Piniella to manage Cubs


Sultan of Swat
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#1's Ken Rosenthal has confirmed that Piniella will receive a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year. That means Piniella will be under contract through 2009, or one year longer than current Cubs GM Jim Hendry.
The hiring could also fuel speculation that the Cubs may try to acquire Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Piniella was previously A-Rod's manager in Seattle.

Piniella led the 1990 Cincinnati Reds to the World Series championship and replaces Dusty Baker, who was not brought back after a 66-96 season that ended a four-year contract.

Piniella spent last season in the Fox broadcast booth and has 19 years of managerial experience with four different teams - Tampa Bay, Seattle, the New York Yankees and the Reds. Several teams had sought to hire him for next season.

Known for his fiery style, the Cubs hope Piniella can revitalize a team that has not reached the World Series since 1945.

Joe Girardi, fired by the Florida Marlins after one season and a former Cubs player, also interviewed for the job.

A Cubs spokeswoman declined comment Monday. Piniella's