'I Made It Clear To Him That We Do Want Him Back'

NEW YORK (WFAN) — With the playoffs in full swing — and the Bronx Bombers watching from home — it’s time for Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner to focus on 2014 after his club missed the postseason for just the second time in 19 years.

His first order of business? Securing a manager for next season.

Joe Girardi’s three-year, $9 million contract, which he signed following the 2010 season, is set to expire at midnight on Oct. 31. According to a report, the Cubs are willing to top any offer that the Yankees make to Girardi.

And Girardi reportedly wants to “explore” the Cubs’ vacancy, which opened up when Dale Sveum was fired by Chicago on Sept. 30.

Steinbrenner chatted with WFAN host Mike Francesa on Tuesday to discuss the current state of the club and where negotiations stand with the manager.

“I talked to Joe on two different occasions,” Steinbrenner said. “I made it clear to him that we do want him back. My family thinks he did a great job this season given everything that happened. We’re gonna try to work something out. We’re gonna try to work out a deal that’s fair for both of us and acceptable. As always there’s other factors involved and things to overcome, but we’re working on it.”

Girardi managed one year with the Marlins in 2006 — winning the National League Manager of the Year award — and then was hired by the Yankees following the 2007 season.

In six years at the helm in the Bronx, the 2000 All-Star has gone 564-408, winning the World Series in 2009. He led the Bombers to the playoffs in four of the six seasons, missing out in 2008 and 2013.

According to WFAN’s Sweeny Murti, the Yankees’ offer is expected to be for three years at an annual salary of at least $4 million.

“I think we’d both agree, and I don’t want to speak for him, but I think both sides agree this needs to be done quickly,” Steinbrenner told Francesa. “Quite frankly, we’re going to be starting our baseball meetings — as we always do — soon. And we want the manager, whoever that is — hopefully it’s Joe — to be a big part of them. Sooner rather than later, I think we’d both agree on that.”

As far as player personnel goes, it has been well-documented that the front office wants to cut the payroll to $189 million and get under the luxury tax.

Steinbrenner reiterated, however, that the club will not sacrifice acquiring the best players possible in order to reach that goal.

“For several reasons, it’s important,” Steinbrenner told Francesa. “And it’s certainly a goal that we take seriously and we’re gonna strive for, Mike, but as I’ve said before on numerous occasions, it’s not gonna come at the expense of fielding a championship-caliber team. We know that’s what we’re expected to do, and we’re gonna do it.”

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