NEW YORK (AP) — If anything, the Yankees like Joe Girardi even more now than when they hired him to manage the team six years ago.
General manager Brian Cashman praised Girardi's handling of the team during a disappointing season and is about to offer him a new contract.
"He knows we'd like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward," Cashman said Tuesday. "I feel we hired a good one. He's been a world champion player for us. He's been a coach, a broadcaster and obviously a world champion manager. So we've benefited from having him and we'd like to do that going forward, but we'll have to speak with him and see how it plays out."
Girardi has led the Yankees to a 564-408 record and a World Series title. Crippled by injuries, New York had its poorest season since 1992, missing the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and finishing tied for third in the AL East at 85-77.
Cashman met Girardi for coffee on Monday, a day after New York's season ended, and plans to have lunch Wednesday in New York with Girardi's agent, Steve Mandell.
"We're entering the sensitive conversations that will either lead to a deal or lead us to the understanding that there won't be a deal," Cashman said.
Girardi won out over Don Mattingly to replace Joe Torre after the 2007 season and was given a $7.8 million, three-year contract. He is completing a $9 million, three-year deal.
The Chicago Cubs may be interested in Girardi after firing manager Dale Sveum. Girardi grew up in Illinois, went to Northwestern and played for the Cubs. But Girardi is under contract through October, and Cashman wouldn't say whether he would give the Cubs permission to speak with the manager.
"I think he likes it here," Cashman said. "We're going to give him a real good reason to stay, and he's earned that through his six years with us so far."
Heading into the offseason, the Yankees face numerous questions, especially about their pitching staff and infield. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are retiring. Second baseman Robinson Cano is a free agent, as are pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Curtis Granderson.
Shortstop Derek Jeter played just 17 games this year after breaking an ankle last October and third baseman Alex Rodriguez didn't return from offseason hip surgery until August, and he may have to serve a lengthy drug suspension next season.