COMMENTARY | New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is nowhere near being on the hot seat despite having just presided over a Yankees team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Girardi's first as manager. In fact, Girardi is actually in the driver's seat.
Girardi's future is entirely up to him. His contract expires at the end of this month, and he has options.
The Yankees want him back:
''He knows we'd like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. ''I feel we hired a good one. He's been a world champion player for us. He's been a coach, a broadcaster and obviously a world champion manager. So we've benefited from having him and we'd like to do that going forward, but we'll have to speak with him and see how it plays out.''
There is uncertainty because the Chicago Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum after another woeful season, and they are expected to make a strong run at Girardi this offseason.
Here is David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune on the possibility of Girardi in Chicago:
"Girardi downplayed his Cubs ties to reporters Sunday in Houston and intimated he will manage the Yankees next year if he manages at all. You can call that disappointing. I call it negotiating. ... When [Cubs GM Theo] Epstein described seeking somebody with a track record of developing major league talent who is dynamic with energy and creativity, he might as well have made a crew cut a criteria. He was describing Girardi, a smart Northwestern graduate who just might have a silly dream of winning a World Series with the Cubs."
Not only did Girardi attended Northwestern, but he is also from Chicago, was drafted by the Cubs and played for them during seven seasons.
The Yankees don't have an obvious replacement for Girardi, who is 564-408 in New York in six seasons, has reached the postseason four times and won a World Series.
Girardi will complete a three-year, $9 million contract at the end of this month.
Does Girardi want to stay in New York, where there is always heavy pressure and media scrutiny? Would he go to Chicago, where expectations and pressure would be lower but where he would be a hero if he was able to turn the Cubs into winners?
That is anybody's guess. It will, however, be entirely Girardi's decision.
Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the New York Giants for SB Nation. He has written about the Yankees for SB Nation New York, Pinstripe Alley, Bugs & Cranks and Hot Stove New York.
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