The Cubs want to get their managerial situation settled sooner rather than later, and perhaps they will.
But for the foreseeable future, they'll have to proceed without talking to favorite-son candidate Joe Girardi.
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The New York Daily News reported Thursday that Girardi's current employers, the New York Yankees, will not give the Cubs permission to speak with Girardi until after his contract expires at the end of October. By then, the Yankees may well have re-signed Girardi to a sweetened deal.
Girardi's Chicago-based agent, Steve Mandell, has been in New York this week for two-day talks with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. People close to the situation say that could be a sign that Girardi wants to stay with the Yankees. They also say family matters the most to Girardi, who has children in suburban New York schools.
But Girardi is smart to be examining all options, which also include the possibility of becoming an analyst for FOX TV or becoming the manager of the Washington Nationals. Davey Johnson is not coming back as manager of the Nats.
Cubs president Theo Epstein fired Dale Sveum as manager on Monday and said the Cubs would "cast a wide net" in their search for a new skipper. Girardi checks every box on Epstein's list of qualifications -- big-league manager, strong leadership qualities -- but others have at least some of those traits, as well.
In addition to Girardi, other names mentioned as possible candidates are Mike Maddux, A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta and Sandy Alomar Jr. The name of former big-league catcher Brad Ausmus has been in and out of speculation. Maddux and Alomar both interviewed for the Cubs job in 2011, when Sveum got it.
Cubs claim Gamel:
The Cubs on Thursday claimed infielder Mat Gamel off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Gamel, 28, missed the 2013 season recovering from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and finished on the 60-day disabled list. Gamel remains on the 60-day DL, meaning he is not yet on the Cubs' 40-man roster. However, they will add him to the 40-man later this fall.
Gamel played parts of the previous five seasons in the big leagues with the Brewers (2008-12), posting a .229 batting average (55-for-240) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 106 big league games. He has seen action at first base, third base and left field.
Gamel made his first Brewers opening-day roster in 2012 but suffered a torn right ACL just 21 games into his season. He reinjured the ligament during spring training of 2013.
Sveum lands in K.C.:
Sveum has landed on his feet quickly. The Kansas City Royals have hired him as an infield instructor at the major-league level. The club said Sveum's in-game coaching duties would be announced later; Sveum is a longtime hitting coach. He will work under manager Ned Yost, whom he replaced as interim manager of the Brewers late in the 2008 season, when Yost was fired. Sveum managed the Brewers into the National League wild card.
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