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Yankees Offer To Rivera: 3/45

UPDATE: Hank Steinbrenner confirms the offer as 3/45.  Not sure what Rivera is waiting for...no need to haggle over a no-trade clause since Rivera would be a 10 and 5 player.   

According to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, the Yankees have a very aggressive offer on the table for closer Mariano Rivera: three years, $45MM.  $15MM a year for a closer!  It's unheard of.  Billy Wagner makes $10.5MM annually, but he signed two years ago.  Rivera's next deal could inflate Francisco Cordero's contract. 

If Rivera pushes for a higher average annual salary or a fourth year, I think the Yankees would be right to pass no matter what kind of media backlash they might receive.


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Wow...the Twins may be wise to consider moving Nathan if Rivera is getting that...can't see him staying in Minnesota and Neshek seems adequate now. If they can get a bat and some prospects and keep Santana...for the year or beyond. What is that about $250,000 per inning? About $50k per minute with the way he closes out?

No one will even try to match that offer. If Rivera accepts (and he'd be foolish not to), the Yankees will be paying a 39-year-old Posada and a 40-year-old Rivera $28M combined in 2010.

Only the Yankees...

28 million a year for their closer and their catcher...and both on the wrong side of 30.


Wow is right.

Cashman would've gotten Rivera signed for way less if he did it earlier. Same for Posada.

15 million for a closer is insane. That's ace starter money. As much as I'd love to see Rivera turn that down, I'd doubt he will.

I understand that there are factors at work that ENABLE the Yankees to make these kinds of offers, including a massive TV empire; I just don't think it's fiscally responsible.

I'll allow for a slight NYC salary markup due to the cost of living (which is decidedly less significant when you're operating with salaries in the millions), but I still don't understand why the Yankees feel compelled to bid against themselves.

Someone in the front office must have decided that it's worth more in terms of dollars and cents to grossly overpay at two positions where people identify the faces with the franchise. Why this couldn't have been accomplished for a few million dollars less is beyond me. Is there really that much value in locking them up before they test the market?

That is totally insane, its crap like this that really suggests the system is broken. It makes no sense when one team can just pay anyone ridiculous amounts of money. You'd figure they'd learn by now, considering even with all of that money spent, they still can't buy a world series.

And this is just to lock up their old players. I can't wait to see their "free agent splash"...

All you need to explain this is the phrase, "It's the Yankees."

Unlike Posada (which I still feel was way too much money) Rivera isn't needed. There are other options available. I don't see how offering Rivera 50% more money than any closer makes sense.

There actually is a lot of value in locking these players up quickly for the yankees, albeit not specifically baseball related. I remember reading somewhere soon after it was announced that Torre would not be back that Posada and Rivera just hit the jackpot because the yankees could not afford to lose them PR-wise. I think last season showed there is more danger than in the past of players on the open market because almost every team has the money to make a big splash.

Now can we have a salary cap???????

Heh, the request for a salary cap is funny coming from a guy with "Zito" in his handle... I'm sure the Giants wish someone had put a hard cap on them before they pulled that trigger.

Seriously though, the union would never allow a salary cap. It would take an owners' strike freezing out all baseball players before the union would entertain talks that would lead to salary control. And as long as MLB revenues are so high, determined owners will continue to bid against each other (or in the Yankees' case, themselves) for talent, and salaries will continue to spiral upward commensurate with the boom in the industry.

The Zito contract is rediculous as was the 10 yr 252 that Arod got back when.

Rich owners win, rich players win.....Fans lose again.

As a Yankees' fan...

This is ridiculous. Most good starters don't get that kind of money and they're paying a 37 year old closer 15 million!

They should've let him walk. Even Posada was overpaid by a lot.

The responsible thing would've been to let them walk, collect the picks and sign someone like Barret and Wood.

Or even trade for a good young catcher (WTF is Cashman doing with all those arms in the minors?)

The Yankees could've had 4 first round picks and 3 sandwich picks if the right teams signed the FA (Phillies -> Rivera, Mets -> Posada, Angels -> ARod).

As a Yankee fan i could care a less how much money we give rivera as long as we get him. Money is no object to the yanks and rivera is one of the most valuable players on this team. To say this is a bad deal is stupid. Having a reliable closer is really important.

Seems to me Cordero would have been a MUCH better choice here...and thats the most prestigious closer job in the world...something tells me Cordero would have taken 10 mil a year from them...and he is probably going to be better for the life of the contract. I love Rivera, don't get me wrong, but this is just crazy money. The fans are about to get even more screwed. What are the ticket prices going to be at the new stadium???? 75 bucks for nose bleeds? Geez....

"To say this is a bad deal is stupid. Having a reliable closer is really important."

Thats Yanks bias. Cordero is at this point in their career a better closer, and could have been had for cheaper. So while it is important to have a good closer, it could have been done better for less money.

Henry, Red Sox fan here, but I hear you.

I think walkoffblast's response makes some sense -- Posada and Rivera have value that exceeds their on-field abilities at age 40. Most devout Yankees fans I talk to, even those who were around during the 1990s, don't remember Mel Hall, Melido Perez, Matt Nokes, or the flash-in-the-pan that was Kevin Maas.

The truth is, most of the fanbase as we know it hopped (back) on the bandwagon during the Torre-era, and while the Yankees have some of the most loyal fans, a team built on a cable TV empire probably can't afford to lose the casual fans who would response to the loss of Posada and Rivera with, "Who the hell are these new guys? Where's the remote?"

Rebuilding is a dirty word in Boston and New York, so I guess that's why the ones who earn their stripes or socks get rewarded for "intangibles," beyond what baseball sense would dictate (i.e., Varitek). That said, my problem isn't that the Yankees didn't let their free agents walk, it's that they forced themselves into this desperate corner by refusing to lock them up earlier.


I agree that their value is more than what they give on the baseball field. That's why Cashman should've signed them earlier. Just as teams buy out arby years, he should've bought out their last years for cheap.

At the start of the season, 3/30 would've been good for Posada, and 3/33 for Rivera.

But now its different. Posada's value will drop, 36 year old catchers do not see a surge in production and he's average defensively.

Rivera's numbers are still good but he isn't exactly Sandman anymore. He isn't even the best closer in his division, let alone the AL.

You have to eventually weigh the years, the money, their value down the road and say no thanks.

The draft picks would've been much better for the Yankees and I'd say Cordero/Wood/Joba would've been fine closers.

It'd be tough, but you have to let go sometime. Out of the 3, Pettitte is truly irreplaceable.

I don't have any problems with the Yankees throwing away their money. I just find it highly contradictory when fans say something like "We don't want Johan. To give up Hughes + take on $20m/year in salary would be foolish."

Well, which is it? Are the Yankees going to build within and stay out of the Santana, Cabrera, and A-Rod sweepstakes because it is too expensive? Or are they going to continue to Tom Hicks themselves by over bidding against their own team?

Like I said, I don't care one way or the other. I am just interested in what the Yankee philosophy really is.

Oh, and holding out for draft picks is very risky. If the Dodgers sign A-Rod you get nothing. If the Marlins signed Posada you get nothing. If the Nationals sign Rivera you get nothing. While it would be great to land 3 decent first round picks there is a chance that you can end up with nothing but sandwich picks.


I actually do care. I want Santana. I don't want to give up Hughes. I will give up Joba+ for him. I'll give up Cano+ for him. I'll pay the man 20 million a year for the next 4-5 years.

I don't want Rivera at 15 million a year when the alternative is 2 draft picks and there are options out there (Wood and Prior if nontendered are my favorites).

I don't want Jorge for more than 2, certainly not for 4. 2/30 would've been more palatable than 4/52. As it stands, I'd take the picks for him too.

I hope neither have no trade clauses.


True. But how much of that is probable?

Jorge: wouldn't leave New York (his son and home etc) and the Mets would outbid everyone else.

Rivera: Nationals? I guess that's possible, but my money would still be on the Phillies so that they can put Myers back in the rotation. I'll give you this one :D

ARod: Well this is out of everyone's hands right? The Yanks aren't going to resign him, and unless he accepts arby, it's his choice. I still think its the Angels (the Dodgers will go get Cabrera I think).

But you're right the picks aren't a sure thing. I'm 99% sure that the Mets would sign Posada and the rest are toss ups.

"The Yankees could've had 4 first round picks and 3 sandwich picks if the right teams signed the FA (Phillies -> Rivera, Mets -> Posada, Angels -> ARod)."

This, by the way, is one of the biggest problems in baseball today. The best teams can swap free agents and get sandwich picks that screw the worst teams out of the value of their second round pick.

I don't have any problems with the Yankees throwing away their money. I just find it highly contradictory when fans say something like "We don't want Johan. To give up Hughes + take on $20m/year in salary would be foolish."

It's not the spending that people complain about there, it's the combination of giving up a cheap potential ace AND spending the sick money. Most of the people complaining about a trade like that would prefer signing Santana as a free agent.

As to the people asking if Posada and Rivera are getting no trade clauses - they don't need them. They're both 10 & 5 players - 10 years in the majors, the last 5 with the same team. They get automatic no trade rights.


I forgot about that. That just makes it worse. The Yanks can't even unload them a year or two in to a desperate team.

By the way...if they let Rivera walk and got Kerry Wood to close, who is a big name, and he did well, he would be LOVED in New York. He is a risk...but for that kind of money and getting draft picks in return...I think it would have been worth it.

They probably shouldn't be giving that many years/dollars to these two...but remember Cashman is on the hottest seat in baseball going into next year. Miss the playoffs/lose 1st round again = bye bye. Taking a low-cost gamble on Kerry Wood to close next year probably ain't going to be too good for his job security. I give him credit for hanging onto their young arms so far given this fact

Maybe, but remember. Getting Wood or Cordero doesn't involve losing their young guys...except I guess they would lose their pick if they got Cordero, but would gain one losing Rivera. Either way...they could probably get BOTH Cordero and Wood for the kind of money they are giving a guy way passed his prime.

I meant packaging them in a Cabrera/Santana package. I'm not sure it's clear that Cordero is better than Mariano at this point...although probably safer in a 3 year deal due to age/durability. Check out Cordero's road splits.

I know them all too well...Aramis had a little to do with that! Anyway...I think its pretty clear that Cordero is the better contract at this point, don't you?

I don't really think it's a slam dunk. Especially if Cordero's going back to the AL. Let's see what they each end up getting...Cordero 4-45 or Rivera 3-45? Neither is a good contract objectively, but I'd probably rather have Mo

I think Rivera is a safer bet the next 3 years than Cordero, despite the age. The 2 aren't even comparable. Look at their WHIPS the past 5 years.
Why should age be a concern? Has anyone noticed a change in his stuff or velocity? No. He still brings it, and is a big game pitcher. The fact that it would be a PR nightmare (before the 07 season, showing him respect and paying him early was a very hot button issue in NY, if they didn't come out and make this financial statement many fans would have been disappointed.)
Look I realize no other team would have given him this much money, but there's no way I'm going to be upset about them overspending to keep Mo, when clearly a lot of money is being saved in other areas of the team, particularly with a younger and insanely cheaper rotation, and ARod leaving.

Posada on the other hand deserved every penny of that deal by performance alone. They couldn't afford to lose his production behind the plate (Barret? Are you kidding me?) IN ADDITION to Arods loss. Those are the 2 best hitters and it would have devastated the offense. Also other teams (Mets) were willing to go as high as the Yankees, so locking him into the long term deal had to be done for the present construction of the lineup imo, even if he won't be a 13 million dollar player in '10 or '11.

To the people saying Rivera is well past his prime:

2005 was the best year of his career. 2006 wasn't far behind.

If you take out the month of April, then his 2007 stats are about the same as his 2006 ones.

Looking further back, his '03 and '04 stats are similar to the '06 ones, maybe slightly worse.

Mariano's got one bad month in the past 3 years. If anything, he's getting better as he gets older.

Okay. No offense to anyone saying to go with cordero. when you are getting Mo, you arent just getting your closer that the gods honest truth is over paid but will still give you realistically 35+ saves for at least the next two years. Sure can he go down with an injury and pull a pavano . ABSOLUTELY. thats the risk you take signing an older closer to a multiple year deal. i think it was more of an appreciation thing than anything else. like Yea Mo you gave us spectacular preformances i nthe postseason and regular season so here is your reward. The yankees have a past of rewarding their own. Look at the second chance they gave bernie and sure enough he was very valueable with the injuries to the outfield. all im telling you is that MO is still going to be his legendary self like the yankees or not. its is an emotional thing and that is why cordero didnt get an offer

Wow, this is truly unbelievable. Wasn't he struggling earlier in the year?

This all makes me think that the Yankees are doing all of this to dull the pain over how much they are paying Giambi.

Aside from simply assuming he should be worse because of his age, I'm not sure what some people are looking at here. Rivera's K/9 actually jumped back over 9.0 in 2007 and his K/BB was the third best of his career. If you ignore April/May (for trending, not to clean up his numbers), he was still the same, dominant Mariano we've always loved.

I'm a Mets fan and lived in NY my whole life....

You HAVE to pay Mo and Posada. Out of towners jus wouldnt understand.

The Yankees are a multi-billion dollar franchise and these guys are a huge part of that.

The Yankees would not allow themselves to be embarrassed by allowing some team to lure away 2 home grown franchise players like this. They market themselves as being bigger than the game, and they are.

By the way, both players are still amongst the best in the game....

Sure, they make more than say, the Pirates would pay them...so what??

The Yankees are worth over a BILLION DOLLARS!!!

Steinbrenner didn't build this empire by signing Jack F-ing Wilson.

I agree with bsox21.

When i say money means nothing to the Yankees (or red sox or mets)I really means it means nothing!!! These owners are not eating ramen noodles. It actually would make more mad is these owners didn't spend this cash, because it would just end up in their pockets

Non-New Yorkers need to understand....

Your hometown team is just your favorite team...nothing more.

The Yankees are a way of life in New York. Mo and Posada are not jus ball players in NY. They are "Officials".

The Sox were able to cut ties with Damon, Pedro, ect. Just because you have money doesn't mean you have to spend it like a moron.

Yankees need to let Mariano go. Could they just sign Cordero instead. How about signing Gagne to a 1yr deal and then signing Joe Nathan or Lidge after next season? Please do not give this guy 3yr/54M. This is all due to Clemens' enormous contract.

JuNeYanksFan I agree with you in letting mariano go and he is heavily overpriced but I'll have to disagree with Cordero. Look if it's anything the Yankees have learned is don't sign NL pitchers: Remeber Farnsworth, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, yeah not pretty. Also Gagne definatly not the answer. I say 2008 a building season for Yanks, it's tough but true. In 2009 we mean buisness with Johan, and Nathan free agents.

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