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The Yankees are expected to sign Mariano Rivera this week too

Nov 27, 2012, 9:51 AM EDT

Mariano Rivera AP

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Yankees are “optimistic” about signing a one-year deal with Mariano Rivera this week. Along with Pettitte and Ichiro, that would make the third old-timer the Yankees are supposed to lock up before the Winter Meetings.

Each of the deals is defensible in and of themselves, but it is striking how much of a play-for-2013 kind of plan this seems to be for the Yankees. This is a team in need of a long term plan, especially on offense, but as of now they’ve really got nothing going that will help them contend in 2014. It’s still November so there is no sense getting all worried about it, but it will be interesting to see if the Yankees do anything that helps them beyond next year.

As for Rivera specifically: a no-brainer to bring him back, especially with Rafael Soriano poised to get a big, multi-year deal elsewhere. We always say that Rivera is going to lose his mojo eventually, and a year after tearing his ACL is as good a candidate as any to be that time, but if there is anyone who has earned the right to die on the field of battle, it’s Mo.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    YES, that’s very good news. Say goodbye and thank you to Soriano. The Yankee bullpen will probably at this point consist of: Rivera, Roberson, Joba, Aardsma, Logan, Rapada and Phelps as the long guy and spot starter, with just 1 open spot.

  2. raysfan1 - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    As for playing for 2013, maybe they’re just thinking they finished in first in 2012 and that the free agent market is thin this year. There will no doubt be some roster changes, but none of the 3 players you’ve posted as being re-signed or about to be so are any kind of surprise individually or collectively.

  3. ezthinking - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Perfect situation for the Yankees. Give the old guys one last shot, win and let them ride out on top; lose and they have every reason to get younger and cheaper for that $189 mil thing.

  4. randygnyc - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    I’d be happy to see them use all of these one year deals in an effort to compete this year. Then, for 2014, retool while letting prospects play all the positions not under contract. I’d rather see the team under their $189 million dollar payroll for 2014 than win a championship. It frees them up going forward to have payrolls in excess of $225 million if they choose to do that. I expect the Yankees to have all stars at every position come 2015.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    These one-year deals also means an extra first round draft pick for the guy they are not signing (Swisher, Soriano). It gives them one more year to let their prospects develop to see if they can be the answer in 2014. Not to mention, if these guys play well, they (or some other veterans with a bit left in the tank) may get similar deals in 2014, which will not break the bank.

  6. djpostl - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    With the stuff the Yankees have in the farm system; whether it is high impact arms that need a year to recover from surgery (Banuelos, Campos), big league guys doing the same (Pineda) or players merely in need of time to develop (Sanchez, Mason Williams, Heathcott, Austin, Bichette, Hensley); what more do they nee to do beyond this year?

    The market is loaded with nothing but over-priced question marks.

    Hamilton? Talented but risky.

    Greinke? Going to be paid way more than he’s worth.

    Swisher? Been there, done that.

    Bourn? Good, not great.

    Make moves for this year, stay on track to get under the luxury tax threshold for 2014 (and keep in mind, that move isn’t a permanent one…it’s is just for one season to lower your taxed rate back to minimum amount, thus saving you $20M + every year moving forward) & let your farm system play out.

    For all the talk about how bad or over-rated this system is, it is still the one that has brought Gardner, Dickerson, Nunez, Phelps, Robertson & Nova into play the last few years.

    With even more highly touted arms & position players in it now there is no need to freak out and make some bad free agent moves (or get fleeced by a team in a trade).

  7. badintent - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Scott Boras is very depressed ! Too bad for him.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Watch Soriano’s going to have to settle for 2 years and something LESS THAN $20MM total. And even that won’t be with the Yankees.

    • protius - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:22 AM

      Scott Boras is very depressing.

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