The Cubs will learn soon whether they will have an opportunity to make a formal offer to favored managerial candidate Joe Girardi, but the next few days will be tense.
That's because the Yankees, according to multiple reports, made their first formal offer Friday to Girardi. The Yankees have made it clear that re-signing Girardi, who has won one World Series and three American League East titles in his six seasons with them, is an immediate priority this offseason.
Although the Yankees have Girardi under contract through Oct. 31, they aren't expected to prevent him from talking formally to other teams immediately if he decides not to accept any offer from them to return.
Girardi, who reportedly earned around $3 million in 2013 in the final year of a three-year contract, is expected to become one of the highest-paid managers -- regardless of where he signs. The Yankees hope that their offer is enough to provide Girardi with enough security to stay.
The Yankees, according to a source familiar with the landscape, are aware of the Cubs' intentions should they get a chance to talk to Girardi. The source said the Cubs believe that landing Girardi could invigorate their home attendance that sunk to 2,642,682 this season -- their lowest since 1998 -- as well as give them a proven manager.
The Cubs, in addition to a lucrative long-term package, hope to sell Girardi on having the chance to manage players who currently form what many consider one of the top farm systems in baseball.
Although Girardi grew up in Peoria, graduated from Northwestern and began his playing career with the Cubs, he downplayed the importance of returning home in an interview last weekend with Yankees beat writers.
There's also the possibility the Nationals would like to talk to Girardi about their opening, although a Diamondbacks source said their third base coach, Matt Williams, remains a strong candidate to replace Davey Johnson. who retired after the season. The Diamondbacks aren't expected to announce their 2014 staff until next week.
If Girardi elects to stay with the Yankees, the Cubs will shift to another list of candidates to replace Dale Sveum. Among those are believed to be Padres assistant general manager and former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch and Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. Alomar interviewed for the job that went to Sveum two years ago.
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