Obsessive New Manager Watch: Decision Day for Joe Girardi? (UPDATE: Still Waiting)

joe girardi managerIt was a surprisingly quiet weekend as far as Joe Girardi media reports go, with the New York Yankees’ skipper considering a healthy offer from his current club to return to the team for the next few years. I wonder if the silence will break today …

  • Joe Girardi is so clearly the Cubs’ top choice for manager that they’ve communicated to his camp that they’re willing to beat any offer the Yankees make him, according to Mark Gonzalez. The Yankees’ offer is believed to be in the three-year, $13 to $15 million range, so the Cubs could have to make Girardi the top-paid manager in baseball to beat the Yankees’ offer (Angels manager Mike Scioscia makes about $5 million per year). Thing is, Girardi made clear that his decision will not come down to money – if that’s true, no sense in “beating” the Yankees’ offer, right? Call me cynical, but I’ll venture a guess that money plays at least a small part in the decision. If Girardi views the Cubs’ gig as almost as attractive, in total, as the Yankees’ gig, would a four-year, $24 million offer (just an example) be enough to sway him if the competing offer is just three years and $13 million?
  • There’s an unspoken expectation that we’ll hear something today on Girardi’s decision with respect to the Yankees’ offer. If Girardi is still trying to negotiate with the Yankees at this point, you can only assume that he either has no real interest in talking to other teams and just wanted to bid the Yankees up a little bit, or he doesn’t want to agree to a Yankees deal – whatever the amount – until he has a chance to talk to other teams. In other words, as is usually the case with sensitive discussions during which millions of dollars are at stake, we know very little.
  • If Girardi does make his decision today, and if it is to not accept the Yankees’ current offer, things could play out one of three ways: (1) the Yankees could decide to move on, and would grant Girardi permission to speak to other teams before his contract expires at the end of this month; (2) the Yankees could decide to move on, but not grant Girardi permission to speak to other teams (in which case the Cubs may have to hold open their managerial search until at least November 1); or (3) the Yankees and Girardi decide that they’re still close enough that they can continue negotiating.
  • Nick Cafardo says that the Cubs always knew it was going to be a long-shot to pry Girardi loose from the Yankees, and a Yankees source tells him that he believes Girardi will indeed return.
  • The latest run-down on Girardi and the managerial search from Patrick Mooney.
  • Jon Heyman goes to great lengths to get out a “hey, maybe, you-never-know” piece about Girardi and the Dodgers (who were one of the best teams in baseball and stand poised to win their divisional playoff series this week).

Update (10:22am CT): Andrew Marchand, who’s been handling this story quite well from the New York side, says the Yankees still haven’t received any word from Girardi on their offer. Marchand’s guess all along was that it was 70/30 that Girardi returns. I wonder how those numbers change as the days go by.

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

138 responses to “Obsessive New Manager Watch: Decision Day for Joe Girardi? (UPDATE: Still Waiting)”

  1. MichiganGoat

    The Dodger “story” contains a very interesting plot line. Girardi would replace Mattingly which kinda mirrors what happened to Mattingly with the NYY, then wouldn’t the Yankees seriously consider Mattingly to return home? Oh drama one can weave with little more than speculation.

  2. CubChymyst

    Are there any worries here about the cubs getting tampering charges? The rule is you can’t talk about signing a player on another team who is under contract. Not sure if that extends to managers but I’m assuming it does.

  3. Voice of Reason

    I think the question for the Yankees is who is available as a manager who could handle the job as manager of this team? Girardi has proven he can handle the pressures of the media tornado that revolves around the position. Also, he had that team close to the playoffs when it really wasn’t that good of a team….

    While the Ricketts say they will beat any offer, I just don’t know if the Yankees will turn their backs on Girardi that easily! I think the fact that Girardi’s roots are now there with his kids entrenched in the school systems there and the fact that he has said that he likes it… it’s going to be tough for him to leave!

    And, the Yankees are the perennial power house of baseball. You can say that they’re minor league system isn’t good… and it isn’t, but they’re still the Yankees with deep pocket books and a need to spend to keep filling those expensive seats.

    I think now more than ever the Yankees need to keep Girardi!

    It’s going to be very tough for the Cubs to pry Girardi away and I’m certain it won’t… but stranger things have happened. I hope Girardi comes back to Wrigley Field!

    1. Noah_I

      But the Yankees pockets aren’t going to be anywhere near as deep at least through next season at least. They have a lot of holes, a lot of money connected to a very small number of players who are not performing up to their contracts and should not be expected to perform up to their contracts, and a hard cap of the luxury tax limit in regards to how much they can spend on player payroll in 2014.

  4. Greg

    Spending $6 million a year on a manager is enough to make me upset if we lose out on desired free agents due to financial constraints. Girardi’s WAR cannot possibly be worth enough to justify the opportunity cost here. Bring me the no-name $1 million a year manager!

    1. Voice of Reason

      The Cubs just fired that million dollar a year manager. They know that they have to make a splash and add a manager with experience, someone who has proven he can win. Anything less will leave fans wondering why they got rid of Sveum!

      1. Greg

        Just because they got rid of Sveum because he wasn’t a long-term fit doesn’t mean that someone else with similar salary demands isn’t a long-term fit or better allocation of resources. The managerial talent pool has to be deeper than this.

        I’m also not convinced the casual fan is going to come running back to Wrigley because Joe Girardi is managing the team. Winning will bring fans back, and winning requires more talented players on the field. Bringing in more talented players requires financial resources.

        1. cub2014

          Girardi will cost a few million more a year than any
          other manager. So the financial burden compared
          to a player is minimal. So their will be no lost FA
          if we pay Girardie $6mil

          1. Voice of Reason

            You don’t know that for sure, cub 2014.

    2. hansman1982

      Considering that managers are thought to only be worth 1-2 WAR (with the downside being much larger than that (see Quade and Valentine)), $6M would be about right,

      1. Greg

        That number assumes a win from a manager is worth the same in these market conditions as a win from a player. We do not know that to be fact.

        1. Kyle

          If it’s not, that’s a gaping market inefficiency that you’d think would have been found by now.

          1. Greg

            Or it means that there are a lot more adequate managers per job opening than adequate players per roster spot, which would change the conditions of the job market and tilt the salary negotiations in the team’s favor.

            1. Kyle

              Not exactly.

              If there’s that many adequate managers per opening, then that implies that the difference among managers is not large.

              There can’t be an abundance of managers who are clearly better than the other managers.

              1. Greg

                You’re right, that would mess with the calculation of WAR. I retract that argument and replace it with a personal belief that I’m not convinced that any manager is worth 1-2 WAR. If there is one, he is Joe Maddon, not Joe Girardi.

          2. MichiganGoat

            Exactly Kyle… but but but but…. leadership, desire, heart, confidence, and willpower are not figured in WAR, a great manager is worth at least 10 WAR if you measure in the intangibles. Of course the number greatly fluctuates from year to year… but, but, but, mmmmm but stats are stupid. A great manager uses mind control to will his players to success… duh!

            1. mjhurdle

              David Blaine for Cubs manager!!!

              1. TWC

                I’d prefer David Brent.

                1. miggy80

                  How about David Byrne?

                  1. Jason Powers

                    How bout Rose Byrne?

            2. cub2014

              goat, sarcasm is cute. did you ever play sports
              in college or HS? do teachers and coaches have
              different skill sets? (some are really good at what
              they do some are mediocre and some should find
              another line of work) SO YES a manager makes
              a diference in wins and losses! How much that we
              can argue over.

              1. MichiganGoat

                Yes I’ve played sports but I’m sure it was never at the level you have played and therefore my thoughts are diminished… I get it I’m only a goat and there are rules about playing beyond a certain level. Plus I kept biting the opossing players and drinking beer in the outfield.

                But to get serious, I just not sold that a manager has that much value beyond a couple of wins over the season. If a manager is given a solid team that should succeed it is their job to make sure they don’t crash the bus on the way to the championship. The amount of in game decisions they can make that directly impacts the game are minor to the level of talent on the field. No manager was going to get much more out of the Cubs the last few years, but when the manager discussion happens we start to talk in abstract buzz words like leadership, confidence, heart, etc. But these are only present when a team succeeds- and is that success because of the manager or because of the talent on the field? If a team a team is horrible can the manager still be considered a great leader, someone that breeds confidence, or that motivates their team to greatness. I believe so but rarely to we assign these teams to losing teams and we love to assign them to winning teams.

                I remember Dusty Baker having all these terms used to describe him in 03 but next year all this was revoked as we start to lose.

                1. cub2014

                  Goat, i didnt mean to be offensive. But
                  my point is leaders do make a difference.
                  To say how many games, you cant put a
                  number on it. Yes, Girardi has had great
                  talent in NY (i dont know how good a
                  manager he will be) but based on my
                  experience a good manager can make a
                  big difference.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    I’m just being snarky and sarcastic on purpose, I just don’t believe in the leadership aspect of MLB managers. Not to say that leadership isn’t a real and useful thing they provide only that is too loosely added to winners and ignored for losers. Leadership is something that is built and grown over time in an organization but with MLB managers the window is a year maybe two to win otherwise no amount of leadership skills will save your job.

                    1. cub2014

                      Actually leadership can change things
                      very quickly. But in professional sports
                      there must be talent to go with it.

                    2. MichiganGoat

                      I agree leadership can move quickly if you have the talent needed to be successful but since the MLB has a small window for a manager to show success no amount of leadership skills matter in the MLB if you aren’t winning games and to win you need good talent quickly.

                      Leadership for me has always been a word that we attach to describe success but rarely do we hear about a great leader that ultimately fails, but that person might be an amazing leader but didn’t have the talent to succeed. A leader should be able to direct, motivate, and help his team/company/group to their full potential but if that full potential is crap and can’t compete with the competition does it mean the manager was a poor leader? Or does it mean he/she didn’t have the personal and organization that allows success?

                      If we get Girardi and we don’t reach the playoffs in the next 2-4 years is it going to be because he could lead the team? Or because he wasn’t given a team that was unable to succeed because it was full of crap? As I’ve said before this is a chicken/egg issue but ultimately you need to have talent before you have success and when that happens the manager will be called a great leader. If he fails we will all point out the countless ways he made mistakes.

                    3. Jp3

                      Matt Millen played football at the highest level and I wouldn’t want him running a fantasy football team. What’s your point with “did you play” argument

                    4. marc

                      Still remember that a few members of this club are around 23 years old. While some of the more experienced players and high makeup guys show up everyday ready to go and dont need much coaching there are still college age men out there. Most of which are making big money for the first time of their lives and competing in pressure situations like they never seen before,

                      I personally have had different styles of teachers throughout my schooling, some of which I was more able to learn from than others. I think most people can look a handful of teachers throughout their lives who were more skilled than some of the others.

                      We can say they are coaching professional players. But getting guys like the puigs, or the carlos gomez’s or say the ron artests to be the player they can be and focus their energies is a very special skill. Especially when these guys are 22 year old millionaire super celebrities.

                2. jt

                  From what I understand, Beane is very hands on in Oakland. Lots of platoons consisting of lots of castoffs.
                  Red Sox and Dodgers had a many moving pieces caused by injuries and ineffectiveness.
                  Perhaps the computer generated stuff has created a need for better communication twixt the manager and FO along with greater manipulation of on field events such as platoons, player rest, defensive positioning, match-ups…
                  The above doesn’t even touch upon the leadership and PR issues.

                3. mreverything

                  Goat, you are exactly right, this time

        2. hansman1982

          My non-researched response to this is a win is a win is a win.

          I think that, if you were able to quantify it, managers, as a group as it relates to WAR, you’d find them inverse to players.

          A bad manager is a REALLY bad thing (2012 Red Sox), a great manager is a slightly good thing (2011-2012 Cardinals). I’d be willing to venture a guess that the average WAR for managers is negative (but only slightly so) and that average is mostly dragged down by the 1 or 2 terrible managers.

          Avoiding a Valentine situation has a much larger impact on a team than a switch from Sveum to Girardi.

          1. Kyle

            The average WAR for managers can’t be negative, because they have to be compared against other managers.

            1. Chad

              If they develop a WAR index correctly the average should always be 0 and the negative or positive values show how far in either direction one goes from average.

            2. hansman1982

              They are being compared to a replacement level manager not each other. (Otherwise, player WAR would have to average to 0)

              Now, WAA would have to average out to 0, yes.

              1. Kyle

                OK, I get what you’re saying. You are theorizing that the theoretical replacement-level manager who could be had for free is better than the average MLB manager, because a few idiots are bringing down that average.

                1. hansman1982


                  1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                    Ultimately a coach is a paid psychiatrist. His main job is to keep the clubhouse loose and keep the stress off the players. If he does that, it doesn’t matter how big of an idiot he is. It will come down to talent that he has on his club.

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      I sometimes think he’s just a bus driver on a very long road trip. He has to make sure the bus is getting fuel, having regular routine maintenance, staying on schedule, and most importantly not crashing the bus. Because I agree that its is the talent and skill of the players that win the games and no amount of therapy, leadership, or whatever you call it will result in a win if the bus doesn’t have the necessary talent aboard.

                    2. Voice of Reason

                      Coaching has a lot to do with it.
                      Tony LaRussa is the best manager of this generation. He won with the White Sox, then went to Oakland and finally to St. Louis. He won in every spot. He and Dave Duncan took rejects that looked like they were done (i.e. Dave Stewart, Dennis Eckersley, Chris Carpenter) and turned water into wine. There were position players, too, like Dave Henderson with Oakland.

                      Joe Torree had the luxury of Steinbrenner’s pocket book, but he juggled all those egos in New York where they are constantly under media scrutiny and won!

                      Look at Phil Jackson. Did he always have great talent? YES! Did he know how to manage that talent and win championships? YES!

                      Joe Girardi is a damn good manager. Look what he did this year with that Yankees team.

                      I hope the Cubs get him!

                    3. Cubbie Blues

                      Uh, Dennis Eckersley had a 3.7 WAR the year before he went to the A’s.

                    4. hansman1982

                      “Look at Phil Jackson. Did he always have great talent? YES! Did he know how to manage that talent and win championships? YES!”

                      I dunno, I’ve heard Jordan ran the team for a good part of the 90′s.

                      You know what a common denominator is of all of these “great” managers? They all had super-stars on their teams. Hell, even look at Maddon in Tampa. Without all of the talent his FO has provided him, he would have been out a long time ago.

                      I don’t see these managers taking the 2013 Cubs and turning them into perennial winners. It’s about keeping the 2012 Red Sox from happening.

                    5. MichiganGoat

                      Phil Jackson also implemented Triangle offense that changed how teams could deal with the greatest player ever in MJ.

                      I actually think that MLB managers are the least important “heads” in the major pro sports. At its simplest baseball is a very individual sport that is a series of one on one matchups. The MLB manager can only do so much to get those matchups to be successful but it ultimately comes down to the players individual talents.

                      However in football, basketball, and hockey you have offensive and defensive schemes, alignments, and players that are taught and developed by a the head coach. And these can dramatically enhance a players success or failure, and when you have top talent you can maximize your alignments to maximize that players talent.

                      Yet outside of defensive shifts there is really little a MLB manager can do during an at bat to exploit a weakness or set up teammates to support and enhance an at bat.

                      This is why I love baseball… at its heart its just one guy vs. another guy.

                    6. jt

                      BR has Dennis Eckersley with a 1.9 WAR in 1988
                      201 IP with a 4.57 ERA.
                      1985 169.3 IP and a 3.08 ERA with a 4.6 WAR
                      1983 176.3 IP and a 5.61 ERA with a -0.4 WAR
                      nobody wanted him. he pitched great when not drinking. He drank a lot.

      2. cubfanincardinalland

        To think that a manager’s value could be quantified mathematically, takes the saber crowd to new egomaniac levels. Who exactly is the replacement level poster boy, Mike Quade?
        Based on this theory, there is no manager that could have run the Cubs this year and won more than 67 games. Anybody who believes that is deluding themselves. The majority of value of a baseball manager(or any pro coach for that matter) is not seen on the field everyday. It is off the field, in practices and meetings. The overall running of an organization. It can make a huge difference.

        1. hansman1982

          “…takes the saber crowd to new egomaniac levels.”

          Not really, we are saying that it is possible you can assign a win amount to managers; however, based on the data at hand that proves to be incredibly difficult and will require many more years of data collection and analysis to figure out how to assign that number. It is also possible that number will never be obtainable.

          Here is the thing, most of the on-the-field decisions are fairly no brained and, usually, teams perform close enough to their expected values (or there is enough conflicting information on an individual team) that manager value, to the upside, isn’t that great.

          “Based on this theory, there is no manager that could have run the Cubs this year and won more than 67 games.”

          That depends, what was Sveum’s WAR this year?

          1. Noah_I

            Exactly, you can look at the sort of move the typical manager has made in the same situation. For example, there is likely significant data that says in a game where a team has a one run lead in the seventh inning with one out and runners on 1st on 3rd and a middle of the order left handed hitter up, the manager is most likely to bring in his LOOGY. But what if a manager does what many saber people advise, and brings in his closer in this high leverage situation? Well there’s a run expectancy for 1st and 3rd with 1 out. I’m sure you could even do a run expectancy for this exact situation, although the sample would be smaller, so the standard deviation would be larger. And you’d be able to see how much better the team performed in that situation compared to the average.

            You could also do this with defensive shifts, decisions to bunt, decisions to send runners, etc.

      3. Eternal pessemist

        I really don’t belive the metrics showing the managers being worth only 1-2 WAR difference. Sometimes with the sabermetrics movement all these projections are treated as if they have identical validity. The methods used on managerial WAR are severely limited IMO.

        1. Kyle

          There aren’t any good sabermetrics on measuring managers, sure.

          But if you really believe that managers can have a large influence, then you have to believe that in a league full of incredibly intelligent, Wall-Street influenced executives combing the market for every tiny inefficiency possible, nobody has thought to pay these highly-influential managers more than decent middle relievers and reap the benefits of this apparently huge market inefficiency.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Exactly if a manger (specifically Girardi) is worth something like 10 WAR you’d see the Yankees and others offering him a ten year contract worth 80M.

            1. Patrick W.

              False. Don Kessinger would easily be worth 10 wins and he would do it for $1,000,000 for one year.

            2. Scotti

              First off, you need a market. Generally there isn’t one of the top paying gigs open. THIS year, there IS a market because TWO gigs are open. Let’s see what Girardi gets paid if he comes to the Cubs. The Cubs have reportedly hinted that they will go north of whatever NY offers and NY is reportedly offering upwards of $5M/Year. If you’re talking $6 per over 5 years then you ain’t talking middle relief numbers anymore.

              A given manager is going to be “worth” differing amounts year to year based on what he has to deal with as a manager for a given team. For a typical Yankees team the manager is basically a “plug and play” manager as long as he demands A) effort and B) only accepts winning. For the typical Yankees team, no manager is 10 wins above the next guy.

              That same guy isn’t necessarily suited for a developing team, low market team, etc. where it isn’t all, Hmm, which All-Star do I plug in today. You don’t have 18 proven guys to work with in places like that.

              However, for the Yankees in the coming years, the manager won’t be a “plug and play” guy (they won’t be plug and play for several years, at best) but he won’t be a “developmental” guy, either (they don’t have anyone to develop). He’s going to be a stay afloat guy. I’m not sure how much of an impact a “stay afloat” guy can have (i.e. his worth to the team). He also isn’t going to be a “turnaround” guy. Girardi has show he can be all four but he has more worth here because he’d only get a chance to be a stay afloat guy there. In reality for the Yankees all he will ever be is plug and play (as he has been since he took over for Torre) or stay afloat (as he was this past year).

              But, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the right leader can turn things around in the right situation. If the Cubs make a couple of key changes on the field next year, AND hire a guy who can change the environment, that guy CAN be a significant difference over “replacement” for the solitary next season. After that one season, the difference diminishes. That difference, essentially, is amortized over the life of the contract (i.e. a guy is worth 7 wins the first year and, say, 4, 3, 2 and 2 in the following years).

              So the guy doesn’t average 7 wins above replacement. In the tail end of that contract you could theoretically hire a plug and play guy and get the same results. But the theoretical 7 win first season makes all of the difference (and impacts wins further down the contract unless things are bungled).

            3. Eternal pessemist

              I doubt many will argue he is worth 10 WAR, and even if he was, the market still doesn’t recognize managers being worth anything like that type of WAR.

              For now they will only pay what they have to – not what they are worth. If that changes, the bidding will increase over time, possibly because some really smart guy (Theo?) recognizes “thar’s WAR in them there hills”.

          2. jt

            that assumes there is a correlation between payroll, wins and profit in baseball.

            1. Kyle

              Because there is.

          3. Eternal Pessimist


            “then you have to believe that in a league full of incredibly intelligent, Wall-Street influenced executives combing the market for every tiny inefficiency possible, nobody has thought to pay these highly-influential managers more than decent middle relievers and reap the benefits of this apparently huge market inefficiency.”

            Sabermetrics is very new. For about 100 years before this a bunch of incredibly intelligent, wall-street executives combing the market for every tiny inefficiency didn’t have the data and catch on to these things. Yes, history repeats itself.

            1. Kyle

              Sabermetrics are not that new.

              And there’s never been an inefficiency in the history of baseball as large as the one you believe exists in managers.

              1. Eternal Pessimist

                Sabermetrics are new enough and even after it existed it took a lot of smart people a very long time to adapt (believe) in it.

                I don’t know how you are going to show there has never been an inefficiency…etc… I suppose you are stating an opinion, not fact. BTW, I was only stating opinion on the managerial WAR thing, but believe that will be proven true in time.

            2. MichiganGoat

              If you believe that managers have this large an impact then you’d have to believe that Cubs should offer Girardi at least 10/80M. Do you think that is a good investment?

              1. Eternal Pessimist

                No you wouldn’t have to believe that…they will only pay what the market demands. If they are the only one that knows (in other words educated guess) that he is worth a lot more WAR they won’t just hand out extra money (Soriano). No sense bidding against yourself.

    3. Lou Brown

      I don’t think they have big free agent plans anyhow. Girardi’s 5-6 million a year wouldn’t factor in. Tanaka is the only one I see them really pursuing, unless they find a steal out there.

      1. Eternal pessemist

        Every dollar factors in.

    4. jon

      5-6 million gets you an average bench player in MLB free agency, or a waste of time Scott Baker experiment.

      It’s not really a big deal of all to spend that on a good manager.

      1. Greg

        Or it gets you Scott Feldman, and therefore Pedro Strop and Jake Arrieta.

        1. Jono

          they might have pivoted away from that strategy. A quote I heard from either epstein or hoyer sounded like they’re changing their mindset from acquiring flippable pieces to acquiring long term solutions

          1. hansman1982

            I think they will always look for both of those things and they might just like a few more of the big time free agents this year than last year or they may feel they are more likely to land their targets this year rather than last.

            I also think the “build the team in the mold of the Rays” theory was given far too much weight by fans.

            1. Jono

              it’s a matter of how they answer the question, “What do we do with this player? Trade, keep, or even extend?” The point is that they might be moving towards “keep or even extend” rather than “trade”. They haven’t traded all 25 guys or 40 guys on their roster. They extended castro and rizzo. So it’s never completely on one side.

            2. YourResidentJag

              Why shouldn’t they go with that approach of the Rays? From the business standpoint of the Ricketts, it’s good for profit margin. From the Theo and Jed’s standpoint, it completes the mission of building up the farm system and sacrificing some amount of the MLB season to do so. Why do that if the majority of what they should put on the field at the major level shouldn’t be under the age of 25? Also, as Juno, has stated it’s not like they’ve traded all 25 guys on their roster. At some point in time, regardless of whether Cubs fans want to see it, the younger players are going to have to be tested at the MLB level. Theo and Jed are going to have to take a season (probably 2015) whereby the can get a large enough sample to determine who can succeed at the MLB level. The result maybe a lopsided season that doesn’t get the team into the playoffs that year.

              1. Kyle

                Because the vast majority of the teams that try to build like the Rays fail and lose a lot in professional reputation and money.

                1. ETS

                  So I got to ask…

                  Who are the “vast majority” of teams that have tried to build like the Rays?

                  1. On The Farm

                    I would say the Astros. Their team is a joke, and it doesn’t even look like they are trying to give a reason for fans to go to the major league ballpark.

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      I wouldn’t call the Astros a joke. They’re being run by a GM key to the player development within the Cards organization. The Cards player development clearly isn’t a joke.

                  2. DocPeterWimsey

                    Basically all of the “small market” teams try what the Rays do. The only difference is that the Rays refuse to ever play for “this year”: they never trade cost-controlled players for that guy who will “put them over the top.”

                    Moreover, even the Rays are not as successful at the player level as people think: they have not gotten anywhere near the production at the MLB level from their farm system in recent years that they did 5-10 years ago. They’ve had a few major duds in early draft rounds. In a way, things are starting to even out for them.

                    Where the Rays went right where the other teams like them don’t is that the Rays got lucky and had a bunch of guys succeed at the same time. They haven’t been able to repeat that (they’ve had a few “revolving door” positions on the roster all these years, particular at 1B, DH & C: and the first two are really telling, because “all” you need for those positions is to be able to hit!).

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      They also have a SP staff that was consistently successful for them and became keys to the core of their team. Watch Price leave and it hit them quite hard if they don’t get the players back they hope for should they trade him.

                  3. Kyle

                    Off the top of my head:

                    Pirates, Brewers, Padres, Twins, Royals, Astros.

                    1. hansman1982

                      Mariners, Rockies, Padres

                2. YourResidentJag

                  I don’t think it’s that easy of an answer. You fail to remember in your answer, Kyle, that the Rays did get to a WS in 2008. Is that failure? They also make it repeatedly to postseason play despite having the lowest payroll in MLB. I think it’s more about a debate of keeping players within the system until you’ve determined them to be no longer effective at the MLB level or their affordability is well no longer beneficial to your organization. Also, it a debate between run scoring (Theo) vs run prevention (Freidman). Clearly, you’re on the side of the run scored argument.

                  1. Kyle

                    That’s survivor’s bias.

                    Of course it’d be nice to have the Rays’ results. But trying to be the Rays doesn’t guarantee you that. Lots of teams try the same process and don’t get near the results the Rays do.

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      And lots of teams are still in the mentality of wait-and-see with this approach. The jury’s still out on the Astros, Pirates, and Diamondbacks, for that matter. At the end of the day, if these teams survive, the survivor bias so be it.
                      Also, who’s to say the Rays luck is over. Wil Myers, Kyle? They could also make out well with a David Price trade…if they play their cards right. I don’t think you’re considering all factors, here.

  5. Eric

    Worst case scenario here is that the Cubs have to wait about making a decision until November 1st.

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      And even that isn’t terrible, you have to think by November there may be a clear cut number 2 option.

      1. ClevelandCubsFan

        Except that they risk their #2 candidate taking a job offer with someone not waiting on Girardi.

  6. Spoda17

    Pretty sure I read over the weekend that the Nationals have asked the Yankees to speak with Girardi…

  7. Kevin

    A-Rod suing the world to protect his contract. At least his name fits!

  8. Cubs_Questions

    I recently read a report where a Yankees official said that Girardi would be getting a three-year or four-year offer from the Yanks and making a million more per year than any other manager in the majors.

    If I’m correct, Mike Scoscia is the highest paid manager at approx. $5 million per year, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

    Which translates roughly into a Yanks offer of $18 million over three years. So if the Cubs are willing to beat that monetarily, as well as attempting to sway him to leave NY which he said he likes, to me that signifies a contract of upwards of $20 million easily.

    I would rather sign a guy like Mike Maddux. I understand how great I think Girardi would be, but we aren’t winning in 2014 with him anyway. There’s no guarantee we’d win at all during his tenure, especially if we don’t have any money to sign free agents (when the timing is right) because he’s got a lot of the money.

    1. Jono

      “I understand how great I think Girardi would be”

      That just sounds funny. I know what you mean, though.

      1. Cubs_Questions

        Haha whoops. Worded that strangely.

  9. Kevin

    Just how pissed are the Ricketts? Talking about a new manager is important but the uncertainty of Wrigley’s future should be more of a concern. Very quiet lately…….

  10. Aaron

    I can see Girardi leading the Cubs to the playoffs (second wild card spot) in his second year as manager. Central division titles in 2016 and 2017. World Series victory in 2017 with Baez hitting a walk off home-run in game 6.

    But to make all this happen, ownership and the FO needs to get to work to achieve these kinds of results. With hiring Girardi and making a splash with a free agent signing/trade for a lead-off hitter who can play a solid CF, the Cubs would be on their way!

    1. Jono

      Cubs win the world series!!

    2. Voice of Reason

      How do you even know what free agents to sign?
      What if Bryant ends up in left? What if Lake pans out? What if Soler comes up? What if Baez ends up at second base or Castro moves to second and Baez is at short? What if Rizzo doesn’t pan out? Who’s at third?

      You can’t start signing free agents until you give the kids another year to develop. We don’t know what we have yet. You fill in with free agents after you know what positions you need to fill.

      You have to give it another year. That’s what the Cubs are doing!

      1. cub2014

        a leadoff hitting CF is what the Cubs really need,
        it could be almora but that is (if he pans out) at
        least 2-3 years away.

      2. hansman1982

        “How do you even know what free agents to sign?”

        The ones at positions you need that you think will also provide good value throughout their contract. Prospects be damned.

        1. Voice of Reason

          Good value? Was Schierholtz good value? I’d hate to sign another Schierholtz for left field and then impede the progress of perhaps Bryant?

          I think Schierholtz was good value, but I’d hate to have a Schierholtz type bat at every position on this team right now.

          We can’t commit to any free agents for long term until we know what kids are going to make it and where they will play.

          1. bbmoney

            I disagree with that pretty strongly. If we end up having too many good players…even at just one position…..I like that problem.

          2. Cubs_Questions

            You can’t just hold off on signing free agents because Albert Almora, for example, might pan out. I’d rather have a bonafide starter in CF and have Almora come knocking down the doors to Wrigley.

            Then the Cubs would have the option of utilizing a guy like that, or they could trade an MLB ready prospect for some good MLB talent.

            Obviously we’re looking into the future here because the Cubs aren’t buyers now, but the point is that the Cubs should not forego signing guys who can help when the timing is right because they have some guys who (keyword) might help someday. They’re prospects, not sure things.

          3. hansman1982

            “I think Schierholtz was good value, but I’d hate to have a Schierholtz type bat at every position on this team right now.”

            I know I’d hate to have that happen 25 times.

        2. Cubs_Questions

          If we’re talking about adding guys when the timing is right, the name that has to jump off the page (especially when discussing CF) is Jacoby Ellsbury. But he’s 30 and who knows how he’ll be playing by the time the Cubs are winning.

          And that’s without mentioning money, of which he’ll be making lots. The Cubs probably don’t have the money for that now.

          And the OF slated for free agency after the 2014 season? Denard Span, Tony Gwynn Jr., Colby Rasmus and Emilio Bonifacio. Not exactly the game changer type that Ellsbury can be.

  11. ruby2626

    Heard the White Sox are interested in UIC’s Curtis Granderson. He’s 32 and has averaged .230 over the last 2 seasons. His stats are kind of interesting, he actually walks quite a bit more than I thought. Before his shortened year he hit 40 homers two years in a row but as you would expect with that ridiculous short Yankee RF porch his split was roughly 50 home, 30 away.

  12. Aaron

    Voice of Reason…you cannot be passive in putting together a championship caliber team. Your multiple “what if” scenarios are dangerous.

    I stated only 1 key free agent or possibly make a trade for a very specific need- a lead-off hitter who can also play a solid center field. To be even more specific, a hitter that can take walks, hit for a decent average and can steal bases. I don’t believe the Cubs have this player on the current team nor in the minors.

    As far as our other prospects, I’m fine with being a bit more patient to see Soler, Baez, Bryant and others finding their place on the team.

    1. Voice of Reason


      Well, the Cubs are going to do exactly what I’m saying.

      Why would they dump a bunch of money in a lead off hitter when they’re not sure if Lake and/or Szcur or someone else could be that person. I’d rather wait and see what develops in center instead of paying an arm and a leg for Ellsbury or Choo.

      This is how rebuilds are done. This is how you build a team that contends each year.

      This is all part of the plan that the Cubs have been telling us about.

      1. cub2014

        to contend year after year you do both,
        build up farm and bring in FA

        1. Voice of Reason

          I agree that it takes a solid minor league system with free agents, BUT the Cubs aren’t at the position where the Rays are.

          Remember how the Rays did it? They let the minor leagues develop and then added free agents. They then started trading away pieces to restock the minor leagues (i.e. Garza).

          I am in total agreement with you, but the Cubs are simply not at that point, YET!!

          We have to be patient for another year or two and then go gangbusters on adding free agents where we need them. Until then, let’s not sign anyone and then spend big bucks to fill the holes where we don’t have young kids.

          1. On The Farm

            Another issue I see with your plan “sign the FA when we are ready” is the whole you can only add talent when its available. What if another hitter like Ellsbury isn’t available in two years when we need a leadoff hitter? Another thing to look at is if we go two more years without acquiring some sort of major league talent, what is going to put fans in the stands? What if Bryant and Baez are stars in the 2015 season, but since we didn’t sign Choo/Ellsbury/Granderson who ever to play CF are team isn’t as strong as it could have been? There are two sides to the coin you are playing. The Chicago Cubs are not the Rays. Even with a tighter budget than the Chicago teams of old, they should still be able to outspend the Rays.

            1. Voice of Reason

              Sure there will be another leadoff hitter like Ellsbury. It’s not like we’re talking about Rickey Henderson here.

              If there isn’t an Ellsbury in free agency then we can trade for a center fielder. Or, the team that signs Ellsbury might be ready to trade him in two years and we can gobble him up via trade.

              I agree with putting people into the stands, but they are going to wait one more year. If they sign any free agents this offseason it will be marginal free agents who will come cheap that they can sign for one or two years.

              Absolutely they will outspend the Rays and that’s what will bring us a World Series. Being able to sign free agents who will make a difference at positions where we need them.

              Just be patient for another year! This is the plan that the Cubs have laid out.

              1. On The Farm

                I guess I just disagree. I think our situation is more similar to the Nationals, who went out and signed Werth before they were competitive, because they knew he would be a good complimentary piece with the prospects.

                1. Voice of Reason

                  They signed Werth to put butts in the seats, not because they knew they would be competitive. They were a pretty new franchise and they were trying to drag business away from the Orioles.

                  We’ll have to sign a big name free agent to help put butts in the seats, too, but they will do that at the end of the 2014 season when they will have even more money to spend with Soriano’s contract coming off the books.

                  1. On The Farm

                    Maybe, they did just come off drafting Strasburg and Harper before they signed him, and those two were considered “50 year players”, so you could say that the Nats could see what they had coming between those two and the rest of the minor leagues.

      2. ClevelandCubsFan

        Because it’s Lake and Sczur. Interesting. But does anyone really think they will be championship caliber lead-off guys in the majors? Just not sure I see it.

  13. Spoda17

    One win is extremely important, just ask the Ranges and Reds. And, as a Air Force vet, and leadership junky, leadership is critical. A manager/coach has a tremendous affect on the success of a team through leadership (effective or ineffective).

    Without leadership skills, the smartest manager/coach will never be successful regardless of the amount of talent is on the field. I actually think the manager position is underrated in terms of effective leadership and the impact to the results on the field.

    1. cub2014

      Spoda 17, I am with you 100%. In sports
      its the combination of leadership and talent
      on the field that brings winning.

  14. Lou Brock

    I do not know where John Heyman gets his ” facts” for his story on Girardi possibly going to the Dodgers but one thing I do know that is entirely wrong is the statement that the Girardi’s and Colletti’s lived on the North Shore. The Colletti’s lived in Woodale when they were here.
    Last time I checked a map Woodale is not considered North Shore real estate.

  15. Playoffs!

    When Granderson made it to the Bigs he came back to Heritage Middle school to make a Speech at a pep rally about chasing your dreams. While I was in attendance (8th grade) a question was asked if he was a Sox or a Cubs fan… He ended up saying he was a White Sox fan growing up. IF the Southsiders are interested like you say they are, I think they have a very good chance in acquiring him.

    1. ruby2626

      IF the Southsiders are interested like you say they are, I think they have a very good chance in acquiring him.

      No biggie, was driving to work listening to Mulley and Hanley on the SCORE and either they said it or the guy doing the sports wrapup said it.

      1. Playoffs!

        I’m sure they did, they are solid radio guys. I just know he sounded sincere when he said it X amount of years ago. I don’t know what the Sox’s plan is to fix their problems. They have a lot of questions that need answers. I Think Granderson is a good fit at The Cell.

  16. Lou Brock

    Saw a story on Cubs Online that the Cubs had signed C Danny Canela the ROY from the Frontier League. This LH hitting C put up some outstanding numbers while at NC State his first 3 years of college then left school and played pro ball in the independent Frontier League and hit for power and had a high OBP. Looks like he has some decent potential.

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Couldn’t hurt to try him out.

      1. college_of_coaches

        I agree. The lack of depth in this position calls for different measures. Converting Amaya is one solution (hopefully it works out), and signing this kid is another. Nice!

    2. Cubbie Blues

      He was drafted by the Tigers in 2009 as a 37th rounder out of high school. Looks like an interesting kid. Here is his B-R page.

      1. CubChymyst

        That looks like a lot of strike outs for the number of plate appearances. A lot of walks as well though. Wondering if those strikes outs are mainly the swinging variety or caught looking?

  17. aCubsFan

    There’s one blog reporting multiple sources are telling him that Girardi turned down the Yankees.

    1. aCubsFan

      I don’t know how reliable the blog is, but he first posted the news on September 24th and is now claiming he has further confirmation.

  18. Seth N.

    Put me in the minority that thinks paying 5-6 for JG probably balances out financially (tickets, other) and very possibly competitively (as in more wins). I do think a GOOD manager is worth more than a couple of games a year. And the thing about JG is I think almost everyone on this board would agree that he falls in the GOOD to VERY GOOD category.

  19. Aaron

    Signing JG would be a smart move by the Cubs for many reasons including great PR story (priceless), increased attendance (saving at least 200,000 fans based on last 2 seasons of reduced attendance figures), attracting better free agents, etc.

    He falls in the “perfect choice” category for me as their next manager.

  20. Playoffs!

    Prying Theo out of Boston… Attempting to out bid the Yankess for JG… All good signs that the Cubs are acting like a Major market team.

    1. Kyle

      Until it’s time to put players on the roster.

      1. jt

        I’m waiting to see the roster on 2014 Opening Day.
        IMO, the gap of needs is not near as large this winter as it was the last.

  21. Tim

    Does the managers salary count towards the luxury cap the yankees are trying to get under?

    1. ClevelandCubsFan

      Or does ARod’s suspended salary?

  22. Ron

    If this has already been asked I apologize. Ok if a manager is good for 2-4 wins a year does that equate to a 2-3 WAR? and if so the approximate WAR value is 5 mil. then getting JG at 5-6 mil per year would be a good investment?

  23. Leroy Kleimola


  24. Leroy Kleimola
  25. North Side Irish

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 3m
    Breaking News..Manny Acta in Chgo to meet w/Cubs. Sandy Alomar not serious candidate. Padres bench coach to interview http://bit.ly/1fV3372

    1. jon

      Great, let’s hire the guy who’s team got immediately better when they fired him.

      We should have just took advantage of timing and fired Svuem last year to hire Tito.

  26. udbrky

    Well, if we hire Dave martinez, at least he’ll teach outfielders not to run into the wall.

  27. North Side Irish

    Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub 5m
    Can confirm that Acta interviewing and highly regarded Padres bench coach Rick Renteria on interview list.

  28. Obsessive New Manager Watch: Manny Acta Reportedly Interviewing | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] everyone else waits on Joe Girardi’s Yankees decision, the Chicago Cubs are setting about their managerial search […]

  29. YourResidentJag

    Julie DiCaro ‏@JulieDiCaro 24m
    I feel like the #Cubs should be getting MORE confident in getting Girardi as time goes on, but told they feel LESS confident.

  30. jt

    Right now The Cubs could put up a line-up as:
    1:?, 2:?, 3:?, 4:Rizzo, 5:Beef, 6:Schirholtz, 7:Castro, 8:Valbuena
    Valbuena can play 2nd or 3rd
    So they need a 2B or a 3B and a CF’er and a LF’er each capable of hitting at the top of the order.
    Right now The Cubs could field a rotation of 1:?, 2:Wood, 3:Shark, 4:Jackson; 5:(5 guys capable of doing a decent job for 5 to 10 starts each).
    So they need a top of the rotation pitcher
    Right now they have guys who can make up a good bench
    Right now they have 10 to 12 guys who can make up a decent bull pen.
    This isn’t a huge youth movement thing. They need 4 good players and a manager that wont screw things up.
    They don’t need Casey Stengel. They need someone like Choo. They need someone like CarGo. They need someone like Zobrist. They need someone like James Shields. It doesn’t have to be those guys. But that is how close this team is to being good. Hey, I always liked JG. But he ain’t on top of my wish list.

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