Source: Sides have 'good meeting'
NEW YORK -- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and the agent representing manager Joe Girardi exchanged "the parameters" of a deal at a meeting Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
"It was a good meeting,'' the source said. "No formal offers were made, but Joe's agent gave the Yankees the parameters of what he's looking for, and Cashman gave the agent what the Yankees are thinking about.''
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According to the source, no further meetings were immediately scheduled.
Girardi's agent, Steve Mandell, was said to be taking the Yankees' "parameters'' to his client, while Cashman was expected to meet with team owner Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine to discuss Girardi's requests. The source refused to say whether the sides were close but did say, "I believe Joe Girardi wants to come back to the Yankees.''
Girardi's three-year, $9 million contract expires Oct. 31. In five seasons with the Yankees, Girardi's record is 972-564, a winning percentage of .580. His Yankees teams have won the American League East three times and the World Series once, although this year's team won only 85 games (the Yankees' lowest full-season total since 1992) and missed the postseason for only the second time in the past 19 seasons, both times coming with Girardi as manager.
Still, Cashman expressed a strong desire to bring Girardi back at a news conference Tuesday.
"I personally believe he has been exceptional ever since we've had him,'' Cashman said. "Obviously the talent that he had to work with this year was significantly less than other years, but he was able to still maintain that leadership, keep these guys hungry and motivated, and not give up. They never did, so thumbs-up. I thought he did a great job.''
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The Yankees might be facing competition for Girardi's services form the Chicago Cubs, who fired manager Dale Sveum on Monday. Girardi grew up in Peoria, Ill., not far from Chicago, and played seven seasons for the Cubs. Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that Cubs ownership is interested in hiring Girardi, but a source in the Yankees' organization told ESPNNewYork.com last week that Cubs general manager Theo Epstein would prefer to hire Brad Ausmus.
On Tuesday, Cashman refused to say whether he had been contacted by the Cubs seeking permission to speak with Girardi, nor would he say whether he would grant that permission if asked.
"I think Joe likes it here,'' Cashman said. "We can't control what other options or interests may be out there. The most important thing is he knows we'd like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward. But we're going to give him a real good reason to stay."
Neither Cashman nor Mandell returned phone calls seeking comment.