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Are the Yankees really playing it cheap with Mo Rivera?

Nov 22, 2010, 9:37 PM EDT

mariano rivera in suit

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees, already in a public free agent battle with shortstop Derek Jeter, are now at odds with Mariano Rivera about a contract for next season.

Rivera wants a two-year deal worth around $18 million per season but the Yanks only want to give him a one-year pact.

First reaction?  The Steinbrenner kids are serious about running the club like a business and not spending wildly like the pinstriped teams of the past.  They’re really going to play hardball with the old timers.

Second reaction?  Rivera won’t be treated like Jeter, because Mo is still a highly effective player and worth a little outlandish cash for a couple of final seasons.  The 40-year-old closer turned in a 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this past year while holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average.  Jeter, meanwhile, registered a career-worst .270/.340/.370 batting line and showed poor range at the shortstop position.

The Yankees’ three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter is a generous one.  I think we all need to be reminded of that.

Brian Cashman and Co. will concede on Rivera — probably not at a total of cost of $36 million, but they’ll concede.  They shouldn’t on Jeter.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Pfffft! I don’t think Mo will have a problem finding a job if the Yanks all of a sudden got stingy…. Jeter? Not so sure.

  2. anythingbutyanks - Nov 22, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Bleh. Last thing I want to see is a Yankees team so well run that championships are won and not bought. It actually sounds like the kids might have reasonable heads screwed on their shoulders. I know a lot of other teams would never stand up to franchise guys like Mo and Jeter, which leads me to the conclusion that the Yankees are one more step ahead of those teams organizationally. I’m preparing for the worst…

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 22, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    I have absolutely no doubt the Yankees will give him 2 years at probably is current salary $15M per. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees are doing this more for Jeter then for Rivera. How would it look to Jeter if the Yankees just said OK to Rivera’s demands. The Yankees are playing a little cat and mouse with Rivera so it strengthens their position with Jeter a little more. Rivera’s not going anywhere, the Yankees realize he is critical to their success even at 40 or 41 years old, and he certainly won’t have any trouble finding a team. He’ll get real close to everything he wants in short order, the Yankees just need to make a point with Jeter that they are serious.

  4. frankvzappa - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    when you coddle your players for their entire careers, eventually they will act like the whiny spoiled overpriveleged donkeys you have made them

  5. BC - Nov 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Honestly? I give him 2 years, $36mil. Why wouldn’t you?

  6. apbaguy - Nov 23, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Amazing he’s in a position to get at least $30+ million over 2 years at age 40. I want what he’s drinking.

  7. dondbaseball - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Drew, I assume that you are knowledgeable in baseball by having earned the job you have. However based on your headline, I am worried your employers overpaid you! Why the headline when there is NO EVIDENCE that the Yanks are going cheap on him? They offered a 1 year deal which is what he initially indicated. Also, at $15 mil per season, that is still way above what any sabermetric minded executive would dare pay a closer, even the great Mariano. By most estimations, the most closers can earn in salary is $11-13 million. His current abilities would be well received elsewhere but I don’t think he feels disrespected like Jeter and will finish his career in the Bronx.

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