Chicago Cubs fire manager Dale Sveum — now can they land Joe Girardi to replace him?

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

For MLB teams not getting ready for Game 163 or a playoff run, Monday is "do we keep our manager day?" The Chicago Cubs made Dale Sveum the first casualty of this offseason.

Sveum managed the Cubs for two seasons, going a combined 127-197, finishing last in the NL Central this season and fifth in 2012. The standings difference? They were in the same division as the Houston Astros a year ago.

Sveum's firing wasn't a surprise, he was expected to learn his fate Monday. CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney filed this after Sunday's season-ending Cubs loss:

Sveum’s had a bull’s-eye on his back ever since president of baseball operations Theo Epstein declined to say the manager would be returning in 2014. That non-answer on Sept. 17 sparked Sveum Watch, which should finally end Monday morning.

“You’d be lying if you didn’t have anxiety about what’s going to happen in 24 hours,” Sveum said. “That’s human nature.”

A Miller Lite can on his desk, Sveum sat back in the manager’s office after Sunday’s 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He joked about all the questions hanging over his future. “It’s upon us,” Sveum said, laughing.

In announcing Sveum's firing, Epstein talked about the Cubs finding a new voice and energy. Per Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune:

"I believe a dynamic new voice — and the energy, creativity and freshness that comes with this type of change – provides us with the best opportunity to achieve the major league environment we seek. We have not yet contacted any candidates or asked permission to speak with any candidates, but that process will begin tomorrow morning."

Here's where the Cubs manager talk gets even more interesting: One of the names that's been floating around to take the Cubs job is a big one — New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi. Girardi's contract with the Yankees ended after 2013. He's from Illinois, played baseball at Northwestern University, then played twice for the Cubs.

Word is that Girardi would "listen" if the Cubs were interested in him. Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney has a source saying the Yankees would need to pay Girardi more than his previous $3-million-per-year contract to keep him in pinstripes. Now, with the job opening in Chicago and his name attached to it, Girardi was leverage.

IN OTHER MONDAY MANAGERIAL NEWS:
• The New York Mets signed Terry Collins to a two-year extension.

• The Minnesota Twins have a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon at which they are expected to announce they'll keep Ron Gardenhire. That's according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

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