joe girardi managerAs I’ve said all along, I expect the Joe Girardi piece of the Cubs’ managerial search to proceed quickly. As of yesterday, Girardi was already in negotiations with the Yankees about a new contract, so you’d think we’re going to get clarity on his availability very soon.

  • Speaking of which, Gordon Wittenmyer hears that, when Girardi’s camp countered the Yankees offer yesterday with parameters, one of those parameters was the right to first talk to the Cubs. If true, then Girardi’s “counteroffer” wasn’t really much of a counteroffer at all*, as implied by Jon Heyman’s original report. Indeed, if I’m the Yankees, I don’t view that as negotiating, and I’d probably be lining up my best and final offer (which is maybe what Girardi’s camp is angling for). In the interim, Wittenmyer says the Cubs are readying an offer that would make him one of the top two paid managers in baseball (meaning he’d approach, but not necessarily surpass, Mike Scioscia’s $5 million annual salary).
  • (*As I wrote last night: “For those who hope the Cubs have a shot at Girardi, you’ve got to hope that what transpired today wasn’t a true counteroffer.” Boom. Psychic’d.)
  • According to a report in the New York Daily News, however, the Yankees will not give permission to the Cubs to speak to Girardi. As in, flat out won’t do it. That’s a bit untoward, given that Girardi is an impending free agent, but it’s the Yankees’ right. If true, the Cubs will only get a shot at speaking to Girardi if he refuses to further engage the Yankees in negotiations. What a delicate situation this is, eh?
  • Wittenmyer’s piece, which goes a fair bit more on the managerial search process and is worth a read, also notes that former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, and Indians bench coach (and former Cubs interviewee) Sandy Alomar, Jr. are possible candidates, together with A.J. Hinch.
  • Mark Gonzales writes that A.J. Hinch is being discussed more and more as a legitimate candidate for the Cubs’ post, particularly depending on how things shake out with Girardi. Gonzalez also mentions Alomar, whose Indians were just eliminated from the postseason.
  • According to a report out of San Diego, the Cubs have “informally” requested permission to speak to Hinch about the managerial gig.
  • Patrick Mooney, among other things, mentions Alomar as a candidate, so I’d say it’s pretty safe at this point to say he’s a legitimate option this time around.
  • another JP

    When I agreed with you last night that Girardi’s so-called counter really wasn’t & that the Cubs were still an option for him, our old buddy Gutshot told me I was in denial. The fact Girardi wants to speak to Theo first is a huge development and totally contradicts the narrative spewed by the NY media that the meeting with Cashman went well. Joe is intrigued by coming back home and that’s awesome for us.

    • TWC

      Lulz. Apparently you’re just in denial about being in denial.

      • another JP

        That would be correct. And now Cal Ripken Jr. says he’d be interested if the Cubs came calling. Girardi, Ripken, Canseco– everyone wants a piece of our rebuild. Only will cost $100M for Canseco, hardy har har.

    • CubsFaninMS

      IMO, reading into the current negotiations and actions between Girardi, the Yankees, and the Cubs is comparable to reading into a card game. It’s all a guessing game until we hear something tangible. One thing is clear… Girardi has a good hand.

  • ETS

    no mike maddux rumors floating around yet?

    • BlameHendry

      While he’d be a great manager for most teams, I don’t see him being what the Cubs need right now

      • ETS

        I thought the rumor mill said he was Theo’s favorite last time, but Mike didn’t want to leave TX because his daughters were in school. Maybe the timing is better now?

        • jay

          Maddux was the first choice last time. And he’d be my first choice now if Joe says no.

    • Brett

      None solid enough yet, no. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

      • Ghost of Ron Santo

        If M. Maddux (BIG IF) came in and G. Maddux (EVEN BIGGER IF) was named pitching coach, would there be any issues wearing #31? I recall that the NBA had some picky rules that caused Jordan to wear #45 for awhile after his number had been retired.

    • SenorGato

      Texas really, really, really likes Maddux. It probably will cost an arm and a leg to take him away from there.

  • Mike

    If the Yankees refuse to let Girardi talk to the Cubs and if he really asked that of them then I have to think Girardi really wants to end up with the Cubs. If he wanted to stay with the Yankees he would have made a real counteroffer and would continue negotiating with them. It’s already been said that Girardi would also be fine taking a year off. So even if he gambles and decides to break off negotiations with the Yankees and waits to talk to the Cubs then he can’t lose. If the Cubs decide not to hire him-and I think they will-then he still has the broadcasting/year off option, which has already been set up throughout the course of this story.

  • YourResidentJag

    Carlos Marmol left off NLDS roster.

    • Michael

      Hahahaha who saw that coming?

    • On The Farm

      As long as he finished the season on the roster the Cubs got the salary relief right? (Somewhere around $500k maybe?)

  • Dustin S

    The worst possible outcome from a Cubs standpoint IMO would be if Girardi takes the year off to broadcast option. It sets up the situation where whoever comes in will have a huge cloud hanging over their head a year from now, especially heading into a probably tough 2014. Not that ending up with Girardi in 2015 would be terrible, I just don’t want 2014 to be a wasted Quade-like or lame duck year.

    • YourResidentJag

      And yet I see it as the next logical step beyond refusing to go back to the Yankees.

      • jay

        They need to pull the same thing they did with Andre Dawson and just fax him a blank contract. Have Joe fill in the amount, sign it, send it back, shake Cashman’s hand and tell him to take a hike. I have to believe there’s almost no terms that Ricketts and Theo wouldn’t agree to to get him over here.

        Meanwhile, I do not understand this hard-on they have for Hinch at all.

        • Cubbie Blues

          You have that backwards. Dawson in the one that signed the blank contract.

      • Blackout

        What is the benefit of bringing in a lame duck for another year or two and then starting all over again with Girardi? If Joe is “The Guy” don’t we want him building rapport with the players now?

        • YourResidentJag

          If we’d be getting him after a yr or two, that is.

          • Blackout

            Thought that was too obvious to mention.

  • Brian cubs fan

    sounds like he wants to come to the cubs the cubs plan to make him a top 2 highest paid mlb Manager

  • Eric

    At this point, if the person doesn’t have a statistical bent, they shouldn’t be considered. Anyone know if that excludes Alomar?

    • macpete22

      I know Manny Acta is

      • YourResidentJag

        That’s why if Girardi doesn’t come….he’s my choice over Hinch.

    • Funn Dave

      Because managers need to crunch numbers better than their paid statisticians?

      • Cubbie Blues

        No, but they do have to understand them and believe in the basis of them.

  • The Dude Abides

    Brett your much closer to the situation than most on this site. Is Girardi really Theo’s top pick everyone else a distant second or is this as some sites are reporting more the doing of Rickett$ and Kennedy angling to buy a few more fans in the ballpark as the rebuild continues?

    • Eric

      I’m not convinced that Girardi is Theo’s top pick.

    • Brett

      I suspect it’s not that black and white (things rarely are). I believe the baseball ops guys like Girardi as a candidate – maybe near the top of the pack – and the business ops guys love Girardi as a candidate. When you have that confluence, maybe Girardi becomes “the” guy, even if he’s not the absolute top choice.

      That said, I get the sense that the front office very much hopes they get a chance to at least speak to Girardi. Where it goes from there, I’m not sure even they know yet.

      • http://It'searly Mike F

        i think that’s very true Brett. And I think it’s in Theo’s best interest to talk to him. I think in this instance Ricketts has every right to pressure or suggest Joe to Theo. More importantly, I think to some extent Tom’s arm length from the Baseball Operation and understanding of the Cub and Chicago media culture give him a better perspective than Theo. There is a time to listen to those around you, especially your boss and in Theo’s case, I think it is critical he pay close attention to Ricketts.

  • Jim

    So … if Girardi is countering that he “MUST” be able to speak to the Cubs about their position before making a decision and the Yankees are saying “NO”, doesn’t that just hold the Yankees hostage for a month as well? Seems like it would be in everyones’ best interests to cooperate and tie this up quickly. If the Yankees hire a different manager, does Girardi still have to wait until November to talk to other clubs?

    • another JP

      Should the Yanks go out & hire Tony Pena or some other guy I’d guess the October 31 deadline would be nullified. And if NY refuses to honor Girardi’s request to speak to the Cubs I bet JG waits out the month. What Cashman wants is for Girardi to negotiate against himself, and Joe’s intelligent enough to know that his best offer won’t be the first one.

  • Chad
    • D-Rock

      Cal Ripken Jr. would be a nice consolation prize if Cubs can’t land Girardi.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Why? What evidence is there that Cal Ripken will be a quality big league manager? None, nada, zero. And Theo has been very clear that the Cubs are looking at candidates with previous managerial experience on their resume. That’s not Ripken.

        • Northside Neuman

          I don’t know, if I was to hire one player who had zero managerial experience (exp- Ventura) to manage my team, I would highly consider Cal Ripken Jr. to be that guy.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Is it not kind of amusing what the media definition appears to be for a “counteroffer”. I want to talk to some other possible employers is a counteroffer?
    Girardi has been a done deal for the Cubs since late August, he is just running out the clock on the Yankees. He was coming back, there would have been an extension a long time ago boys.
    I hope people realize what we will be getting in Girardi. The guy has an ego the size of Lake Michigan. Very talented leader, but he will drive you nuts listening to his proclamations over the course of a season. A lot like LaRussa, probably the smartest guy in the room, and he wants to make sure everybody knows it.

  • Frank

    Here is one scenario. Girardi takes the year off, the Cubs hire Quade for one year and instruct him to manage like the total ass he is. The Cubs lose 120 games and end up with the number one draft pick. 2015, the Cubs hire Girardi, they win the world series and everyone lives happily ever after.

  • RD

    Off topic, but did anyone else read that Shark is looking for an 8 year/7 figure extenstion? If this is true, one would think he is officially on the trading block.

    • macpete22

      Heard he wanted a no trade clause as well

      • On The Farm

        Yeah, have fun playing somewhere else. So much for local hometown discount theories.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Kind of insane really. I predict the Cubs will trade him this winter. Talking about a guy who will be 29 years old next season. He has started 66 major league games and won 18 games as a starter. It would be a huge over pay. Lets face it, he stunk it up the last two months of the season.

    • Blackhawks1963

      No chance do I give Spellcheck a lucrative long-term contract. He’s got electric stuff and a big arm, but lets face it other than the 2012 season he’s been an enigmatic disappointment and head case. 2012 is looking the aberration. Heck, his last 21 starts in 2013 his ERA was over 5.00 !

      I would put him on the trade block this winter and see what happens. If not, bring him back in 2014 and see how things play out.

      • Joe

        Headcase? How does this nonsense get started?

    • Northside Neuman

      Or officially off his meds….

  • Matt

    If the New York Daily News report is correct, this is starting to sound like Congress.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I don’t see Girardi happening. Not for a second do I believe the Steinbrenner boys let Girardi walk. They’ll offer Girardi the highest managerial salary in the game and guarantees that they will invest very heavily in talent. Girardi is a Yankee way more than he is a Cub. He won 3 World Series Championships as a Yankee catcher, and 1 as the manager. He’s beloved in the Bronx.

    I’m way more interested to consider other realistic names. Torey Lovullo, Tony Pena and AJ Hinch each intrigue me. I also won’t be surprised if the Cubs make a play for Bud Black in San Diego. You don’t need to be a former winning manager to become a succuessful manager in your next stint. Look at the early career failures of guys like Terry Francona, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre… I trust Theo Epstein to eventually hire the right guy.

    • Cubbie Blues

      You do realize he grew up in Illinois and graduated from Northwestern right? He also played 7 years for the Cubs and 4 for in NY. He was also drafted by the Cubs.

      • Blackhawks1963

        This is the Yankees we are talking about. The most storied and successful franchise in all of professional sports. Winners of 28 World Series !!! To include 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009. And Joe wore the Pinstripes either as player or manager in 4 out of 5 of those championship runs.

        Girardi and his wife live in New York. And like it. I don’t think where Joe played college baseball or the fact that he’s native of Peoria are going to sway his family’s thinking. Not when the Steinbrenner boys are prepared to open up the vault. And if you know you baseball history in the modern era, then you know the Steinbrenners ALWAYS get what they covet.

        • Voice of Reason


          You hit the nail on the head.

          If he feels some sort of compassion to Peoria or Northwestern he’ll be able to buy a mansion in Peoria and a mansion near Northwestern’s campus. If he doesn’t want to buy mansions there because he owns an island off of Hawaii then he can buy a small plane to fly him to Peoria or Northwestern when he wants.

          We’re not talking about a guy who will be paid $75,000 to manage the Yankees. Girardi is worth millions. People need to let go of these emotional attachments that he was in the Cubs organization and went to Northwestern… who cares??

    • Voice of Reason

      ” I trust Theo Epstein to eventually hire the right guy.”

      You mean like when he made the right decision in hiring Sveum?

      • On The Farm

        He was also the guy that hired Francona in Boston. You should look at the entire body of work when judging/evaluating a front office.

        • http://It'searly Mike F

          I am a Theo guy, but his ability on hiring managers is an open question. Clearly at best, he’s 1 out 3 and that 1 was run out of Boston and Theo didn’t want here. The question is open, and a bad hire, while most of us won’t want it would play to the worst of Cub Fans and have more impact on management, I firmly believe, than we thing. This pick can’t have downside, and it can’t be a fumble. If it is it will lead to kind of instability that has led to a 105 years of losing. No one, including Theo has the right to lecture Cub fans about patience. I think it critical that this manager be seen early and often as a winner and competent. Most of the names thrown out, starting with Hinch and Wedge, would have a huge hole to dig out of. The honeymoon for Theo, if he doesn’t make a perceptive and popular choice is over.

      • AB

        I still can’t believe Voice of Reason didn’t know Jack McKeon was the manager for the Marlins in 2003 and thought it was joe Girardi. Its like he didn’t watch the Cubs that year at all.

  • Die hard

    Memo to Theo. NO to Joe and YES to Kess

  • Voice of Reason

    The move by Girardi to request a conversation with the Cubs is business.

    Girardi’s agent doesn’t want him to sit back and take what the Yankees give him. His agent wants him to get some leverage for more money from the Yankees instead of just taking what the Yanks offer. That’s where the Cubs fit in. The Cubs are being used as a pawn for Girardi.

    It has to 99.9% that Girardi sticks with the Yanks if not more…

    • Blackhawks1963

      Yep. Girardi wants to talk to the Cubs as further leverage in getting precisely what he wants from the Yankees. I say 99% chance he stays in the Bronx. He’s a Yankee way more than he was ever a Cub. More power to the guy. He’s a great manager and first-class.

  • Lets Go Cubeies

    My prediction is Girardi to the Cubs, Mattingly bolts from Los Angeles to New York, Sciosca leaves the Angels to head for the Dodgers, and Bobby Valentine is still Athletic Director at Sacred Heart College…

    • On The Farm

      I am not sure if you are making fun here, but Sciosca is set up with the Angels for a long, long time. He is not going anywhere.

  • SenorGato

    I really find this whole manager thing secondary to players. My thought is just that landing Girardi means they plan to be active this offseason and actually put a contender on the field.

  • Lets Go Cubeies

    The only one I think would be rare to actually happen would be Sciosca one, but who knows. The way they underperformed last year, and this year would have me worried. If I was Sciosca and I saw how god awful their farm system is and all of those old lengthy and expensive contracts I would just run away as fast as possible. The one I am completely certain on though is the last one…Valentine to Sacred Heart.

  • Aaron

    I’ve heard an argument recently that supposedly came from inside the Cubs that money spent of Garardi’s salary of say $5 million is a much more “efficient” to keep the fan base in check and minimize and perhaps even increase attendance at Wrigley from sliding any more, than spending $20-40 million more in NEW annual salaries with some of the better free agents.

    You know what, the ownership is right. It could be some of the best money spent this off-season, especially if you weren’t really going to add more talent via free agency.

    But what about Girardi’s take on this business angle? What about the fans who are hungry to see a winning ball club and get thrown a bone that will hopefully last another season or two.

  • CubsFaninMS

    RUMOR: “The Cubs front office is on their knees begging for Girardi. He is their primary candidate for the job.”

    RUMOR: “The Yankees won’t let Girardi speak to the Cubs.”

    RUMOR: “Girardi included in his counter-offer the request to speak to the Cubs.”

    Too many unknown variables here, folks. Let’s not base our assumption on rumor until there’s more tangible knowledge. I like the Joe Girardi idea just as much as anyone but let’s hold our horses and not pull another “psychotic fan Sandberg episode”.

  • Napercal

    Hard to believe that Theo would stand in front of the microphone next to AJ Hinch wearing a Cub jersey and say this is the guy we wanted all along.

  • MightyBear

    Good article on MLBTR on Cubs offseason

    Interesting tidbit and I was going to bring this up. I believe if the Cubs can’t get any traction on a long term, team friendly deal for Samardizja, they will deal him this offseason.

  • Satch Dobrey

    Wishing for Girardi but I got a hunch its going to be Hinch…

  • Anthony Martini

    Maybe Girardi feels there is business to compelte after the loss he was apart of in1989. As a fan and Season ticket holder, I am not going to be happy with Hinch or Martinez.

    • YourResidentJag

      Oh, who knows, they could get Acta or Trey Hillman and still meet the criteria for experience. Not Girardi, but it may have to be.

  • Walrus

    It’s too bad Joe Maddon is tied up for two years. He has done a great job with the Rays, young playres and a limited payroll. Imagine what he could do with the Cubs and almost twice the payroll.

  • Troy

    Hinch is literally Dale Svuem 2.0. How bout a hell no.

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  • jayrig5

    I like Acta, good to see he might be a candidate. Never really had a shot to succeed, and he’s still young. Good combo of experience and other factors.