If the Nationals had visions of bringing Joe Girardi to Washington, they were officially quashed on Wednesday when the Yankees announced they have signed their manager to a four-year extension that will keep him in the Bronx through at least 2017.
The odds of Girardi coming to D.C. all along seemed long, with his top two choices either staying with the Yankees or leaving to manage his hometown Cubs, but the Nationals certainly would have been interested to talk to him about their managerial opening.
The Nats coveted Girardi as far back as 2007, after he was fired by the Marlins. The ex-catcher, though, declined an opportunity to interview with then-GM Jim Bowden, spending a year doing TV work before the Yankees job opened upon Joe Torre's firing.
Girardi remained under contract with New York through October 31, so other clubs wouldn't even have been able to interview him until next month. And with the Cubs expected to make a hard push to bring the Illinois native and Northwestern alum back to Wrigley Field, the Nationals potentially would have found themselves engaged in a bidding war for the highly sought skipper.
In the end, the Yankees kept Girardi by offering him a four-year, $16 million contract with bonuses, according to CBSsports.com, making him the second-highest-paid manager in the majors behind the Angels' Mike Scioscia. It's debatable whether the Nationals would be willing to spend that much on any manager.
General manager Mike Rizzo has refused to date to say anything publicly about the search to replace Davey Johnson, but bench coach Randy Knorr is the top in-house candidate. Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams remains a likely external candidate in a hiring process that isn't expected to be resolved until after the World Series at the end of the month.