Report: Mutual Interest *in Talking* Between the Cubs and Joe Girardi

No sense in beating around the bush. Dan Berstein’s tweet says it all:

Well, actually, does it say it all?

joe girardi managerBefore you go too far, let me expound on what exactly this tweet is saying. First, at its most base level, it tells us that – according to Bernstein’s sources – the Cubs want to talk to Girardi, and Girardi wants to talk to the Cubs (well, technically that he’ll “listen” if the Cubs want to talk … but making that distinction, to me, is merely a negotiation tactic, if there’s a distinction at all).

How much does that really tell us? Maybe not as much as you might think. Mutual interest in talking is not the same thing as mutual interest in officially joining up.

Girardi is an impending free agent, and an attractive managerial free agent at that. He’s fresh off of a deal that reportedly paid him $3 million per year to manage one of the best teams in baseball, a job he did reasonably well. Like a 27-year-old slugger coming off a 1.000 OPS season, Girardi would be foolish not to explore free agency now that he’s gotten this close. “Talking” to the Cubs could simply be about wringing the best possible deal out of the Yankees.

That leads us to how this kind of information comes about. Did the Cubs reach out to Girardi’s camp via back channels (he’s still under contract, and direct contact is impermissible) to find out if he was interested in talking once the season was over? Or did Girardi’s camp present this information apropos of nothing? If it’s the former, well, then there’s genuine interest by the Cubs. If it’s the latter, there might not be a ton of interest by the Cubs or by Girardi. It could just be a leverage play, and the Cubs are merely doing due diligence.

And that leads to another wrinkle: timing. Maybe the Cubs do have a little interest in Girardi, but also are fine with bringing Dale Sveum back for his final contract year. If true, the Cubs might want to “talk” to Joe Girardi as soon as the season ends so that they can get a sense of where he stands before they make an official decision with Sveum. That, of course, is a sticky situation, and one that could be difficult to accommodate – especially with the collective eyes of New York and Chicago upon the entire process.

Further, what if there are other candidates the Cubs are considering? If so, that means, even if they know that Sveum is a goner – which has not been established just yet – wanting to talk to Girardi could simply be a matter of the Cubs wanting to talk to a number of possible managers.

In the end, there’s a whole lot you can parse from and analyze into one little tweet (which may be why I love Twitter – because I love parsing and analyzing!). It may not tell us quite as much as we’d think at first blush, but there’s a nugget of something here.

Assuming Bernstein’s sources are correct, of course.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

110 responses to “Report: Mutual Interest *in Talking* Between the Cubs and Joe Girardi”

  1. Voice of reason

    Of course Joe girardi will tell people he is interested in the cubs and will talk to the cubs as he negotiates a new deal with the yankees. In the business world that’s called leverage.

    Girardi will get a big payday from the yanks and stay. I just don’t see him leaving the best baseball manager position in the business.

    The timing is not right for girardi and the cubs. If this was the end of the 2015 season I could see it happening.

  2. Jay

    Couldn’t agree more. Can’t see Girardi walking away from the Yankees for the situation here, and no way NY pushes him out the door.

  3. eaustin92

    I am tired of this stuff of being okay with waiting… we have waited over 100 years for a championship. At first, everyone was like by 2015 we will be ready, but now after? Its really had to watch cubs games anymore and im just ready to see the cubs competitive again. Front office better do something soon. Also, I like that the cubs have gotten younger and all, but everyone seems to think the whole team needs to be like that…you have to have your veterans mixed with your younger players so they can learn what the league is like, because you have to think..when baez, soler, bryant, ect get to the majors they are going to need a few years to adapt. Truth is we honestly need to get some veterans along with these guys in the long run and i think most would agree.

    1. Voice of reason

      You’re just going to have to be patient and see what positions we need to fill with veterans and free agents. The cubs will do that, but they need to see if Bryant ends up in left or right? Who is at third? Will they need a second baseman? Will lake or szcur end up in center? What about right field? It’s going to take a couple more years and then they will add free agents based on needs.

      If they add any free agents this offseason they will be like schierholtz. Cheap and for a year or two.

      1. ClevelandCubsFan

        I think you’ve got a good point VoR… namely, that the needs are a bit amorphous. For that reason, I don’t see them trading any major prospects (though I wouldn’t rule it out) until they foresee the logjams as unavoidable (but before they become reality lest they lose hand in trade negotiations).

        Where I disagree is tat I don’t think this stops them from filling gaps. They can get someone like Choo, who could play all three positions if necessary, e.g., and let Bryant’s position sort itself out. I do think they leave the infield alone, save getting a good hitting utility type guy who could become the second baseman if Barney fails to figure it out.

        So while I think there will be some Schierholtz signings (and more Feldman signings), a big name or two isn’t unreasonable.

        1. Voice of Reason

          Bryant, lake, soler, szcur, almora… we have enough outfielders and we don’t need choo.

          What if in two years we sign Kershaw and then the mariners want to dump Hernandez? Wouldn’t it be great to have the money to add two stud starters because that’s what our need is? Being straddled with choos salary down the road could hurt us.

          Maybe in two years we will need an outfielder. That is when you sign or trade for a player like choo.

          You have to be patient.

  4. eaustin92

    my whole thing is our date is changing at first its 2015 and now it keeps increasing 2016,2017 ect… its starting to show now that attendence is dropping. Maybe that will wake everyone up and get a good team sooner than later. btw we dont need super stars, just proven players with our young studs coming up.

  5. Voice of Reason

    I love the tweet from Bernstein that he’s been informed.by girardis camp that they will listen

    Gee, dont you think they would listen? Since they need to have different teams interested in girardi to help drive up his salary.

    And, why wouldn’t the cubs at least talk/listen?

    Its a senseless tweet from some dopey Chicago sports radio talk show host.

    If there was any merit at all ESPN and all other national media would be all over the story. Its the Yankees!

    Until then the tweet isn’t news worthy.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Yeah, Bernstein likes to create non-news in an undying effort to drive up his need for attention :)

  6. JG

    I’d be very surprised if Girardi doesn’t end up with the Cubs. It’s really no secret he’s always wanted to manage the Cubs and the timing is right here. Could easily be now or never. I think he will make the leap.

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