Joe Girardi signed a new contract to remain the manager of the New York Yankees. After losing in the 2010 ALCS, Girardi was re-signed for three years at a rate of $3 million per season. That is a nice raise for Girardi, who got $7 million over three years with his last deal. In addition to making $9 million over the next three seasons, Girardi also has the opportunity to earn incentives, which includes $500,000 for each World Series he is able to win with the team.
According to ESPN, this new contract will make Girardi one of the five highest-paid managers in baseball. This isn’t the same type of money that Joe Torre was making at the end of his time in New York, but not many people would put Girardi on that level of managing. Earlier in the 2010 season, many rumors had Girardi actually leaving the team, with a strong rumor indicating he wanted to go manage the Chicago Cubs (where he used to play). The Cubs hired someone else, though, and now the Yankees have Girardi back.
In Girardi’s past three seasons with the Yankees, he has helped lead them to a 287-199 record, including two trips to the ALCS and a 2009 World Series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Before coming to the Yankees, Girardi found success with the Florida Marlins, but left that job under an air of controversy when he disagreed with ownership moves. Now he seems to have found a permanent home in New York, and for as long as the Yankees keep winning games, he looks to have a safe job.
The Yankees appear to be intent on going after two big free agents this offseason, potentially giving Girardi even more assets to work with. Early rumors indicate that they will go after starting pitcher Cliff Lee from the Texas Rangers and Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays. Doing so will be very expensive, but it will also take away All Star players from rivals around the league.
Both Lee and Crawford are going to be Type A free agents as well, meaning that the Yankees are going to lose a draft pick for each one if they are able to convince both players to come to New York. It might be tougher to attract Lee, though, after it was alleged that Yankees fans were extremely rude to his wife during the ALCS.
The 2011 New York Yankees look to still be a pretty solid team, and if Phil Hughes can continue to improve as he did last season, they could be looking at one of their best rotations ever (with Lee). There are going to be a lot of questions about the aging state of the roster, but they can also quiet that with Crawford coming aboard. The Yankees are going to be very busy this offseason, but getting the managerial situation solved early gets them ready to start offering contracts.