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Yankees sign manager Girardi to four-year extension

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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— New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his confidence the team could win its 28th World Series title by 2017 was a principal factor in his decision to return to the club with a four-year contract extension.

Girardi, 48, and the Yankees agreed to an extension that will keep him under contract through the 2017 season, the Major League Baseball team said Wednesday in an email. While terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, CBS Sports reported the deal is worth $16 million, plus bonuses.

Girardi has led the team to the playoffs in four of his six seasons, including the club's 27th World Series title in 2009. The Yankees have the best record in baseball (564-408) since he took over before the 2008 season.

Girardi said today on a conference call that he would not have accepted the offer if he didn't think he could win another title. He called Yankee Stadium a "special place to manage."

"The history of this organization is unbelievable," Girardi told reporters. "Just to be able to put on the pinstripes, as a coach, a player, whoever you are, is special because of what New York has meant to Major League Baseball and what it's meant to all of us."

Injury-depleted New York was 85-77 in 2013, tied for third in the American League East division with the Baltimore Orioles. It was the second time in the past 19 years that the Yankees have missed the postseason.

"Obviously the talent that he had to work with this year was significantly less than other years," General Manager Brian Cashman said last week. "The job of the manager is to make sure these guys fight, compete on a daily basis and stay motivated, and he was able to provide that."

The announcement comes less than a week after Cashman and Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said they wanted to have Girardi back. Girardi's previous contract was set to expire at the end of October and he was considered a leading candidate for the Chicago Cubs' managerial vacancy, according to ESPN.

"After talking with my family we decided this is where we wanted to come back," Girardi said. "We never really interviewed with anybody else."

A native of Peoria, Illinois, Girardi played 15 MLB seasons as a catcher, including four years with the Yankees in 1996-1999, when the team won three World Series titles. He hit .267 in 1,277 career games, with 36 home runs and 422 runs batted in.

After his playing career, Girardi spent one season as manager of the Florida Marlins, leading the team to a 78-84 record in 2006. He was voted National League Manager of the Year and was fired in the offseason after becoming the third person to win the award in his managerial debut.

Girardi became Yankees manager on Oct. 30, 2007, succeeding Joe Torre, who managed the team to four World Series titles in a 12-year span. The Yankees had not won a playoff series in three years when Torre declined an offer to re-sign with the team.

In Girardi's first season, the Yankees went 89-73, the club's lowest win total in eight seasons, snapping New York's streak of 13 consecutive playoff appearances. The following season, the team beat the Philadelphia Phillies to capture its MLB-record 27th World Series title.

Girardi won his 500th game with the Yankees on May 10 this season in his 844th game with the team, according to the release. He was the fifth-fastest manager in team history to reach that milestone, trailing Casey Stengel (790 games), Joe McCarthy (796), Torre (833) and Miller Huggins (833).

New York had an opening-day payroll of $228.8 million in 2013, according to CBS Sports. Team ownership has said it would like the Yankees to be below $189 million next year to save luxury tax payments that can be as high as 50 percent of any amount over that threshold.

Girardi said Wednesday the team will be competitive regardless of its payroll.

"$189 million is still an awfully lofty number," he said. "Through the minor-league system, the free agents and the players that we have, we will be very good."

 

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