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Mariano Rivera is in his native Panama for the funeral of Chico Heron, the scout who signed Rivera for the Yankees. Heron, a baseball hero in Panama, passed away last week and Rivera is helping with the arrangements. Rivera's three-year, $45 million deal hasn't been officially announced yet.
Our thoughts are with those close to Mr. Heron.
Thanks to elyse for the reminder.
Rivera is believed to have been one of A-Rod's major sounding boards during the craziness of Rodriguez's past three weeks. Rivera, according to his friend, told Rodriguez as far back as days after A-Rod opted out Oct. 28 that he should approach the Yankees to tell them how he truly felt.
11/19: Mariano Agrees to Deal
Mariano Rivera has informed the Yankees that he is accepting their three-year, $45 million offer, returning to wear the only uniform for which he has pitched.
Word of Rivera's signing comes days after the future Hall of Fame closer returned from a week conducting baseball clinics in the Dominican Republic, leaving the Yankees to wait for his response.
I'm going to hold off off on closing out the Bring Back Mo campaign until the ink is on the paper and he passes his physical. But, he's back! Good news.
George King reports:
After returning from the Dominican Republic last night, Mariano Rivera is going to huddle with his representatives today and according to several sources is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer early this week.
The Yankees are looking into Francisco Cordero in case things fall through. The Daily News reports that they called Cordero's agent to ask about him as a closer, not as a setup man. Though, even if we bring Mo back, I'd like to bring Cordero on as a setup man to Mo, not that that thought has any grounds (whatsoever) in reality.
11/17: Mo Returning to U.S. Today
The New York Times:
The Yankees continue to wait for an answer from closer Mariano Rivera on their three-year, $45 million contract offer. Rivera has been in the Dominican Republic all week for his annual Christian-themed baseball clinic, and his return should bring a resolution to the contract issue.
“He’s going to be back tomorrow,” Rivera’s agent, Fern Cuza, said last night. “Once he comes back, you’ll see some activity starting to move forward.”
"It's pretty much known that they're seeking a fourth year, or more for three years," Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said. "I want him back, and that's why the offer is as high as it is."
The Yankees even drew criticism at the Major League Baseball owners' meetings this week for pumping up the market for relievers.
Ken Rosenthal reports that, according to sources, Mo wants a four year deal. Rosenthal notes that the Yankees remain the "overwhelming" favorite and that no other team is expected to get close to the offer that they have made.
But Rivera, who turns 38 on Nov. 29, has instructed his agents to shop him, in part because he was angered by Hank Steinbrenner referring to his age in recent comments about the Yankees' offer, a source says.
Though it may be true, from Mo's perspective, I wouldn't be happy with that comment, either. "We'll see how committed they are." "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher." These things don't help. They especially should not be made when we're talking about long time, career Yankees.
I'm not saying that the Yankees offer isn't generous - it is. Nor am I saying that he shouldn't take it - I think he should (and hope he does). But, the side circus isn't needed. Make the offer, speak privately. Don't make statements to the media that could be taken as condescending.
“I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that this is it,” Hank Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ senior vice president, said in a telephone interview last night. “Make no mistake, I want him back, and that’s why this offer is what it is.”
Rivera was in the Dominican Republic on Monday, and his agent, Fern Cuza, did not return calls yesterday. Steinbrenner said he believed General Manager Brian Cashman was in contact with Cuza, but Steinbrenner said he did not know why Rivera has not decided on an offer that Steinbrenner says is more than generous.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher,” Steinbrenner said. “He’ll be, by $4 million, the highest-paid relief pitcher in baseball, by far. I don’t know what the holdup is. The ball’s in their court.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher? Again, I don't know why this sort of thing needs to be said. It makes it easier for him to leave. At any rate, I guess this is the Hank Steinbrenner era and I better get used to it. To his credit, it is true that this is a terrific offer and one that will likely not be matched by any other team. Nonetheless, Pete Caldera is reporting that the Mo camp is believed to be looking for a 3 year, $50 million dollar deal.
Rivera, 38, is the other star free agent the Yankees had hoped to retain before other teams could talk money with him. The Yankees recently improved their offer to Rivera to $45 million for three years, which would easily surpass the salary of the Mets’ Billy Wagner for the highest among closers. Wagner averages $10.75 million a year.
But while Rivera also wants to return, his agent, Fern Cuza, said last week that he planned to test the market. Rivera was in the Dominican Republic yesterday and told The Associated Press: “The Yankees are my first option. But if that is not possible, there is Joe with the Dodgers.”
11/13: Mo Files for Free Agency
"The ball's pretty much in their court now. They've both been made very good offers now, and we'll see where they're at," Steinbrenner told The AP. "We'll see how committed they are." ...
After the Yankees' elimination in the American League Division Series, Rivera vowed he would treat negotiations like a "business." Coyly on Monday, Rivera hinted he could even follow manager Joe Torre to Los Angeles if the Yankees' offer was not to his satisfaction.
"The Yankees are my first option," Rivera told The AP in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. "But if that is not possible, there is Joe with the Dodgers."
I am not sure why "We'll see how committed they are?" needs to be said in public.
Life can be funny sometimes. For a while now, it's been reported that Mo was the one that would sign with the Yankees before the deadline and that Jorge was going to test them. Yet, Jorge signs and we're still dealing with Mo.
CharityFolks.com has a charity auction for a Mariano Rivera autographed baseball. The bid starts at $400.00 and the proceeds will benefit the Bob Woodruff Family Fund.
New York Post:
Within the next 48 hours, the Yankees are expected to make new contract offers to two of their biggest free agents.
The Yankees' exclusivity period with both Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera ends after tomorrow, and yesterday Hank Steinbrenner reiterated that new proposals to Posada and Rivera will be submitted before the period expires.
New York Post is reporting that the Yankees intend to raise their offer to Mo, probably over the weekend. From the Post:
"These are going to be substantial offers," Steinbrenner said yesterday by phone. "We are not going to short-change these guys. I think we have a great chance to get back who we want back. We are going to make it obvious how much we want them, and then, ultimately, it is up to them."
The Yankees have offered Rivera a three-year, $39 million contract, and members of the organization feel they are much closer to finalizing something with the closer than with Posada. ...