknown quantity because the match-up looks better on paper. He also has the whole ‘circle of trust’ thing – which means CC Sabathia, who has been terrible this year, is routinely left in the game an inning or two too long. Just enough to give up a lead or put the team further in a whole. He sacrifice bunts too much, and keeps Mariano Rivera on the bench in extra inning games on the road waiting for a save that might never materialize.

    What he’s good at is being a balanced person who is able to insulate his players to some extent from the New York media spotlight. He is fiercely loyal to his players and they respect him for it. He uses the whole roster and makes it a point to give his regular players days off when appropriate. That serves him well since his regulars are so old.

    When all is said and done, the pros probably outweigh the cons. He is a suitable manager for the New York market. But I wouldn’t lose any sleep either if he went elsewhere.

    • NatsLady - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      When you see a guy like Girardi from afar, you don’t (mostly) see his less visible warts. A lot of what you say seems like the opposite of Davey–who won’t bunt except in very rare situations. Fan here think Davey refuses to play “small ball,” and sits around waiting for the three-run homer.

      As for resting regulars–um, not so much. He rests Rendon because he’s a rookie and not used to the rigors of the season, he rests Harper when he’s forced to by the medics. He never rested LaRoche even when he was massively slumping and sick as a dog (and there was an adequate replacement in Tyler Moore available). Never rests Desi and refused to let Danny Espinosa back on the team as a defensive replacement in September. He’s gonna let Ramos catch 23 games in a row because Ramos wants to equal Molina’s record. Forgets to put pinch runners in. Davey likes to have a set lineup and use it night after night after day. If anything, Davey under-manages–which may not be a bad thing, but is frustrating for fans when he won’t platoon for slumping players.

      As for leaving starters in too long–of course that’s a little different in the NL, but on the whole, a manager almost can’t win because, after the fact, OF COURSE you should have pulled the guy sooner, how come you didn’t have the reliever warming up in the third inning already???

      Davey’s had a much quicker hook lately because of the expanded bullpen and the urgency to win games for the team and forget pitcher wins. On the whole, Davey’s pretty good at bullpen management if he has what he considers the “right” tools. He likes to have two long relievers (one RH, one LH) plus a lefty specialist, plus the usual late inning guys. Isn’t always possible that all those types are going to be effective in their various roles. Our LH long reliever wasn’t effective because he wasn’t used enough and he was cut. Now Zach Duke is on the Reds and seems effective in a short-relief role.

      Speaking of roles, Davey is very rigid about them. Says guys like to know their role and prepare for it. Doesn’t mix-and-match, not in the line-up, rarely in the game, not in the bullpen.

      • NatsLady - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Davey also has favorites, but when a guy falls out of favor–(like Storen or Espinosa) watch out, it’s a long road back, maybe never.

        When you see opposing managers do dumb stuff (especially dumb in-game moves), you know, stuff like like Ned Yost, Terry Collins do, that’s when you appreciate Davey. Davey usually thinks a couple of moves ahead about relievers, pinch hitters and the like.

        But there have been times when he’s been out-managed (in games, I mean) and that’s frustrating. My understanding is that if a manager costs no more than 2-3 games with dumb stuff, you’re ok. Davey’s clearly cost the team 2-3 games. However, he’s also gained them back with out-managing the dumb stuff other managers did.

        On the whole, despite the above complaints, Davey’s been a pretty good manager for the team, once you adjust to his style. He talks WAY too much, reveals way too much, and the clubhouse–which should be tight–leaks; you know Rizzo can’t like that. He’s smart but has a huge ego. The general consensus is that Jayson Werth runs the clubhouse with an iron hand. Most fans are glad of Davey’s tenure, but won’t be sorry at all to see it end.

        Rizzo has not tipped his hand at all about who he’d like to see next. The in-house heir apparent is the bench coach, Randy Knorr. After that… Girardi? Maybe. I don’t see him leaving NY, but if he does, you can bet Rizzo’d make a push for him.

  7. chiadam - Sep 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Baseball managers are overrated. Managers / coaches in most sports are.

  8. miketreedy - Sep 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    I wouldn’t resign with Yankees until they guaranteed me that after his suspension AROD woulf be cut from the team. Not matter how much salary the Yankees have to eat.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Really? Because I think Girardi’s quite happy with finally having a productive third baseman this year.

    • zzalapski - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      I didn’t know you’re working for the Yankees, Mike. Your willingness to forsake continued employment with them in order to commit to your principles is admirable, if nothing else. Good luck finding work elsewhere in MLB.

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