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Joe Girardi could ‘Yank’ Cubs’ change

New York Yankees v HoustAstros

New York Yankees v Houston Astros

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Updated: November 3, 2013 6:40AM



The Cubs might learn within the next 24 hours whether they’ll get their shot at luring top managerial target Joe Girardi away from the New York Yankees.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is scheduled to meet with Girardi’s agent Wednesday in New York to make his pitch to keep the hottest potential free agent on the market in Yankee pinstripes after his three-year, $9 million contract expires at the end of this month.

Conversations with a multitude of sources, including industry sources in both cities and some close to Girardi, anticipate the Yankees creating a decision for Girardi that will come down to team loyalty against a family-driven desire to
return home, a commitment to winning against a chance to make history with the Cubs and money.

Girardi, a former Cubs catcher who met his wife at Northwestern, sat with Cashman over coffee Tuesday to discuss the situation, Cashman told New York media.

‘‘We have an interest, clearly, in trying to keep him,’’ said Cashman, whose aging, injury-ravaged team missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 2008. ‘‘I think he likes it here. I’m not speaking for Joe, but I think if you’re good at what you do, you’ll have opportunities to stay. He’s definitely going to have that. We’re going to give him a real good reason to stay.’’

The Cubs already have made their intentions clear to Girardi for weeks, sources said, but they now must wait for the Yankees to get their first shot at him.

Cashman declined to say whether he would grant the Cubs permission to talk with Girardi while he still was under contract (through Oct. 31).

Meanwhile, Cubs president Theo Epstein began the process of lining up candidates Tuesday, the day after Dale Sveum was fired.

Beyond Girardi, the Cubs haven’t settled on a short list. But former big-league catcher A.J. Hinch, an assistant GM with the San Diego Padres who has player-development experience, is in the field. He originally was hired in San Diego by Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, the Padres’ former GM.

And Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., a candidate when Sveum got the job two years ago, also is on the early list, major-league sources said.

But short list or long list, it won’t matter if the Cubs are successful in landing their clear-cut top choice. That might make Wednesday one of the most important days in the foreseeable future of the franchise.

‘‘I can’t speak to other opportunities,’’ Cashman said, referring to other interest in Girardi. ‘‘We can’t control what other options or
interests may be out there. If you’re good at what you do, people are
going to have some interest. You can’t predict the future on that. You can only control your side of it.’’

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

Twitter: @GDubCub



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