You see it all the time in sports. Hell, in life, too. Leveraging one offer against another with the objective of running up the price. Joe Girardi could very well be using the Cubs interest to get the biggest coaching contract in baseball. Maybe.
But as rumors swirl that the Cubs will try to make the Peoria, Illinois native an equally huge offer (somewhere around $5M per), you’ve got to wonder if this really might end up being the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Brian Cashman and the mediocre New York Yankees.
After making Joe Girardi a new contract offer, the New York Yankees are awaiting his decision on whether he will continue to manage the team, an official with knowledge of the talks told ESPNNewYork.com.
If the money is similar, I find it hard believe that he’d stick around New York. Here’s why.
His allegiance to the Yankees aside (as well as his familial roots in Chicago), Girardi has some legitimate incentives to leave town. For one, it’s less pressure coaching the Cubs. After finishing yet another lackluster season at 66-96, all he’d really be ask to do is get them back in the vicinity of .500 — which is totally doable with a willing Theo Epstein running the show.
[Via The Chicago Tribune]Multiple sources say the Cubs are poised to make the Yankees’ skipper an offer that could make him one of the two highest-paid managers in the game, from a Cubs ownership group and business side of the operation that has coveted him since long before Theo Epstein was hired as team president.
Then, of course, there’s the dire state of the Yankees, who somehow manage to get older every year without any real prospects to be excited about. The worst farm system in baseball isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for a job where you’ll be expected to replace a number of fan favorites at more than a few positions. And win. Advantage: Cubs.
Last but not least, is the upside of coaching the Cubs vs. coaching the Yankees from a legacy perspective. As far as the Yankees and their fan base are concerned — Girardi could win another pair of World Series and still be a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. If you’re not a legend in your own stadium, you have ZERO chance of being a considered a legend by the rest of baseball. The Cubs job, on the other hand, offers the chance to be not only a Chicago icon, but to be the most beloved guy in sports (the guy who saved the most lovable franchise in sports). A simple playoff run would suffice, and anyone named “Girardi” in Greater Chicago area would eat for free for the rest of their lives.
We’re awaiting to see if he accepts Cashman’s offer. But the longer this drags out, the more likely it is that Girardi sees it our way.