Phillies, Mets Battling for Free-Agent Manager Joe Girardi?

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28: Manager Charlie Manuel
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28: Manager Charlie Manuel /

The latest chapter of the Phillies-Mets rivalry has an interesting twist.

The Philadelphia Phillies are hardly wasting any time to find the successor to recently dismissed manager Gabe Kapler.

This week, the team’s brass plans to meet with at least three candidates — Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi, as well as Dusty Baker — all of whom are experienced managers that combine for: seven Manager of the Year honors, two league pennants, and one World Series championship.

Girardi accounts for the one championship, which ironically came while managing the New York Yankees opposite the Phillies and Charlie Manuel exactly 10 years ago.

Now, it is possible the 11-year veteran manager “flips to the other side” and dons red pinstripes in 2020 and beyond. Doing so, it would mean Girardi chooses the Phillies over their division rival New York Mets.

Given they parted ways with Mickey Callaway, the Mets are among the eight teams needing to hire a new manager this offseason; they, too, are reportedly interested in the 2009 World Series-winning manager.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman describes the already existing connection Girardi has with the Phillies, and how a battle between them and the Mets could take place for his services:

"Besides his credentials, Girardi has a strong relationship with Phillies team president Andy MacPhail, going back to their mutual days with the Cubs. Plus, they were on opposite sides during collective bargaining agreement negotiations when Girardi was still a player — and their mutual respect helped ease some of the tension in talks.… And there is that scenario in which Girardi could end up a front-runner in Philadelphia and New York. If this plays out, then the Mets should expect Girardi to maximize his leverage."

Girardi, who turns 55 on Monday, managed the Yankees to a 910-710 record over 10 seasons (2008-17), finishing no season with a win-loss percentage less than .519. The Yankees performed the best under Girardi in 2009, winning 103 games before going on to defeat the Minnesota Twins (3-0), Los Angeles Angels (4-2) and Phillies (4-2) en route to the franchise’s 27th-ever championship.

The Peoria, Illinois, native also managed the Florida Marlins to a 78-84 (.481) record in 2006.

On NBC Sports Philadelphia’s latest At the Yard podcast, Jim Salisbury says he thinks the Phillies can prevail in “any bidding war” for Girardi.

“If they really want the guy, I think they can prevail in any bidding war,” he says. “They’re a very deep-pocketed, big-market team. If that is the guy you want, and money is the hold-up, you just make it happen.”

Girardi, so far, has interviewed with the Chicago Cubs, and is expected to meet with the Phillies and Mets this week.

While having not managed since 2017, it is becoming increasingly likely he will be one of the 15 National League managers in 2020. Whether it is with the Cubs, Phillies or Mets remains to be seen.