Girardi Out; Who’s in as Next Yankees Manager?

Joe Girardi suddenly has a lot of time to ponder his future. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License

The Astros and Dodgers just played one of the greatest extra-innings games in World Series history, and yet all anyone can talk about today is the Yankees. New York has stolen the thunder from baseball’s two best teams by announcing they will be parting ways with manager Joe Girardi after ten years and 910 regular-season wins with the club.

It’s both a stunning turn of events — given Girardi’s phenomenal job performance in 2017 — and not entirely unexpected — given the tenor of negotiations (or lack thereof) over the course of the year.

The 53-year-old skipper took a young, rebuilding team all the way to the ALCS and nearly knocked off the Astros in a hotly contested seven-game series. That kind of effort usually results in an extension rather than a pink slip. All that Girardi has left now are the memories of a decade spent in the Bronx. Those include a .562 winning percentage, six playoff appearances, and a World Series title back in 2009.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman went out of his way to thank Girardi for his dedicated service. “He has been a tremendous Yankee on the field and away from it, as a player, coach and manager,” he told reporters. “He has a tireless work ethic, and put his heart into every game he managed over the last decade. He should take great pride in our accomplishments during his tenure.”

Maybe it’s just us, but that sounds like the kind of guy you might like to keep around your ballclub. Now that Girardi is out of a job, two obvious questions have emerged: (1) what will he do next, and (2) who will be the Yankees’ next manager? We have answers (and odds) for both of those queries below.

Odds on the Next Yankees Manager

  • Al Pedrique: 3/1
  • Tony Pena: 4/1
  • Rob Thomson: 7/1
  • Joe McEwing: 10/1
  • Fredi Gonzales: 12/1
  • Kevin Long: 15/1
  • Don Mattingly: 20/1
  • Raul Ibanez: 25/1
  • Brad Ausmus: 40/1
  • David Ross: 40/1
  • John Farrell: 50/1
  • Pete Mackanin: 60/1
  • Dusty Baker: 75/1
  • FIELD: 75/1

Girardi’s loss could be Al Pedrique’s gain. The former journeyman infielder has helmed the Yankees’ Triple-A team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since 2014 and was recently named International League Manager of the Year for the second consecutive season. He’s said to have close relationships with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino from his time managing them in the minors, and could step into the role seamlessly.

If the Yankees are looking for someone with more MLB experience, they might tab bench coach Rob Thomson or first-base coach Tony Pena. Thomson has been with the Yankees since 1990 and knows the organization (and its talent) like the back of his hand. He’s spent the past ten years as a bench coach and is well liked throughout the organization. Pena is another baseball lifer with deep connections to New York. He served as a first-base coach and catching instructor under Girardi and previously managed the Kansas City Royals for four seasons from 2002-05. KC didn’t exactly set the world on fire during his tenure, but that’s more a reflection on the team’s small budget than his ability on the bench.

One long shot to keep an eye on is Don Mattingly. The Yankees great is still beloved in New York and could become available if Derek Jeter starts (make that, continues) restructuring the Miami Marlins.

Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi could soon reunite in Miami. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License

Odds on What Joe Girardi Will Do Next

  • Spend time with his family: 2/1
  • Enter the broadcast booth: 9/2
  • Manage the Marlins: 10/1
  • Join the MLB Commissioner’s Office: 15/1
  • Join an MLB team’s front office: 20/1
  • Manage the Nationals: 30/1
  • Manage the Phillies: 50/1
  • FIELD: 19/6

One thing we know for sure is that Girardi isn’t in a rush to find another job. He was paid $16 million over the past four years and has said he’s going to take his time finding the right fit. “I’ve always said, the first thing that I do is I always talk to my family first,” he told reporters. “They come first. Because I think when you have a job, your family has to buy in, too. It’s not just what you want out of life. It’s everyone buying in. So I’ll sit down, talk to my wife and kids and see where they’re at and what they’re thinking.” He said that a couple days before he and the Yankees officially parted ways, but his words seems all the more applicable now.

Once Girardi has figured out what’s best for his family in the long-term, it’s likely he’ll take a year away from managing before choosing his next team. Many pundits feel the job was beginning to wear on him, and what better way to recharge your batteries then by spending some downtime with your family and friends?

If Girardi decides to jump back into the game, the Marlins loom as an interesting option. The team is partially owned by Girardi’s old pal Derek Jeter, with whom he played from 1996-99 and coached from 2008-14. The pair still have a close relationship and Jeter knows better than anyone the kind of professionalism and winning mentality that Girardi can bring to a team.