Joe Girardi drawing a lot of interest from Yankees, Cubs, Nationals

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Free agent manager-to-be Joe Girardi is a very popular man right now, drawing interest from the Yankees, Cubs, and Nationals. The Yankees have already made Girardi an offer according to ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, though the specifics are not yet known. In Marchand’s words, the offer is “expected to be significant”. Yankees GM Brian Cashman is quoted as saying that Girardi will be given “a real good reason to stay.”

Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Cubs are willing to make Girardi one of the two highest-paid managers in baseball. Girardi spent the first four years of his career, and an additional three years at the end of his career, with the Cubs.

David Kaplan of CSN Chicago tweets that the Nationals have requested permission from the Yankees to interview Girardi. The Nationals have an opening following the retirement of Davey Johnson. Kaplan also suggests that the Reds, who fired Dusty Baker earlier, could have interest in obtaining Girardi’s services.

Girardi is still under contract with the Yankees through the end of October, so any team interested in negotiating with Girardi must obtain permission from the Yankees or wait until November 1.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.