Jon Heyman: Friends say Joe Girardi wants Cardinals job badly

Joe Girardi has already confirmed to Fancred that he wants to manage in MLB again. We may now have a stronger sense of precisely where he'd like to be, too.

Friends say Joe Girardi absolutely wants the Cardinals job. Girardi wouldn’t address the specific position when contacted a week ago, but people close to him say that this may be the job that intrigues him most. The former Yankees skipper is not commenting on the Cardinals in particular because they have someone currently in the role, namely interim manager Mike Schildt, but that is not an indication that he isn't interested in taking it on if it becomes available.

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Like Schildt, Girardi has a longstanding relationship with Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. Plus, he’s from Peoria, Ill., which is right between Cub/White Sox country and Cardinals country. He was a Cubs catcher in his playing days, but that certainly wouldn't preclude him from leading the franchise's chief rival (and besides, he technically retired after a brief stint with the Cardinals in 2003).

The Cardinals aren’t big payers — Matheny was earning $1.35M in 2017 — but Girardi’s friends say he is willing to take less to manage the Cardinals. He made $4 million a year on his last Yankees contract.

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How close to that number would the Cardinals have to get? Would Girardi need or want a contract worth more than Matheny's? Is St. Louis more confident with Schildt because of his relationship with the team's younger players from their time together in the minor leagues? All that remains to be seen.

What does seem more sure is that the idea of managing the Cardinals strikes Girardi as a fit, and he'd be interested in throwing himself into the job if it is made open.

Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.

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