CHICAGO -- The Cubs made strong, legitimate pushes to install Joe Girardi as their manager and Masahiro Tanaka as the ace of their pitching staff this past offseason. Neither plan worked out, as both chose the Yankees.
Tanaka fielded a bid from the Cubs that would have been worth a reported six years and $120 million, but instead signed a seven-year, $155 million pact with the Yankees, who are believed to have been the highest bidder for his services.
By that time, Girardi had re-upped with the Yankees for four years and $16 million. There was early speculation that Girardi might be tempted by the idea of coming back to Chicago and managing the Cubs, but Girardi said that it was never all that close.
"When the offseason came, I talked to [Yankees GM] Brian [Cashman]," Girardi said. "We talked to the Yankees and we talked to the Yankees solely. It was a place that we wanted to be, a place we consider home, a place my kids consider home.
"So for us, it was just making sure the Yankees wanted us back, and it worked out. And it did. It's not too often a manager gets to say, 'I can spend 10 years in one city and raise my kids there.' That's really, really unusual. It gives stability to all of us -- and I like stability."