Possible Replacement Candidates For New York Yankees’ Joe Girardi
Today, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with manager Joe Girardi’s agent to discuss a new contract to keep the upcoming free-agent manager in the Bronx for a few more seasons.
Cashman has said that he’ll know more about he and Girardi stand after today’s meeting, and we’ll know within the next couple of days how the meeting went.
On the off chance it didn’t go well, and Girardi doesn’t seem to be coming back next season, then the Yankees would be in the hunt for a new manager. But who? Would the Yankees stay in house and hire someone that’s played in pinstripes before, or would they go with an outside choice. Here are my possible candidates.
Tony Pena — former big league catcher, current bench coach: At the moment, this would seem to be the Yankees first option to replace Girardi. Pena spent 18 years in the majors as a catcher with the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros. Hiring him would go along with the recent trend of former major league catchers now managing in the big leagues – Mike Matheny, John Gibbons, Mike Redmond, and, of course, Girardi.
Pena already has some experience managing in the major, as he spent four years with the Kansas City Royals from 2002-2004, winning the AL Manager of the Year award in 2003 – the same year Girardi won his Manager of the Year award with the Florida Marlins.
After going 198-285 in four year with the Royals, he came to the Yankees in 2005 and has been with the organization ever since. He actually applied to replace Joe Torre in 2007, but the job was instead awarded to Girardi. Pena would seem to have the inside edge this time around, and given his vast knowledge of the club he would be managing, Pena would be a good fit.
Jason Giambi – former Yankee, currently with the Indians: While I particularly like the idea of Tony Pena, I feel like Jason Giambi would be a great fit to not just manage the Yankees, but any team in baseball. Of all the possible candidates, I think Giambi would be Pena’s biggest competition.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard nothing but good stories about how great of a manger Giambi would be. His leadership in the clubhouse has been said to be one of the best things about him. Indians manager Terry Francona has often praised Giambi, saying that he would make a terrific major league manager.
Giambi applied after the 2012 season to become the next manage of the Colorado Rockies, and was willing to retire from baseball if he got the job, but he lost out to Walt Weiss, who Francona once said must be a great guy if he was able to beat out Giambi.
Giambi is currently in his 19th season in the majors, and is likely going to retire after this season, and I expect him to be managing somewhere, even if it’s not with the Yankees. In his 19th seasons, he played with the Oakland Athletics, Rockies and Indians, and even spent seven seasons with the Bombers, where he was one of my favorite players.
Other candidates: The two men above would be my top choices for the job, if it became available, but there are still some others in the running. Mike Scioscia is in danger of losing his job with the Los Angeles Angels. I’ve never really liked Scioscia, but I’m sure he would still be contacted. Eric Wedge won’t be returning to the Seattle Mariners next season, he could get a call from Cashman. And, who knows, maybe the Yankees ask Derek Jeter if he’s interested.
Again, nothing has actually been said about Girardi not coming back to the Yankees next season, but just in case, it’s always good to know who might be managing the team next season.
Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter for the latest on the Girardi negotiations.