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Yankees confident they can re-sign Pettitte, Rivera, Kuroda

Nov 11, 2012, 11:34 AM EDT

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman provides the scoop:

The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano RiveraHiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte — surely more faith than they can do a deal with Rafael Soriano at the moment.

The Yankees expect to try to work something out with Rivera in the coming week, especially now that Soriano has rejected the $13.3-million qualifying offer. The club’s hope is to get Rivera done at a bit of a pay cut from his $15-million 2012 salary, as he is 43 and coming back from a knee injury.

Pettitte hasn’t completely committed to returning for the 2013 season, but the expectation is that the veteran left-hander eventually will.

And it’s highly doubtful that he would agree to pitch for any team other than the Yankees at this point.

Kuroda may be a little trickier because of the amount of interest he has already attracted from teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers. But Heyman says the Yankees are viewing Japan as their primary competition.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    King George was so predictable – Soriano would have been a must. His kids don’t have the same fire in their bellies. Losing Soriano would be a mistake.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      I have to disagree with you about losing Soriano. I do NOT think it will be a mistake at all. In fact I think it will be a blessing. The Yankees have some very good arms available in the bullpen. And one extremely talented relief pitcher waiting in the wings in Double A – Mark Montgomery who is a strikeout machine. Just my opinion.

      As for the Yankees ability to re-sign: Pettitte, Rivera and Kuroda if they’re confident, i’m confident.

      • Old Gator - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        If I’m the Razed or some team in a small to medium market and had serious budgetary issues to deal with, I might agree with you. However, I were sitting on the same pile of cash on which the Borg is sitting, and I had a proven closer on my staff, I’d find a way hang on to him at least until some of these other young arms actually proved themselves. Letting Soriano walk because you’ve got a kid in AA is really hanging it out over the edge.

      • pisano - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        uyf1950…..My friend, I agree with you 100%, Soriano did a good job, but he is expendable. I stated the other day that even if Mo isn’t what he was, I feel Robertson will be able to close. I don’t know anything about Montgomery, but if you think he’s a closer in waiting, that’s good enough for me, as most things you call are pretty much spot on. It will be interesting to see the RF replacement, but I’m glad to see them not give Swisher a big money, long contract. He seemed to always fail in the big moment, but they will miss his versatility as far as being able to man first base as well as the outfield. I’m sure Cashman will come up with a reasonable replacement. As you say, just my opinion.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        Old Gator my friend I will again respectively disagree with you. Whether or not the Yankees can afford to pay for Soriano in my opinion is not the point. The point is, is he worth what the asking price is or expected to be and in my opinion he is NOT. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that Soriano will be 33 years old come the start of the 2013 season. He has already missed time in several of the previous season due to injuries. Also keep in mind he has only had 2 seasons where he’s been a very good closer.

        The 4 years about $50MM plus Boras is seeking for Soriano is insane. At 33 years old a club would have to be stupid to lay out that kind of money and years for him. At least that’s my opinion. Before anyone points out that’s what Papelbon got last year let’s remember Papelbon was/is much younger than Soriano and had/has a much better resume than Soriano.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Pisano my friend, thank you. The Yankees have other needs that are much more pressing then overpaying for a “wannabee” closer (like a RF’er and Catcher). I use the tern “wannabee” because if Rivera comes back healthy which all concerned seem to believe he will be and is paying for Soriano would be a huge mistake. Just my opinion.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        and I had a proven closer on my staff, I’d find a way hang on to him at least until some of these other young arms actually proved themselves

        Come on, do you read believe this nonsense? Rivera wasn’t a “proven closer” when he took over for Wetteland, and actually cost the Yanks in the ’97 playoffs giving up a HR to Sandy Alomar. Yet, he stayed the course and is the best reliever ever. Soriano was awful two years ago, and now some fans act like he’s the second coming. Papelbon is awful one year, great the next. It happens.

    • djpostl - Nov 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Mo, Joba, Robertson, Aardsma, Logan, Eppley, Phelps (if he isn’t in rotation) and then if needed make run at Soria or some other good arm looking to re-establish value is infinitely smarter than signing Soriano.

      Add to the fact that if they get under that cap just one time (the plan is NOT to stay under it) you reset the rate at which you’re taxed. That alone saves you 20-30M per season moving forward.

      Hell, if Mo signs for say 10M just the 5M you save on him from last year & watching Soriano’s deal leave the books frees up almost 20M. The 15M or so Swisher would have commanded takes you to 35M and so on.

      You can get by with the bullpen you have taking shape. The money saved can be put to other areas (extending Cano, bring Andy & Hirok back, adding a veteran bat to replace Swisher).

      All those things combined makes it a no-brainer to not re-sign So.

    • mianfr - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      I think he falls of the face of the Earth next year in terms of effectiveness.

      He got worn down at the end of the year and he’s also at the point in his career trajectory where this thing happens, barring a couple scattered exceptions.

      I think whoever gives him the multiyear deal gets burned badly.

  2. rockthered1286 - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I can’t see how “proven” and AA can end up in the same thought.

  3. yankeepunk3000 - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    see that’s what people don’t seem to understand…Yankees are tying to go under the luxury tax so if they sign Rafael there is no way they could reach it by next year. this guy wants a four year deal and he’s already heading to his mid 30s…the yankees are smart to pass. you can always find some diamonds to pitch well for a year…and our bullpen was strong last year. the yanks will be fine in the pen bank on it

  4. cur68 - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    You can never have too much pitching. Not even The Empire can have too much pitching. I saw my boys get decimated by pitcher injuries last season. This after they added bullpen arms & starters in the offseason. It happens. The one team in all baseball with the wherewithal to insulate against that is The Empire. I sincerely hope they do Soriano him walk: they have but two outcomes if they do. Won’t miss him or will miss him. So a good/bad scenario.

    If they keep him they have only good outcomes: due to injury they need him; if no injuries then he can help with closing/set-up/relief; if they don’t need him they have an excellent trade chip for whatever they do need. Good/Good/Good. Please, let him walk, Cashman. I like the idea of The Empire’s fate hinging on a 50/50 chance of needing a lights-out reliever. After all, its really plausible that they DO need him. Their closing duties fall the shoulders of a + 40 guy coming off knee surgery and a season of no pitching. How likely is that to go well? So yeah, on behalf of all the other teams in the AL Beast, let Soriano go elsewhere, Mr. Cashman.

    • roverkarlthecannedham - Nov 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      I am Karl Rover and I approve of this guys handle.

      • cur68 - Nov 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        uh…thanks…I guess. You’re a ham…I like ham…with applesauce and mashed potatoes. Anyhow, it is clear my current illness is affecting my grammar/proofreading skillz, so perhaps you should be more selective of whom you approve: I gots the flu cooties. Shalom, Mr. Canned Ham

    • indaburg - Nov 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Sheesh, sick again?

      I agree with you. I hope they let Soriano walk, although I suspect the Borg is bluffing. Robertson last year didn’t seem to handle the closer role well and succumbed to injury which is why Soriano took over last year. Joba is prone to strange and unusual injuries. A lights out AA prospect? Uh huh. As for Mo, good lord, this has to be the year that age and mortality catch up to him. Let Soriano walk. Lose some pitching depth. Pride goeth before the fall.

      • cur68 - Nov 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        Yep. Caught the flu again. This time from my neighbour across the street. We’re ass deep in snow and I was shovelling her walk. She’s a nice old lady and thanked me in person but it was pretty obvious that she was sick with something. Next day at work…I got lost on the unit. Then I got lost trying to walk out of the hospital. Just went into a total brain lock both times. My muscles (such as they are) were killing me: I thought it was the mountain of snow I’d shovelled. But no. Raging fever on friday and now…well there’s no non-gross way to describe what my lungs are doing. Suffice to say it would take about 8 to 10 words, each of many syllables, to describe it all.

        Anyhow, leaving aside my weaknesses (of which there are many), let us ask our respective deities that handle our baseball related requests that The Empire let Soriano walk.

        Faux Bu hear me . . . I have seal blubber, rum and cigars for you . . .

      • indaburg - Nov 11, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        Aw, man, that sucks. Get more anti-oxidants in your diet. I hear seal blubber is chock-full of them.

        I shall pray to my Zim-bear.

  5. crisisjunky - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Post reality setting in, Dave Robertson will close.
    Between the lines, Mo has already hinted re-assimilating isn’t the piece of cake we’re used to seeing with him. It’s the company line that resistance is futile.
    With regard to Soriano, correct on both counts, yes they have the juice, and no, they don’t want to have to keep plugging him to recharge for more than a year or so.

  6. natstowngreg - Nov 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Two thoughts for the group:

    1. My guess is that George Steinbrenner wouldn’t let himself be limited by the new, stiffer luxury tax.

    2. Scott Boras’ contract demands are not real numbers. They’re just negotating positions; as in, it can’t hurt to ask. This is the agent who demanded that the Nats sign Stephen Strasburg for $50M. Strasburg signed for $15M, and Boras crowed about breaking the record for biggest draft pick contract. If a team is foolish enough to meet Boras’ absurd demand of 4yrs/$50M for Soriano, the team has only itself to blame.

  7. cackalackyank - Nov 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I agree, let Soriano walk. They will piece to gether a pen. Call me delusional if you must…but Andy and Mo pitch for NYY or they start their HOF clocks. Plenty of fill in arms to be had until any new blood develops. If they are confident they can get Kuroda for another year that sounds fine. Sabathia, Hughes, Phelps, Nova, and Kuroda is better than a lot of rotations you will find. Add in Pettitte and Pineda for the second half and they could have good flexibility at the deadline too. I really think the biggest problem is going to be re-structuring the bench to include a back-up 1B since they do not want Swish anymore. I did not love the guy but I liked him more than Granderson. (Grandy must go!)

  8. mississippimudslinger - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Andy Pettitte let go already! damn when do these guys realize it’s time to let go the 1990’s are over

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