Yankees Notes: Rivera, Betances, Rodriguez

It sounds as though 2012 may be the final season of what will surely be a Hall of Fame career for Mariano Rivera. Here’s the latest on the Yankees and the back end of their bullpen as Spring Training 2012 gets underway…

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post doubts the Yankees will spend on the best free agent closer available, though it’s a strategy they might have chosen in the recent past. Brian Cashman believes it’s unwise to sign relievers other than Rivera to significant contracts, and the GM aims to keep payroll under $189MM by 2014.
  • David Robertson and Rafael Soriano are internal candidates to close if Rivera retires, as Sherman points out. Many baseball people believe the Yankees should use prospect Dellin Betances out of the bullpen, but he has just two MLB games to his name at this point.
  • The Yankees don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to be a vital part of their team four or five years from now, but there’s $143MM remaining on his contract, so the team needs to get as much value as possible from A-Rod.
  • The Yankees will obtain another closer, but they won’t replace Rivera, Sherman writes.
  • Robertson, Soriano and Joba Chamberlain told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger that they aren't thinking about replacing Rivera just yet.


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78 Comments on "Yankees Notes: Rivera, Betances, Rodriguez"


HHHDMS
3 years 5 months ago

No one will ever be as good as Rivera , what a great career and closer. Very hard to replace. 

Chris Barrows
3 years 5 months ago

There is no truly replacing him. I’d accept the fact that the reality is the Yankees will not have a closer like him in my life-time (or possibly, ever again). 

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Maybe not just the Yankees, but all of baseball.

Chris Barrows
3 years 5 months ago

Very true – I sometimes feel I have a bias as a Yankees fan – so I didn’t want to ness. say that – but there’s no debate that could be the case. One way or another, he’s a legend. 

3 years 5 months ago

 would you guys stop – you’re making me cry. Records are made to be broken. It will happen.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Cy Young can smile because his Wins record will never be broken. But on the contrary, he can also frown because his Losses record won’t be broken.

boomer1344
3 years 5 months ago

for what Mo brings to the table, its not hard but near impossible to replace him. every generation a few players like this comes along, yanks were lucky to grow 2 of them

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

Which two? I get Rivera is one. Jeter? I don’t think so.

boomer1344
3 years 5 months ago

of course jeter, does his job quietly, takes blame when he has to. a great home grown talent. pettitte and posada come close but not to the same level

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

I think there are many players (character guys) like Jeter around the league, Zimmerman, Tulo among others.

Shane J Peters
3 years 5 months ago

Baseball probably won’t see anyone like him again. Yankee fan or not, there’s no debate how much better he is than any other reliever in history. Remember about 3 years ago when Papelbon said that he should be the All-Star game closer, not Rivera? Just as funny now as it was then (can’t wait to see his stats in that bandbox of a park in Philly this year).

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

(fenway is more of a hitters’ park than citizens bank)

BitLocker
3 years 5 months ago

 Fenway is a freaking high school ball park. Papelbon should be fine.

Ron Loreski
3 years 5 months ago

Don’t pay for saves.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

Word. No one understands this.

ARod's Ring
3 years 5 months ago

You’re a clown.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

There is nothing in that comment that a reasonable baseball fan would disagree with.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

You’re not paying for saves. When it comes to Mo, you’re paying for bottom of the 9th with RISP and no outs. 

Ready…

Since 1950 among all relief pitchers w/ at least 250 career IP

Mo ranks 

#1 in WAR
#1 in saves
#1 in FIP 
#1in ERA 
#3 in LOB % at 81% (#1 is at 82%)

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

In 2011, Rivera allowed thirteen runs.  Fernando Salas allowed nineteen.  The point being that the overall number of runs allowed by Mariano does not justify the huge discrepancy in pay.  I’m not saying that Mariano isn’t the best closer ever – he plainly is.  The position is just overrated by general managers.  Grooming closers doesn’t take a lot, and the difference between an average closer and a top-of-the-line closer is smaller than people think.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

I could care less what 1 pitcher does in 1 year. You completely missed the whole point of me listing what he’s done over a career. You disregarding what a guys has done over a minimum of 500 IP, much less the 1,200 + IP Mo has logged and then bring up what Salas did in 2011? That’s so ridiculously meaningless that I’m shocked that you had 13 hrs to edit your post and chose not to. 

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

I said that he was the best closer ever. That doesn’t mean he isn’t overrated. And the point is that good enough closers are easy to find. That’s why closers are so overrated. The difference between top-end closers and average closers isn’t worth the extra money.

boomer1344
3 years 5 months ago

you bring up saleries. what is the cost of what rivera brings to the table. not only is he the best closer, he is a top grade person. shoulders the blame when he has to, and keeps his emotions under control which enhances the clubhouse. not saying that all closers should have 15 mil a year, but he is worth it.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

That’s a great attribute, but it isn’t something that justifies paying that much for an unimportant position.  I’m sure that he’s a great guy, but he is still overrated.

boomer1344
3 years 5 months ago

ok he helps end almost 50 % of his teams games. give me someone who would do that over 15 years and i’ll take take it anytime

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

He averages 78 innings per season, which is less than 50%.
 
Beyond that, the difference between his performance and reliever X isn’t that great, assuming the Yankees have a league-average closer.  Think about it: a reliever with a 3.00 ERA gives up about one run every third appearance (assuming an inning of work); a reliever with 2.50 ERA give up a run every four innings.  How often does this convert into the difference between a win and a loss?  Not as often as you would think, since many of Mariano’s appearances involve three run leads.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

I said that he was the best closer ever. That doesn’t mean he isn’t overrated. And the point is that good enough closers are easy to find. That’s why closers are so overrated. The difference between top-end closers and average closers isn’t worth the extra money.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

Tell me again about the sustainability of Robertson’s 89.8 LOB%.
 
Also, Betances as a relief pitcher?  Who knew?

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

Where did I say anything about David Robertson and his future as our closer or anything about Betances? As for Bets, scouts think that AT WORSE he can be a closer? And just being a closer doesn’t mean he can replace an all-time great. What’s your point?

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

I’m speaking in general about Betances, Robertson, and the over-valuing of closers. Not to you specifically.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

I’m speaking in general about Betances, Robertson, and the over-valuing of closers. Not to you specifically.

dook83
3 years 5 months ago

He’s the Gretzky of Baseball

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

I’d say more like Brodeur

dook83
3 years 5 months ago

OK, let me revise my comment…he’s the Mariano of Baseball :-)

ellisburks
3 years 5 months ago

Ummmm…..no. As good as Mo is, and he is pretty amazing, he didn’t change the face of baseball and he was never and is never going to be as famous as Wayne was. Wayne was the face of hockey, Mo was never the face of baseball.

I don’t like Mo as a Red Sox fan, but I respect him a great deal. Best closer ever. But nowhere near Gretzky.

NYYanksDynasty
3 years 5 months ago

We cannot replace him and this is awful, but we all knew it was coming. The good news it that we have some decent candidates to replace him and I don’t hate the idea of testing out Betances too.

Houston_Astros
3 years 5 months ago

It won’t be a problem.  If there is one thing the Yankees are good at developing, it’s relief pitching.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago


The Yankees don’t expect Alex Rodriguez to be a vital part of their team four or five years from now.” Doesn’t his contract finish in four or five years? 
Anyways, can’t believe one after another cheater will take over the HR crown.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

6 years to be exact, so perhaps like AJ, they trade him towarsd the end of the contract and pay most of the money remaining. Unless somehow this guy rebounds and is a 30 HR/100 RBI guy at the age of 41 and 42.

3 years 5 months ago

 worst contract ever signed and can’t wait till he is gone. Yankees have destroyed baseball with their penchant for buying crowns but good ole baseball is nothing but the money now – so anything goes.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

How is baseball destroyed? And how is baseball the only sport all about the money?

And why is a Rays fan complaining about the Yankees? Your team has been just as good as the Yankees the last few years (regular season that is). Or maybe you’re just mad Yankee fans outdraw Rays fans in their own stadium night in and night out. If anything you should be thanking the Yankees for giving you money and boosting up your attendance from 10000 to 25000 each game. Same for Boston.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

if anyone, it was the rangers who started this mess back in 2000-01 off-season by signing him to more than 250 million. Even A Rod has admitted regret for signing that contract.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

So I guess the Texas Rangers had nothing to do with that all right? What a joke.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

I hope Yankees are stuck with him until the end of this contract. Besides he has some bonus attached to his later years of contract, not sure any team would want to take up on that. besides Yanks would want him to achieve the milestone in pinstripes. I don’t see him being traded.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

If there was a trade and if he didn’t yet reach some incentives (such as 755 HR), I wonder if it would be the Yankees who have to pay him the incentives or if it would be the team that acquires him. I would assume it would be the Yankees though by default unless there was an agreement in the trade, but I can’t picture any team, if they wanted A-Rod,  agreeing to pay him his incentives.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

those incentives will be an issue if Yanks decide to move A Rod. No one would want to pay those incentives. But why would Yanks not want A Rod to break bonds’s record in pinstripes? I think he stays unless he reaches the record within four years.

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

just a quick question; if the hitters cannot be admitted to the hall for the suspected use of steroids or hgh why the pitchers are not treated in the same manner?

Shane J Peters
3 years 5 months ago

I’d like to think you don’t mean Rivera….and get back to me when Pettite and Clemens are eligible and get 15-30% support.

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

why not rivera?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 5 months ago

Are we planning on a witch hunt? Does he need to prove innocence? Rivera has never been linked to any HGH issue so leave it alone.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Pettitte wouldn’t and shouldn’t be a HOFer regardless. His numbers are pretty good, but not great. 

LordD99
3 years 5 months ago

Sadly, we can not assume any single player is entirely clean.  That’s the “gift” of the so-called steroid era moving forward. My guess is Rivera is one of the clean players, but I wouldn’t bet my life on any one being clean. Not Rivera, not Maddux, not Griffey, not (fill in blank).  In Rivera’s case, there’s been no physical changes, his velocity has gently ticked down over the years, but his greatness is based on the movement his gets on how he grips his cutter and his ability to repeat delivery as well as anyone, offering great command of his pitches. That’s not really something a player will get from steroids.  Yet I wouldn’t be comfortable betting much of anything on any player being totally clean. 

RBIBaseball
3 years 5 months ago

Steroids don’t make you have better control.

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

it makes you to build up muscles. you don’t ever think pitchers are  just skin on sticks, do you?

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

of course not. rivera is made of metal and wires

3 years 5 months ago

 Watch how easy it is for Clemens to get in. It’s Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens – they will never go to the hall.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

read again please. 

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 5 months ago

It sometimes amazes me that there’s never been a player who’s received a unanimous vote for the Hall. I think I’d be a little annoyed if Rivera isn’t a unanimous choice.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

It really wouldn’t annoy me at all. What would annoy me is if he didn’t get in first ballot.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

If Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson did not receive unanimous support, no way Rivera receives it. I am not sure he will make it first ballot because he is a reliever.

Stuart Brown
3 years 5 months ago

The best reliever in baseball history, though.

And I think it’s silly to think that if Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson didn’t get unanimously elected that no one else can. Just because someone was silly/stupid back then doesn’t mean people should be now.

LordD99
3 years 5 months ago

Stuart, I’m sorry, but they are just as silly/stupid now.  Not most, just a few. There absolutly are BBWAA members who will not vote for Rivera on his first run through.  There are also some voting members who still don’t believe any relief pitcher should be elected. It’s stupid, but these people exist now as much as ever.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 5 months ago

He will absolutely be a 1st ballot. Seeing him as “just a reliever” is like seeing Hank Aaron as “just a slugger”.

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

Rivera will most likely be first ballot HoF, but not sure I agree with that. He is best at what he does, but at the end of the day, he is just a reliever.

ellisburks
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t think a closer is going to get in as the first unanimous choice. Especially now that more stat-minded sports writers are getting the HoF vote and they generally think that closers are over-hyped. 
As MB923 said, he is a first ballot HoF player, but not unanimous.

1980CHAMPS
3 years 5 months ago

I can see Rivera staying after this season to get to 700.

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 5 months ago

I think he’ll def do at least one more year.  He certainly will not Brett Farve the situation and make you wait on whether or not he’ll come back every year.

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

700 will probably take 3 seasons (including this one). I don’t know if he’ll pitch 3 more seasons. 

HHHDMS
3 years 5 months ago

I wouldnt trust Soriano in the 9th – well to a certain point maybe- but he has blown many games in the past. Robertson also – maybe he can close – he hasnt really been tested all that much although he did last year for a spell. It is that consistency that Rivera has had that makes him so difficult to replace . As for Paplebon, well we all saw what he did in the last game of the season – he pitched himself out of Boston. There is no way Rivera would blow a game like that. I remember that World Series game 7 against the DBacks, and he basically beat himself – an errant throw and a bloop (cheap hit) cost the game. But he was never a goat at any point in his career. You cant say that about many closers. Damn, I should be his PR person LOL …actually an autograph and to meet the man is all Id like ..Mo and Jeter, 2 people who bring respectability to MLB where we need some role models of how to play without any performance enhancing drugs..

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Still can’t forget Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, but can’t blame that series loss on Rivera. They still could have won that game cause it went to extra innnings (Yankees also had the bases loaded in the 10th) nor did Rivera lose any game he pitched in. And Game 5 I blame more so on Tom Gordon than Rivera considering Rivera allowed an inherited run on a sac fly. 1st/3rd 0 out, majority of times the runner on 3rd scores.

If only Rivera threw a pitch out to Posada when Dave Roberts was at 1st base. I was hoping Torre would call that. Maybe he still could have been safe but it would have been a lot closer.

3 years 5 months ago

I only hope that Mo has one more great season in him.  We all knew this was coming, it doesn’t make it any easier though.  The answer to the question of who replaces Mo is simple– NOBODY.  It’s like trying to replace Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Jordan, Gretzky.  You just don’t.  I feel privileged to have been able to witness his entire career.

As for Arod–  Even the Yankees realize what a stupid contract it is.  That was Hank’s doing, thinking he was like his old man, prior to Hal being recognized as the family’s head of the baseball organization.  If you recall, Cashman said that if Arod opted out, he was going to take a hard stance, and Arod announced that he would opt out during the 2007 WS, which p!ssed off everyone.  Cashman should have been allowed to do his job.

David
3 years 5 months ago

I’m a Mets fan, so there is not problem of bias ( well maybe in the other direction) and I’ve been a baseball fan over half a century. Mo is the all time best closer period.

LordD99
3 years 5 months ago

The Yankees should not even consider an external candiate, unless a cheap option falls into their laps, like Madson did this year with the Reds. Between Robertson, Joba, Soriano, and even Phil Hughes who was quite effective out of the pen, or a prospect like Betances, they have plenty of internal options that won’t cost an additional $10 million plus. The Yankees should take the money they save from Rivera’s retirement, if it happens after this season, and direct it elsewhere.

hawkny1
3 years 5 months ago

Yikes! $143,000,000 owed to A-Rod over the next 5 years?
If he can successfully convert to DH, some of that dough can be recouped, maybe half, if he can put up decent numbers….  

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

6 years, not 5 (hey that’s a difference of 5 mil a year lol). But that does not include incentives.

BitLocker
3 years 5 months ago

Just move everyone up if Rivera retires after this year.

9th inning: Robertson
8th inning: Soriano
7th inning: Hughes/Joba/reliever specialist
6th inning: Hughes/Joba/reliever specialist

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

If he has a much better year, I think Soriano will be the closer in 2013 (assuming Rivera retires), and I say give Robertson one more year afterwards to prove he’s worthy. Robertson will probably be the closer by 2014.

3 years 5 months ago

I think depending on how hughes performs this year, he would be a really good closer. If he pitches like he did in the first half of 2010, then he stays in the rotation, but if he struggles, let him have a shot at the closer shot next year. Between him Joba, Robertson and Soriano, one will be successful

MB923
3 years 5 months ago

Well I also thought Burnett would never get traded also lol. Yankees will be paying a Large portion if they traded him towards the end of his contract.