Girardi’s Big Deal a Symbol of His Worth to Yankees
Added by Elizabeth DiPietro on October 15, 2013.
Most New York Yankee fans are feeling a little unsettled about the upcoming season, but some of our uneasiness was lifted last week when Joe Girardi signed a four-year contract extension.
The deal will reportedly net the skipper $16 million, a small price to pay for a semblance of stability in what looks to be a transitional period for the Yanks. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte retired at the end of the 2013 season, and Derek Jeter’s role in the Yankees’ future is questionable. Plus, the Steinbrenners appear to be moving away from past Yankee teams stuffed with big-name free agents, as they supposedly look to stay under the $189 million threshold.
Many may not have considered the 2013 season a success for the Yankees, who went 85-77 and missed the playoffs for only the second time in nineteen years. But the fact that the Yankees wound up with an over-.500 record and a legitimate shot at the playoffs until the last week of the season was a mini-triumph for Girardi, who dealt with a seemingly endless streak of injuries and A-Rod’s steroid scandal, to boot.
Signing Girardi was definitely the right move for the Yankees. In his six years at the helm, Girardi has lead the Yanks to a 564-480 (.580) record, and he is adept at harnessing the versatility of his players. Though some accuse him of over-managing, Girardi can always justify his moves and doesn’t second-guess himself during postgame conferences. He doesn’t get flustered by the sometimes venomous New York media; he possesses the rare mix of knowing when to let reporters in on information, and when to stop talking.
The deal will make Girardi the second-highest paid manager in the big leagues, behind Mike Scioscia of the Angels. It was evident that the Yankees wanted to lock up Girardi right away, despite rumors of his desire to manage in Chicago or Washington. They made sure to sign him before October 31, which marked the end of his current contract and the date he would be eligible to speak with other teams.
The Yankees’ next order of business is to secure a deal with Robinson Cano. This stands to be a lot more drawn-out, as Cano reportedly wants a ten-year deal and more than $300 million. Unlike Girardi, you can expect Cano to entertain offers from other teams publicly. The Yankees need Cano, because with A-Rod expected to miss the whole season on suspension, they have no other offensive point person.
However, the Yankees have made it clear that after the A-Rod fiasco they are done with ten-year deals. It seems the only way they’ll be able to keep Cano is if the rest of the league has decided the same.
Though many aspects of the 2014 season remain uncertain, one thing’s for sure: Girardi was the best choice for the Yankees to chase a championship with whoever else decides to show up.