ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that Joe Girardi has agreed to accept a three-year, $7.5 million contract to be the next manager of the New York Yankees. Girardi, who has three World Series rings from his time as a player in New York, was the National League Manager of the Year in 2006 while with the Florida Marlins. Though his award-winning season in Florida was his lone as a manager, he also worked previously as a bench coach under Joe Torre.
The former catcher beat out Yankee superstar Don Mattingly, who was Torre’s bench coach this past season, and former Royals manager and Yankees first base coach Tony Pena for the job. According to Olney, Girardi would be interested in bringing in former Cubs pitcher Mike Harkey as his pitching coach. No decisions have been made in regards to the other coaching opportunities, but Larry Bowa, Pena and Mattingly will not be returning.
The choice of Girardi could also play a roll in the Yankee free agents, who have yet to decide whether they will rejoin the club or not. Catcher Jorge Posada played at the same time as Girardi and it wasn’t clear whether the two had a positive relationship together. Andy Pettitte might be a little easier, as Girardi was his personal catcher when he played in the 1990s and early 2000s. There doesn’t seem to be an indication whether Mariano Rivera cared who was chosen between Mattingly or Girardi.
Mattingly has been involved in rumors recently that have him following Joe Torre out to California to join the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles. Though Grady Little is currently under contract with the club, it is expected that he would be fired if Torre were willing to move across the country to manage the team he used to cheer for while the team was still in Brooklyn. Mattingly would join Torre as his bench coach once again and could potentially coach his son Preston, who was drafted by the club in 2006.