Girardi returns to Yankees with four-year deal

Bronx, NY ( - Joe Girardi has decided to return as manager of the New York Yankees.

The Yankees said Girardi has signed a four-year contract through 2017.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the New York Post reported the deal to be worth $16 million.

Girardi's previous contract expired following the 2013 campaign, a season in which the Yankees battled injuries and other issues en route to a record of 85-77. They failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since Girardi's initial season of 2008.

In six seasons as Yankees manager, Girardi has a record of 564-408 with three division titles and a wild card playoff berth. He guided the club to its 27th World Series title in 2009.

Girardi likely had other choices in his baseball future. He couldn't speak with other teams about potential vacancies until the end of October and it had been speculated that his hometown Chicago Cubs were set to make him a substantial offer, while other possible landing spots included Washington or a return to the broadcast booth.

"After talking with my family, we decided that this was where we wanted to come back," Girardi said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. "It's a special place to manage because of the opportunity that you have every year and the tools that they give you. The history of this organization is unbelievable. There are special things that happen here every year."

A 48-year-old native of Peoria, Ill., Girardi played for the Cubs and Yankees, along with Colorado and St. Louis, during a 15-year career. He was a member of World Series winners with the Yankees in 1996, '98 and '99.

When the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, he joined Billy Martin and Ralph Houk as the only men to play for a Yankees World Series winner and manage the team to a title.

Girardi's first managerial job was with the Marlins in 2006. Despite a low payroll and roster of young and inexperienced talent, Girardi kept the Marlins in the National League wild card hunt in early September and finished the year with a record of 78-84. He also earned the National League's Manager of the Year award, but clashed with team management and was fired after just one season.