Girardi interviews with Yanks; Mattingly up next

The Yankees will decide whether to have a meeting with Alex Rodriguez.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Bobby Valentine likely won’t be asked to interview with the New York Yankees as they search for a new manager.

The Yankees began the interview process Monday, with former Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi spending about an hour at Legends Field.

Yankees bench coach Don Mattingly was due in today and New York first base coach Tony Pena Wednesday.

“There’s a slight favorite, not a heavy favorite,” Hank Steinbrenner, a son of owner George Steinbrenner, said Monday.

That favorite is presumed to be Mattingly, who spent this season as bench coach following three years as hitting coach under Joe Torre, who left last week after 12 seasons as manager.

Girardi, who drove in and out with general manager Brian Cashman, did not speak with reporters.

Hank Steinbrenner said four or five people will be interviewed, but Valentine wasn’t on the list. Valentine, former manager of the New York Mets and Texas Rangers, is managing the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.

“I would say at this point probably not. He’s certainly a smart guy, but probably not,” Steinbrenner said.

Steinbrenner said the Yankees planned to discuss Monday whether to ask for a meeting with Alex Rodriguez, who has until the 10th day after the World Series to decide whether to terminate the final three seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and become a free agent.

The Yankees say that if Rodriguez ends the contract, they’ll drop out of the bidding — they would lose a $21 million subsidy from the Texas Rangers if he opts out.

“We want him to stay and I would think he would want to stay. We’ve made it clear if he opts out, good-bye,” Steinbrenner said.

Asked whether Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras, understands the Yankees’ position, Steinbrenner responded: “I think he does now.”

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