(Reuters) - Joe Girardi’s tenure with the New York Yankees, who came within one win of a World Series berth this year, has come to an end after the Major League Baseball team said on Thursday he would not return as manager in 2018.
Girardi, who won a World Series title in 2009 and guided the Yankees to the post-season in six of his 10 seasons as manager, had just concluded a four-year, $16 million contract with the storied ball club.
“I want to thank Joe for his 10 years of hard work and service to this organization,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.
“Everything this organization does is done with careful and thorough consideration, and we’ve decided to pursue alternatives for the managerial position.”
The Yankees did not name a replacement.
Girardi’s exit is the latest high-profile managerial change announced during the MLB postseason and follows similar moves by the Yankees’ arch-rival Boston Red Sox, who fired John Farrell, and Washington Nationals, who cut Dusty Baker loose.
After managing the Florida Marlins for one season in 2006, Girardi took over the Yankees in 2008 and in his second season with the club led them to their 27th World Series title.
Girardi compiled a 910-710 record while at the helm of one of baseball’s most storied franchises and his win total ranks sixth in Yankees history.
He also won three championships with the Yankees as a player and is one of three individuals in franchise history to play for and manage a Yankees World Championship team.
While the 53-year-old did lead the Yankees on an unexpectedly deep playoff run, his post-season was marred by a managerial mistake during a Game Two loss to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.
After that game, Girardi accepted responsibility for not challenging a call that would have ended an inning with his team up five runs rather than load the bases and lead to the Yankees’ biggest blown lead in a playoff game since 2002.
After the Yankees were eliminated from the post-season by Houston, Girardi said he planned to sit down with his family to discuss their future.
Girardi, in a separate statement, said that he appreciated the organization having given him the opportunity to lead the team for the last decade.
“With a heavy heart, I come to you because the Yankees have decided not to bring me back,” said Girardi.
“I would like to thank the players for the relationships that we have fostered over the last 10 years but most important, how hard they played every day.
“Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their great support as a player, coach and manager, and the lasting memories of their passion and excitement during the playoff games, especially the final six games, which will remain in my heart forever.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ed Osmond and Hugh Lawson