It wasn’t much of a story six days ago, stuck at the bottom of a Bergen Record article from Pete Caldera. The New York press was much more interested in Alex Rodriguez‘s book signing. But yesterday Mariano Rivera gave eager reporters some scary quotes and the story resulted in six different newspaper articles. The key quote from the impending free agent:
"I definitely want to finish my career here, but if they don’t give me the respect that I deserve…I’m not going to stay at my house crying. I have to move on."
That led various NY papers to create the possibility that Mo could jump over to the Red Sox in 2008. Mass pandemonium. But as many of the articles stated, the Yankees have leverage here and baseball is a business. Rivera likely wants to stay, but he needs to prove himself for the first time. The Bernie Williams situation is not exactly a parallel, since Rivera has retained his skills well. But it’s clear that the Yankees won’t make decisions based on nostalgia.
Brian Cashman and Co. will wait to see if Rivera’s elbow holds up this season. If they can get him for two years and $24MM after that, as Ken Davidoff suggests, he’ll finish his career as a Yankee. If he gets injured this year or demands a three-year deal, there’s a good chance the team turns to its numerous internal options.