Joe Girardi would be managing the Cubs in 2014.
Oh, I wouldn't be surprised if he did indeed express interest in the Cubs through "back channels." I don't doubt that Girardi's "camp" let it be known he would be willing to listen if the Cubs called.
I just think all this chatter was about nothing more than leverage. The Yankees were offering a 3-year extension. Girardi wanted 4 years. He let it be known that he had other options, namely the Cubs, so the Yankees caved and gave him the extra year.
Girardi and the Yankees agreed to terms Wednesday on a four-year, $16 million contract that will make Girardi the second-highest paid manager in the game.
"After talking with my family, we decided that (New York) was where we wanted
to come back," Girardi said on a conference call with reporters
Wednesday. "It's a special place to manage because of the
opportunity that you have every year and the tools that they give you.
The history of this organization is unbelievable. There are special
things that happen here every year."
The Yankees kept their man. Meanwhile, the Cubs are back to square one in their managerial search. So far, we've heard three names connected to the opening. I assume others will emerge before a hire is made. But here are the names that have been bandied about so far:
Manny Acta: He managed the Washington Nationals from 2007 to 2009 and the Cleveland Indians from 2010 to 2012. His record is 372-518 in 890 career games, a .418 winning percentage.
A.J. Hinch: The current vice president of professional scouting for the San Diego Padres had a rough go as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 and 2010, going 89-123 for a .420 winning percentage.
Rick Renteria: The San Diego Padres bench coach has never managed before, but is expected to meet with Cubs brass sometime next week.
Obviously, the names of Hinch and Renteria have popped up because of their ties with Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, who was previously the GM in San Diego.
I'm not one of these people who believes teams need to hire a manager with experience. I think a first-time manager is fine if you believe it's the right guy. I'm pretty sure Acta is the wrong guy. Only two managers in Major League Baseball history have managed more games than Acta and had a lower winning percentage than Acta's .418 mark. Given the choice between hiring a managing newbie or recycling Acta, I would opt for giving someone new an opportunity.