For the last two weeks, there's been a lot of speculation about Joe Girardi's managerial whereabouts and interests for next season, as the current New York Yankees manager will become a free agent on Monday after the regular season ends this Sunday.
The one job that most people feel that he would leave the Yankees for is the Chicago Cubs manager spot and go back home to a place where he lives very close to in the off-season and came up with in the major leagues back in 1989.
While Girardi has been very vocal about how much he loves New York, Dan Bernstein of CBS Chicago reported on Friday night that Girardi and his representatives have informed the Cubs that he is interested and will listen to their offer if they are interested in him this off-season.
"I'm told the #Cubs have been informed by Joe Girardi's camp that he will listen if they want to talk. Indeed they do," he tweeted.
Currently, the Cubs have Dale Sveum as their manager, but he will be informed on Monday by general manager Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein about his fate with the team and the general feeling around baseball is that after consecutive 90-loss seasons under Sveum, Hoyer and Epstein will likely relieve Sveum of his duties.
Given now that Girardi has told the Cubs that he is interested in their manager job, it makes Sveum's chances of staying in Chicago even less now, especially since the Cubs brass know Girardi very well from when they were running things with the Boston Red Sox and saw Girardi win a World Series with the Yankees back in 2009.
Three years ago after the 2010 season, the Cubs were looking for a new manager after Lou Piniella retired and the feeling was that the Cubs might have wanted Girardi then, but couldn't talk to him yet because the Yankees were still in the postseason, so they decided to go with Mike Quade instead, who only lasted one season, while Girardi continued to manage the Yankees for three more seasons.
But now, the Cubs will likely get their crack at luring Girardi home, and given that the 48-year-old has done about as good of a job as anyone could in the last six years of managing the team in New York, his stock as a manager on the free agent market is sky high. Also, throw in the fact that the Yankees will be going through a bit of a transition phase with the departures of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, and Girardi might want to go elsewhere, especially when that elsewhere is near his home.
One Yankee official last week said it was "70-30" on Girardi staying with the Yankees in 2014, but if that same official were asked now, it likely would be "70-30" on Girardi landing with the Cubs in 2014.
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