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Joe Girardi Reportedly Wants To 'Explore' Cubs Vacancy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Say it ain't so, Joe!

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi "wants to formally explore the Cubs' opening after weeks of back-channel feelers," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Yankees are awaiting an answer from Girardi on their contract offer, which was believed to be in the range of $12 million to $15 million over three years. New York brass hasn't given him a deadline, nor does Girardi have permission to speak with other teams before his current deal expires Nov. 1, WFAN and baseball insider Jon Heyman reported.

But the Yankees have "made it clear" they may tear up the offer if Girardi waits to negotiate with other teams, the Sun-Times reported. He could also be a candidate for the Washington Nationals job.

Chicago fired manager Dale Sveum last week, immediately fueling speculation of a power play for Girardi. And the Cubs are apparently willing to open up the coffers to outbid the Yankees, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Girardi has strong Chicago roots: he grew up in East Peoria, Illinois, attended Northwestern University and played for the Cubs from 1989-92 and 2000-02.

"It comes down to family," Girardi said last month during his season-ending chat with reporters. "They are first. Whatever is best for the group of us, not one individual, not me or just my wife or one of our children. Whatever is best for us as a group is what we'll decide to do."

"Our home has been here (in New York)," he added. "My kids are engrossed in schools here. We haven't been to Chicago since -- I haven't lived there since 2006. My father's gone, my mother's gone. There's not as much there as there used to be."

While the Yankees play the waiting game, Chicago seems to want an answer on the quick. The Cubs expect to hear by Tuesday whether Girardi "will make himself available" to the team, while some "have been skeptical from the beginning" that he'd bolt from the Bronx, the Sun-Times reported.

"It's not in my personality to drag things out," Girardi said. "I've always been a guy that likes to know what I'm going to do the next day."

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