By Andrew Marchand
Joe Girardi will not be back next season as manager of the New York Yankees, sources told David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Thursday.
Girardi just concluded a four-year, $16 million contract, and he and the team agreed to part ways, sources said. They will make an announcement later Thursday.
Girardi, 53, and the Yankees came within one game of going to the World Series this year, losing to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. In 10 years at the helm, Girardi won one World Series and made the playoffs six times. He has talked extensively about how the talent at the major and minor league levels could bode very well for the Yankees in years to come, but now Girardi will not be a part of that future.
One of the complications of Girardi’s departure is there is not an obvious candidate to replace him. Internally, bench coach Rob Thomson is highly respected, but it is unclear whether the Yankees would go with a lower-profile candidate. First-base coach Tony Pena has managed in the majors before. The Yankees are expected to look externally as well.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will favor a candidate who has a good feel for the clubhouse, a willingness to use advanced statistics and one who can handle the extreme expectations of fans and media in the Bronx.
Cashman’s contract also was up at the end of the season; however, he is expected to return after building a strong roster and farm system.
Though the Yankees advanced deep into the playoffs, Girardi had the lowest moment of his managerial career when he was held responsible for a loss in Game 2 of the American League Division Series in Cleveland after he failed to ask for replay review on a strikeout that was incorrectly called a hit batsman. The Yankees stormed back to win the final three games of the series and then nearly came back from a 2-0 deficit against the Astros in the ALCS.
After the Yankees lost in the ALCS, Girardi professed his love for managing but said he would once again discuss his situation with his wife and three children, asking them what they thought was best for their family. He has expressed similar sentiments on previous occasions when his contract was up, but has always returned to the team.
Girardi has had aspirations to work in baseball operations, possibly in the commissioner’s office. He also could return to broadcasting. Girardi also has a passion for college football, and while he has said it is a long shot, has spoken about serving as an athletic director.
After managing the Marlins for one year, Girardi took over the Yankees in 2008. He won a World Series in 2009 and finishes his Yankees tenure with an overall record of 910-710.
As a catcher, Girardi played for 15 years in the big leagues, winning three World Series titles in four years with the Yankees.