[You knew this wasn’t going to take more than a day to become an Obsessive Watch, right?]
There’s still a ton to digest from yesterday’s Dale Sveum firing, and the managerial search that begins today. While everyone roots around trying to dig up a list of potential candidates, the one name that even a casual fan could have come up with is not only the most prominent, it may be the most viable.
I refer, of course, to New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who is in the last month of his contract with his team. From here, he could re-sign with the Yankees, move on to another team, or take some time off to do a little TV work. If it’s going to be that middle option, the Chicago Cubs reportedly very much hope it will be with them.
According to reports from Dave Kaplan, Bob Nightengale, Dan Bernstein, and Wallace Matthews, among others (some of whom merely imply interest), Girardi is the Cubs’ top choice. According to Nightengale, for example, the Cubs are “targeting” Girardi, and believe he would be a “perfect fit.”
Nightengale adds, however, that Girardi appears to be seriously considering the year-off/TV option, rather than re-upping with the Yankees or jumping ship to the Cubs.
In the end, though, there’s plenty of smoke to suggest that the Cubs are affirmatively interested in Girardi – and he definitely checked all of Theo Epstein’s enumerated boxes yesterday (and let’s not ignore that he offers certain marketing advantages) – rather than this being a mere media creation, connecting obvious dots and what-have-you. This could be a situation where Girardi’s family wants to stay in New York, Girardi wants to spend more time with his family, the Cubs want Girardi, and Girardi likes the idea of going to the Cubs. Add that all together in a stew, and you get a difficult situation to sort out (real life tends to be full of ‘em). We’ll see how it plays out.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman is meeting with the media today, and he indicated that negotiations with Girardi’s camp on a possible new deal have already started. Cashman expects to sit down with Girardi’s agents tomorrow. It sounds like the Yankees will make a significant bid to keep Girardi.
It’s worth pointing out, and I’ll discuss this separately, that both Matthews and Nightengale mention that Brad Ausmus – previously mentioned as a candidate, and then dismissed by some reports – is also one of the Cubs’ top choices. Things are never this simple, but you should probably prepare to hear a whole lot of “Girardi Plan A, Ausmus Plan B” type stuff over the coming days and/or weeks.