“Decision Day” came and went without a decision – when does anything involving the Cubs (even at a tangential level) go according to plan? – and the New York Yankees are still waiting to hear from manager Joe Girardi on their offer to re-sign him. Andrew Marchand reports that a Yankees source says the team is “prepared to give Girardi as much time as he needs to decide, even if it means waiting until the end of the month when his current deal runs out.” Very generous of them.
Of course, what the Yankees couch as “we’re willing to wait” may actually amount to “we’re going to wait, because we’re not letting you talk to any other teams until after October 31 regardless of whether you’re going to re-sign with us.”
Indeed, given the Friday report that had the Yankees as flatly unwilling to allow Girardi to speak to other teams until his contract expires – an atypical position considering Girardi is an impending free agent, and all sides should want this sorted out as soon as possible – it’s pretty conceivable that they mean precisely that.
Either way, if things turn into a standoff in New York, with the Yankees willing to take this thing right up to the end of the month, the Cubs are wise to proceed with their managerial search as though Girardi won’t be available (as it appears that they are). It could get tricky if the Cubs find someone they really like, but who is also being pursued by the Nationals or Reds or Mariners. What if that candidate gets an offer from another team next week, but the Cubs are still waiting on Girardi? And what if that candidate is unwilling to wait until early November for the chance at a managerial job (a pretty reasonable position, given that the team making the offer will also probably not want to wait)?
In other words, while it’s easy to say, “Yeah, the Cubs should just wait until Girardi becomes available,” the practicalities of that could become a bit rough. The Cubs could risk missing out on a top candidate or two … only to get left at the altar on October 31 when Girardi decides to return to the Yankees.
Here’s hoping the Yankees and Girardi make a clear-cut decision one way or the other within the next few days.