During his State of the Yankees address, before the final game of the regular season, Joe Girardi spoke for nearly a half-hour. He provided a road map to his decision-making about his future. His time as the Yankees' manager has been wonderful, he said. He downplayed his ties to Chicago. He said he wanted a quick resolution, and that family will be the No. 1 factor in his choice.
When I asked him how much would the financials play into his decision, he held up his right arm, curled the four fingers on his hand and touched his thumb. His answer: "Zero."
Is money really not a factor? Well, we should find out soon.
The Cubs have serious interest in Girardi. The Chicago Tribune reported the Cubs are willing to exceed any offer the Yankees will make. For Girardi's leverage, this is important to have out there, because for him to receive the highest compensation possible to remain, the Yankees must feel he has alternatives.
For the moment, the Yankees can box out all competitors. As ESPN New York reported last Tuesday, the Yankees are not letting others speak to Girardi because he is under contract until the end of October. On Nov. 1 -- if he hasn't agreed to a new deal with the Yankees -- Girardi will become a free agent.
Girardi clearly does have opportunities. The Cubs and Nationals would seem to be the prime contenders. Some have speculated that if the Dodgers lose in the National League Division Series, GM Ned Colletti would use his friendship with Girardi to try to lure him to Los Angeles to replace Don Mattingly. The broadcast booth -- replacing Tim McCarver as Fox's World Series analyst -- could be an option, allowing Girardi to spend more time with his family.
Again, Girardi has said that his decision is first and foremost about family. His kids are 14, 11 and 7 years old. Girardi said they will all have a say, along with his wife, Kim. According to Girardi, they all love living in Westchester.
Do you know any kids that age who want to uproot and leave their friends and start over someplace else?
So, yes, it might be a dream of Girardi's to go to Chicago and be the manager who finally brings a championship to Wrigley, though he has never really indicated that. Yes, overall, the media is not as abundant or as aggressive there, which Girardi would prefer.
Meanwhile, Washington and Los Angeles may have brighter near-futures than the Yankees do.
But Girardi said a week-plus ago that no on-field challenges with the Yankees scare him. If the financials are the least important factor, and with his family's happiness the No. 1 factor, then why wait too much longer? The Yankees and baseball wait to find out if Girardi's actions match his words. The Yankees have a three-year deal for $12 million to $15 million on the table, or a four-year contract at about the same rate, sitting there for Girardi to take.
It shouldn't be long now, one way or the other.