Girardi's return to Yankees refreshingManager true to his word that New York was where he wanted to be
The Yankees have re-signed their manager to a four-year deal reportedly worth $16 million, plus bonuses. It gives Girardi significant job security and a pay bump that he certainly deserved.
If you think about what Girardi has done in his time with the Yankees, it's nothing short of impressive. He took the job in 2008, replacing long-time Yankees fan favorite Joe Torre. And since then, Girardi has won each year, including a World Series in 2009, while handling the New York media with class and dignity.
This past season was tough for the injury-riddled Yankees, but Girardi squeezed every bit of talent out of his roster. And moving forward, he will bring familiarity to what could be a very different looking 2014 roster, as well. While some speculated that Girardi would return to his hometown, Chicago, to manage the Cubs, those rumors had almost no factual truth to them. Girardi had plenty of leverage with the Yankees, but knew that New York was where he wanted to be.
Girardi's popularity in New York and with the Yankee organization at the moment is interesting because it proves the "postseason or you're gone" theory incorrect. The 2013 season was considered a success by many, even though the Yankees finished on the outside looking in. Girardi may not win Manager of the Year because of Terry Francona and John Farrell's work with the Indians and Red Sox respectively, but many have speculated that he will finish third or, at the very least, in the top five.
There's something refreshing about his re-signing. Maybe it's that it's very clear that Girardi had all the leverage in the world when it came to these negotiations. He's won a championship here, and contended in 2013 against all odds. Girardi is the perfect man for the job, and both he and the Yankees must have known this. But did Girardi make crazy demands or threaten to leave at any point? Absolutely not. In this day and age, all we hear about in this business is guys "testing the market" and agents demanding crazy money if the market will support it. But in the end, Girardi stuck to his word that New York was where he wanted to be. He had the leverage and the resumé to demand the WORLD, but instead he accepted a generous offer by the Yankees and stayed right where he belongs.
Now it's time for Girardi and the Yankees to focus on another tough task: building a roster for 2014.