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Mariano Rivera on reported talks with Red Sox: “It was real”

Dec 16, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT

Mariano Rivera AP

Mariano Rivera has confirmed reports that he had talks with the Red Sox prior to re-signing with the Yankees for $30 million over two years, saying: “It was real.”

Rivera didn’t verify reports that his agent actually initiated contact with Boston, but made it pretty clear that he viewed the Red Sox as a legitimate option if negotiations with the Yankees broke down.

“I made sure that I thanked [the Red Sox], because they took me into consideration,” Rivera told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. “But, again, this is business, and the Yankees did the right thing. And I’m here.”

Asked if he ever truly felt pitching for the Red Sox was a realistic possibility, Rivera said: “It would’ve been different. I don’t think so. I don’t think the Yankees will allow that to happen. I just had to make sure that I had a job, and the Yankees did that.”

Unlike the Derek Jeter negotiations Rivera’s talks with the Yankees (and Red Sox) mostly went under the radar, with various details emerging only after he’d already re-signed. Boston reportedly offered him the same two-year, $30 million deal that he accepted from New York.

  1. paperlions - Dec 16, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Does this endanger his “true yankeen” status?
    .
    Are we sure he really wants to be a yankee and isn’t just in it for the money?

  2. jh0088 - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Doesn’t anyone think that Rivera seriously considering pitching for the Red Sox is about a thousand times more offensive to Yankee fans than anything Jeter or his agent did? Jeter’s thing was a monetary negotiation between his camp and the Yankees, but at no point did he EVER call up the Red Sox and ask them for a job.

    Jeter negotiated with one team and one team only… the same team he has played for during his entire career and the whole thing was all about his perceived value to that team. And what did Rivera do? He called up the Red Sox??!!!

    If he wanted to make sure he “had a job” there are 28 other teams he could have called who would love to have him. But, no, he actually gave the finger to the Yankees and every New Yorker by getting ready to go to Boston. This may have been under the radar, but this was an infinitely more classless move than the whole Jeter affair.

    As a Yankee fan, I am ashamed of Rivera.

    • phukyouk - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:06 PM

      bullcrap! jeter KNEW he would not get anything CLOSE to what the yanks had offered or even a starting SS spot.

    • bigharold - Dec 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM

      “Doesn’t anyone think that Rivera seriously considering pitching for the Red Sox is about a thousand times more offensive to Yankee fans than anything Jeter or his agent did?”

      In a word, .. No!

      The only thing this confirms is that Rivera can read English. Clearly he saw the Yankees FO use the media to garner public support for them with their negotiations with Jeter. I would guess that he did sit around and wait for the Yankees to do the same thing to him.

      “As a Yankee fan, I am ashamed of Rivera.”

      You’ll get over it.

      As another Yankee fan I don’t think this means a thing!

  3. phukyouk - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    ummmm… he proved that its not about the $$$ cause he took the same amount.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:25 PM

      That proves it’s not JUST about the money. Even money, go with the team that you want to go with. It would have proved it wasn’t about the money if he’d taken a LESSER amount. [/basic logic]

      You could also argue, as I think people are here, that getting the Sox in on the bidding makes it at least SEEM like he would have gone to Boston if the money had been better than New York’s offer, which would mean it would be about the money. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with testing the market and seeing what you’re worth, though.

      The only difference between Jeter and Rivera is that there WAS no market for Jeter to test. The Yankees were already paying him more than he was worth to other teams. But Rivera was being paid less than other teams were willing to pay him, so he had a market to test to find out how much he was worth.

      • jh0088 - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:39 PM

        He could have tested the market anywhere else. You think the Cardinals wouldn’t have been interested in him? What about the Dodgers, or maybe the Braves? If he wanted to test the market, then fine… go talk to a dozen teams who would love to have him. No, he only checked out the Red Sox.

        This is a major slap in the face to the Yankees and all of their fans.

        And people need to get off of the whole Jeter thing because that was just about mone so what’s it to you or me what Jeter gets paid? Rivera knew the Yanks would pay to keep him and yet he still went to their most hated rival and said, “hey, I don’t really care about the whole rivalry thing, i just need a job because I am so poor.”

        Next thing you know he’ll go up to David Ortiz and ask him to autograph his glove on Sunday Night Baseball.

  4. dolinsky191 - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Wow…that would have been another blow to the once might Yanks.

    • mtner77 - Dec 17, 2010 at 1:51 AM

      It has to be hard for those “classy” Yankees’ fans to suddenly discover that they are not the center of the universe, and that there are actually players who will turn down their blood money to play elsewhere. This off-season is the best thing that has happened to MLB in a long time.

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Who cares.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:38 PM

      Exactly.

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