That pull quote in the headline is probably not what you want to hear, but the fact is Joe Girardi is waiting just like everyone else.
“There’s not a lot going on right now and you want to know what you’re going to have going into spring training,” Girardi said this morning before being honored by the March of Dimes. “As you saw last year, a lot of guys didn’t sign until real late and there were a lot of good players signing late. I know it’s going to take time. We did a great job at the winter meetings and we got some great players last year, and we’ll try to do the same thing.”
Girardi, though, has been in constant contact with general manager Brian Cashman and will fly to Tampa in the coming days to meet with the rest of the Yankees decision makers about an offseason strategy.
“We talk a couple of times every day,” Girardi said. “We’re going to have some meetings here in the next couple of days and talk about some more things and start gearing up for the Winter Meetings.”
The Winter Meetings begin on Monday, at which point things might start to heat up.
“There are some pretty good players out there,” Girardi said. “Obviously as a manager, you’d like to have everyone.”
• Girardi labeled Andy Pettitte as “someone we’re very, very interested in.” He also ackowledged that the Yankees rotation is in better shape this year than it was last winter and said Pettitte’s usual decision-making delay shouldn’t hurt the Yankees offseason strategy. “I got the sense at the end of the season that he wasn’t done,” Girardi said. “But sometimes when you go home, you talk about some things with your family. I’m sure he’ll prepare like he’s going to pitch.”
• As for the designated hitter opening, Girardi said he does like the idea of a DH that can play the field, but he also said the Yankees were able to rest their regulars even with Hideki Matsui limited to DH duties. “I could see it working well either way,” Girardi said. “The nice thing we were able to do last year, when we played Hideki about five out of every seven days, is we were able to give Alex a day, Jeter a day, Tex a day every once in a while, Johnny a day. And I do like that, because it’s a way to keep them in the lineup but still giving them a blow and I found that extremely beneficial to the guys.”
• On the series of Roy Halladay rumors: “We don’t know if he is going to be moved or not. Whoever he goes to, he’s going to be extremely valuable. He could make a significant impact.”
• Girardi said he hasn’t asked for a contract extension and isn’t worried about managing in the last year of his contract. “I’ve done it as a player,” he said. “I’ve gone into the first year of a contract and it hasn’t always turned out great, so it doesn’t bother me. I’m under contract, I’m very happy with that, I feel that I’m very fortunate to be under contract. We’ll worry about that when it’s time.”
• Finally, one last word on the sliding practice with Mark Sanchez. Girardi had gone to the stadium “to play” with his son Dante — how cool is that? — then they got the call about going to Jets practice. “If he doesn’t do well, Dante taught him,” Girardi said. “If he does do well, I taught him.”