The Chicago Cubs front office continues to wait for their chance to take a stab at hiring Joe Girardi away from the New York Yankees. Theo Epstein, in a prepared statement after former manager Dale Sveum’s firing on Monday, stated that the Cubs hiring process will be a bit more secretive than two years ago. Due to the Yankees having exclusive rights over negotiations with Girardi until the end of October, Yankees GM Brian Cashman seems to be holding all the cards.
Girardi has stated that he wishes the hiring process to be concluded quickly and that money has no bearing on his final decision. Who knows if this is typical lip service or if their is sincerity in his words but according to reports from the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs are willing to pay Girardi more than whatever the Yankees may offer. One person that does care about the bottom line is Girardi’s agent, Steve Mandell, and would surely want to maximize the amount of money his client gets paid in order to secure more profits for himself.
The Yankees reportedly denied permission to the Cubs to allow the club to interview Girardi for their managerial position but this shouldn’t be surprising since the Yankees’ big advantage is to have this exclusive negotiating period. The Washington Nationals are also interested in speaking with Girardi about their managerial opening, making for an interesting situation.
The current Yankees club is well documented for its current pitfalls whether they be the age of the club’s superstars or the potential loss of young superstar second baseman Robinson Cano who is reportedly seeking a $305 million contract. Yankees chairman Hal Steinbrenner has also reportedly wanted to cut back on the sheer girth of the club’s payroll, which further complicates matters. However, the Yankees are the Yankees after all, and the franchise has shown an ability to make a few high-priced signings and be right in the hunt for another World Series title.
The Washington Nationals job seems to be an excellent opportunity for any manager. With a vast collection of young, excellent talent, the Nats are ready to win a World Series title or a few over the next few years. As the Yankees are long in the tooth, the Nationals are a young club that seem primed to be a potential dynasty with names such as Stephen Strausburg and Bryce Harper leading the charge. This job may be a tough one to resist for any free agent manager. The only downside with such a job as it concerns Girardi is the lack of a connection with the franchise. This refers to Girardi’s playing stints with both the Cubs and Yankees.
Now as for the Cubs, Girardi obviously came up in the system and grew up in the northern Illinois area in Peoria. The Cubs have been utterly awful the last few years and are searching for a spark to energize their young players as well as their fatigued fan base. Though the team seems to project as having another tough year, the hiring of Girardi would be a huge coup for Epstein and Hoyer. However, unlike the other two jobs, the Cubs managerial opportunity only offers prospects for the future. With unproven talent coming up through the farm system, the Cubs prospects ride on young, unproven players. Also, if Girardi is hired by the Cubs, he would have to do his best work possible in turning Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro around.
As long as Girardi is mulling the Yankees offer or waiting for the Yankees to allow him to negotiate with other clubs, the Cubs will be stuck waiting for their shot. If Epstein and Hoyer can some how lure Girardi to Chicago, it would be a huge victory for the front office. However, if Girardi chooses to stay with the Yankees or go somewhere other than the Cubs, it would be a huge blow to a fan base already getting anxious for results and placing excess pressure on Epstein and Hoyer.
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