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Yanks Not Working On Rivera Extension

According to Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, the Yankees aren't seeking to enter contract extension discussions with Mariano Rivera's agent during spring training.  Rivera will be a free agent after 2007.  Rivera is 37.

PECOTA says Rivera is worth about $23 million over the 2008-2010 seasons.  He'll make $10.5MM in 2007.  Something tells me he'll do a wee bit better than Jason Marquis, however.  The free agent market after '07 doesn't offer anyone better, as Joe Nathan and Trevor Hoffman are likely to have their options exercised.  Eric Gagne could be an option if he comes back strong this year.

K-Rod will be a free agent after 2008, unless the Angels give him an extension.  It was supposedly a top priority this offseason; the Yankees may be eyeing him up as Rivera's heir.


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i just can't see the yankees pushing him out the door like that if he can still get the job done, k-rod or no k-rod. that would be the ultimate asshole thing to do after the career he's had w/ them. now if he starts sucking hardcore next year then that's a different story, but he had another great year last year.

btw, i noticed the yanks have that former ut closer j.b. cox and he had a pretty good year for their AA team last year. he hardly got any saves but his other numbers were really good. why wouldn't the groom him for rivera's heir?

I'm not worried, he isn't going anywhere.

boomshwa12: J. Brent Cox has a broken hand from stupidly getting into a fight. He was NOT given an invite to Spring Training this year so he won't have the chance to make a good impression on the higher ups this season. As far as grooming him to be the next closer, he doesn't have the velocity that others already in the system have and I'd expect the Yankees to overpay for a free agent closer instead of handing it right away to prospect.

Assuming he's still effective, Rivera being re-signed is about as close to a guarantee as you have in baseball. I don't blame the Yankees for taking it slowly with him, and expect a contract similar to this one, maybe 1 year with an option for a 2nd year based on fairly difficult to reach incentives.

When you're talking about a short-term deal, I doubt they'd had much trouble going to, say, $15M a year, for one of the most special players in history.

Yankees are smart not to work on an extension. Closers have a way of falling apart all at once, why negotiate early if you don't have to? The market is so ridiculous right now, it's hard to see it going up next season. Plus, since the Yankees will never be outbid, and since Rivera will undoubtedly favor the Yanks anyway, their is no risk of losing him.
Hell, if disaster were to strike this season (couple of major injuries) and the Yankees were somehow not in contention, they could trade Rivera in July and then bring him back for next year.

This is silly. In the end, Mo will get his 3 years at about 14M per annum.
And when K-Rod becomes a FA, he will get a huge deal from the Yankees, too, and take over for Mo. There will be a year or two where their contracts overlap, but they are the yankees and don't have a budget. Haven't we learned this?

Two points:

1) Rivera has said many times that he intends to retire in the next few years. I'm guessing that the reason they're not working on an extension is that Rivera wants to play out part of the year and see whether he wants to keep playing after this year anyway. Ever since his cousin died, he's been talking retirement though.

2) I wouldn't be surprised if Humberto Sanchez, who was picked up in the Sheffield deal, is groomed for closer in the distant future. He's a 2 trick pony who's had arm problems but has electric stuff when it's on. He probably could be an average starter, which is why most teams wouldn't convert him at this point, but my guess is that he'll be in the Yankees bullpen this season with a chance to become the heir apparent.

I like the idea of grooming Dellin Betances as the next great closer. He's 18 years old, 6'8 215. throws 93-97 consistantly and can touch 98-99. He is currently a starter in rookie ball but I would hope they move him to the pen eventually. He's got a live fastball and throws a decent knucklecurve and changeup. He had a 1.16 era in 23 innings of rookie ball.

Makes sense, but Rivera has been talking retirement since the late 90s. Once he was going to become a priest. I'm fairly confident he's going to keep pitching until he's no longer effective. Hopefully it's another 5 years.

That would be a hell of a bullpen.... Wow......

dang, what a moron. i guess cox will get what he deserves then. i do think the yanks will try (or should try) to develop a prospect to take over for rivera eventually though.

and if that betances kid's stuff is that good with that array of pitches then why wouldn't they just keep him as a starter? he and hughes would make one helluva 1-2 punch for a while if they develop properly

he and hughes would make one helluva 1-2 punch for a while if they develop properly

Posted by: boomshwa12 | February 07, 2007 at 05:22 PM


im going to sound like an a-hole but u cant say he and hughes would make "one helluva" 1-2 punch just yet, he hasnt even started on the majors.

Whoever they sign will be a downgrade. When Mo does eventually break down I'll be happy regardless of who they get to replace him. If I'm really lucky he'll do it now before the Yankees can get anyone on next year's FA market.

......"i just can't see the yankees pushing him out the door like that if he can still get the job done"......

They did it to Bernie, why not do it to Mo and Posada?

"Closers?" Since when does Mariano Rivera compare with the average 'closer?' None of them have done it for 12 consecutive regular seasons and 12 consecutive post seasons, often multiple innings, men on base, etc. And with a non-violent smooth delivery. The Yankees deserve to lose him for this treatment. He should also fire Fern Cuza. Then he should sign a big deal with the Red Sox. The Yankees clearly don't appreciate him. Also, for those not familiar, he had Tommy John surgery in 1992, so it's not like that's looming around the corner.

Mo will get inked, no need to worry. Betances is a starter and will remain as such. Also, LMAO @ Sanchez being an "average" starter. If he remains healthy, he's a top-of-the-rotation guy without a doubt.

"They did it to Bernie, why not do it to Mo and Posada?"

Look, I love Bernie. He was an exceptional ballplayer and I almost feel privaledged to say that I got to see such a class acts career unfold in front of me.

Take Bernie is his prime and Rivera in his (arguably still is).
Bernie was a good ballplayer, and as stated a class act. Mo is a HOF bound, best ever at what he did athlete.

If Mo still has the fire come 09 and is happy still playing I wonder how open-minded he'd be to allowing the orginization sign K-Rod and fall back into a setup role. Mo like Bernie is an amazing gentlemen and Im sure he would understand that it would be best for the future of the club.

This is all lip service, anything can happen. If Bonds thinks he can play to his late 40s then that means Mo can play until his late 60s or so. Guys an amazing athelete.

Regardless of what happens to Bernie this year I think he's still work 5mil a season just to be a baserunning coach and teach every Yankee to run the way he does.

b diddy, interesting you claim Sanchez is definitely a top of the rotation starter given that he's never pitched in the majors and already has quite an injury history. Even more interesting given that he put up an ERA of 3.86, a H/9 of 8.77, K/BB of 2.15 and WHIP of 1.36 last year at AAA. How that's worth a guy who puts up 30 HR, 100 RBI every year is beyond me. Sheffield prior to his injury last year was the most productive player the Yankees currently have in uniform over the three previous years. That includes A-Rod's time between NY and TX over that span. Sanchez isn't half the pitcher Yankees fans have claimed he is. He was putting up an ERA of 5.57 in AA last year and has averaged an ERA over 4 in his minor league career. He's had only 2 good stints in his minor league career and both combined were less than 90 innings (one of those stints was also 3 years ago). The other 338 innings were junk.

"Mo will get inked, no need to worry. Betances is a starter and will remain as such. Also, LMAO @ Sanchez being an "average" starter. If he remains healthy, he's a top-of-the-rotation guy without a doubt."

How do you know that he will be a top of the rotation starter? He is supposedly out of shape with injury concerns. You have probably never seen him pitch and never heard of him until he was a Yankee. If he was projected to be a top of the line starter, then why trade him for an aging Gary Sheffield, when the yankees were the ones looking to deal him. There is a chanceof him becoming a front line starter, but its hardly a given.

"If Mo still has the fire come 09 and is happy still playing I wonder how open-minded he'd be to allowing the orginization sign K-Rod and fall back into a setup role."

By that point, Rivera should be #2 on the all time saves list. He'll need to close for about 2 seasons after Trevor Hoffman retires to pass him. Considering Hoffman is two years older, I'd say that's a reasonable goal. It'll probably be hard to convince Rivera to give up the closer's role when he's in striking distance of the saves record.

With prospects, it's all about what they can potentially become. And Sanchez projects as a top-of-the-rotation starter. Whether or not he becomes one is unknown. OF, talent is much more important than numbers in the minors. Don't list me Sanchez' numbers when he was putting them up sporadically due to injuries. As I said, and I did make a mistake in my lost post... should've read "top-of-the-rotation potential" if he remains healthy he can definitely become a top-of-the-rotation starter, not many are going to dispute that. The Tigers traded him for Sheff because they're stacked w/ pitching and needed help w/ the offense which Sheff will immediately provide. And, nrmax, I did hear of him before because I follow the minors very closely.

Now I could be mistaken. But to me a top of the rotation starter is the caliber of Hughes or Bailey. These guys are prospects, they're all about potential. Saying he has top rotation potential is just saying he is a top of the rotation prospect. To me it seems to be the same thing.

Can you provide some expert opinion that supports your claim? Who also agrees Sanchez will or could be a number1?

"Also, LMAO @ Sanchez being an "average" starter. If he remains healthy, he's a top-of-the-rotation guy without a doubt"

You've apparently read different reports than I have, he is a 7th inning reliver not even a closer, let alone a top of the rotation starter. He's an injury prone reliver.

While its true Rivera has talked retirement, he has also talked wanting to be the all time saves leader. With the money he will get paid, and how nailing down the record will just solidify him being the greatest reliver the game has ever seen there is no chance he walks away barring a huge arm injury.

If Sanchez was still on the Tigers, you wouldn't be calling him a seventh inning reliever. He would still be the starter whose presence and potential had the Tigers considering trading Bonderman over this offseason. Granted, it wasn't a long lived thought process, but it was mentioned.

And, for what it's worth, Minor League News ranked him as the number five prospect in baseball last year. That is probably overdoing it, but the point is the guy has potential, and scouts recognize that. Just because he's in the Yankees' system now doesn't mean that potential goes away.

Here's a link to said ranking, if anyone cares: http://www.minorleaguenews.com/baseball/features/articles2006/08/fab50/05.html

GoBoSox420, Top-of-the-rotation means the 1 and 2 spots in the rotation. It doesn't necessarily mean the number 1 spot. ArodSucksAtLife, were you sipping on your Sox kool-aid when you were reading these supposed reports. Give me a freakin' break, Sanchez... a 7th inning reliever. Yeah, sure.

b diddy anyone "could" become a top of the rotation starter. When judging prospects it isn't what they could do, it's what they can do. If you don't judge a prospect by their numbers then I don't know how you judge them. A guy who allows something like a hit an inning in AAA isn't going to become an ace when he transitions to the majors just because he supposedly has the potential to. If you can't get minor league hitters out you can't get major league hitters out. I'm surprised you don't believe in looking at minor leaguers numbers given that you supposedly follow the minors closely. I know you're not watching all the players so how exactly do you judge them?

Thought it might be useful to read a scout's opinion on Sanchez. Quoted by Jim Callis on Baseball America's Askba feature, on November 10th -

"Here's the report that Jon Paul Morosi wrote on Sanchez:

Born: May 28, 1983. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 230. Drafted: Connors State (Okla.) JC, D/F 2001 (31st round). Signed by: Rob Guzik/Buddy Paine (Tigers).

Background: Sanchez went from the Dominican Republic to the Bronx to an Oklahoma junior college to status as one of the Tigers’ top pitching prospects. Not bad for a draft-and-follow from the 31st round, albeit one who turned pro for $1 million. The ascent of Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya left him as the Detroit's best pitching commodity in the minor leagues--at least until the signing of Andrew Miller--but a tender elbow limited him to only one start after mid-July.

Strengths: Sanchez has the power stuff, starting with a 90-94 mph fastball he can dial up to 97 when necessary. He has two breaking balls, including a slider with splitter break, and flashes a quality changeup. His repertoire was big league-ready by the middle of 2006.

Weaknesses: He must become more durable. A rededicated Sanchez worked hard to trim his weight following 2005 season in which he was limited by pulled lat and groin muscles. The results were encouraging, as he had dynamite numbers in Double-A, earned a promotion to Triple-A and was fielding his position better than ever. Then the elbow pain began, resulting in a clunker finish to what had been a very promising season. He finished with 123 innings, which still were a career high. From a stuff standpoint, his changeup needs more consistency.

The Future: Had Sanchez remained healthy, he likely would have earned a September callup. The issue, though, is that he never has lasted beyond 123 innings in a season. Questions about his durability may have prompted the Tigers to move Sanchez into the bullpen, which also would have been easier to break into than their young, talented rotation. Now it's the Yankees' call."

Here's the link - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/262819.html

A few more comments:

Sure, Sanchez's ABSOLUTE ceiling if everything in the world goes right is that he could be a top of the rotation guy (which would require developing a 3rd pitch and staying healthy), but the most likely scenario is that he's an average starter or a good reliever.

Minorleaguenews is a fricking joke. Citing them for prospect information is like citing the National Enquirer for real news. He didn't even make Baseball America's top 100 last year, and most people considered him about a top 30 to 40 prospect before he got injured (and is now probably pushed into the late 40s to early 60s range).

In any case, he has a plus fastball and a plus splitter with a decent change, and a long history of arm injuries - elbow and shoulder. The Yankees will probably have him in the bullpen this year either way, unless they trade multiple starters or several guys get hurt, and if he excels there, then it would make sense for him to be the heir apparent if Rivera is contemplating retirement.

Lastly, Betances doesn't consistently sit around 93 - 95, but nobody should expect him to at his age. People who I've spoken to who actually watched him pitch earlier this year said his fastball was all over the place, from 88 to 97. Still, at 6'8" with even the ability to throw that fast that young, he could be very special if things break right. He personally reminds me a lot of CC Sabathia, but he's so far away from the majors at this point that he still has the full range of potential outcomes.

Brick, you damn well know there's no need to include ABSOLUTE when talking about Sanchez ceiling. He's not that far off. As I said, if he remains healthy, his ceiling is a top-of-the-rotation starter. I really don't see how anyone could dispute that. OF, sure I look at the numbers that prospects put up, but more importantly I look at their tools. It's really funny that you say what they can do and not what they could do... prospects are all about potential since none can accurately predict on how they'll perform in the big leagues. Sure, there are some givens, but they're a select few and sometimes even they don't do much(Corey Patterson anyone?).

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