Mariano Rivera Rumors
While it’s possible to replace Mariano Rivera for a day or even for a season, replacing him for 15 to 20 years represents another challenge altogether, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out. “You are replacing someone who has done things in the game that may never be done again,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Sherman. “You are replacing someone who is basically irreplaceable.” Rivera will retire following the 2013 season.
Here are more Yankees-related notes...
- The Rangers are scouting Joba Chamberlain, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Texas special assistant Don Welke was assigned to watch Chamberlain pitch against the Cardinals earlier in the week, according to King.
- The Yankees will look at left-handed hitting first baseman David Cooper, Sherman reports (Twitter links). The Blue Jays released the 26-year-old earlier today, making him a free agent. However, Cooper is battling a back injury that could end his career.
- Sherman has been told the Yankees will also look into Brennan Boesch (Twitter link). The Tigers released the left-handed hitting Boesch earlier today and he’s already drawing lots of interest.
GM Brian Cashman explains how the Yankees nearly traded Mariano Rivera for shortstop Felix Fermin in spring of 1996, as noted by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. To describe the deal as "franchise-altering" would be an enormous understatement, since it would have affected not only Rivera but also then-rookie Derek Jeter.
Cashman, then an assistant GM, says that then-owner George Steinbrenner was concerned about entrusting Jeter with the starting shortstop job, and "it was a fight to convince The Boss to stand down" and avoid trading Rivera or Bob Wickman to the Mariners for Fermin. "And it wasn't because we knew what we had in Mo or Wickman," Cashman says. "It was, we had committed to go with young Jeter, and thankfully we didn't do that deal." As it turned out, Jeter won the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year award, Rivera finished third in Cy Young balloting, and the Yankees won their first World Series title since 1978. The Mariners, meanwhile, released Fermin in April, and he only ended up posting 19 more plate appearances in the majors. Here are more notes from throughout baseball.
- David Robertson tops the list of potential Yankees closer candidates once Rivera retires at the end of the season, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma are also possibilities, Berry says. The Yankees have an entire year to choose a successor, however.
- The Orioles are on the lookout for catching depth, report Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com and Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Matt Wieters is, clearly, entrenched as Baltimore's starter, and Taylor Teagarden will likely serve as his backup, but the Orioles are concerned about their depth beyond those two. The only other catcher on their 40-man roster is Luis Exposito, although manager Buck Showalter is also curious about new addition Luis Martinez, who spent much of 2012 with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. With Wieters and several other options in the fold, it seems unlikely the O's will make a major move for a catcher, despite what Kubatko calls their "sloppy" play behind the dish this spring. Dubroff suggests that Eli Whiteside of the Rangers, Miguel Olivo of the Reds and Chris Snyder of the Nationals might be possibilities.
- The Dodgers' Aaron Harang says he isn't worried about rumors that he'll be traded, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes. "I don't even think about that," says Harang. "We know [scouts are] in the stands. I look at them as fans as well. I'm not worried about that." The Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitching, and Harang currently doesn't have a clear shot at a rotation job. The Brewers and Orioles could be potential suitors for Harang.
SATURDAY, 9:57am: Rivera made the news official with a press conference this morning. The 43-year-old told reporters that he has enough left in the tank for this upcoming season but after that he'll have "nothing left", tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network.
THURSDAY, 12:03pm: The Yankees have a 10am EDT press conference scheduled Saturday at which Rivera is set to announce that he'll retire following the 2013 season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter links).
11:03am: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is looking to come back strong in 2013 after missing the bulk of last season. This upcoming season could very well be the 43-year-old's final campaign and it's an open secret that if he intends to retire, an announcement figures to be around the corner and could be as soon as Saturday, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
Olney asked Rivera this spring if he would have retired at the end of 2012 if he was able to return last fall, and he indicated that it would have been likely (Twitter link). Because of that, it would appear that the legendary closer is looking to go out on a high note.
In February it was said that Rivera had his mind made up on his future and would disclose it to the public prior to Opening Day. The right-hander has been remarkably sharp in his 40s, owning a 1.87 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in his age 40, 41 and 42 seasons.
The latest links from around MLB...
- The Indians are getting calls on Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs following their four-year deal with Michael Bourn, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Though the Indians currently plan to keep both Brantley and Stubbs, some people suspect Stubbs will be dealt.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka said part of the reason he signed with the Indians was the chance to compete against his former team, the Red Sox, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports (on Twitter).
- Andrew Bailey told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he loves playing with the Red Sox, even if he's not the team's closer.
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi isn't sure if Andy Pettitte will retire after 2013, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports (Twitter links). "I think Andy still loves to compete," Girardi said, acknowledging that it’ll ultimately be up to the left-hander himself. Pettitte will celebrate his 41st birthday this summer and while he doesn’t seem ready to retire, he said he doesn’t intend to decide until after the 2013 season.
- Mariano Rivera said he has decided whether 2013 will be his final season, according to Curry (Twitter links). The Yankees closer won’t reveal his decision just yet, but will do so before the regular season begins.
- Homer Bailey said he and the Reds would prefer to avoid an arbitration hearing if possible, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. “It’s kind of a slow process. We’ll see how it goes and go from there,” Bailey said. The right-hander has a hearing scheduled for Monday after filing for $5.8MM. The Reds, who recently avoided arbitration with Mat Latos and Shin-Soo Choo, offered $4.75MM.
On this date ten years ago the Red Sox claimed Bronson Arroyo off of waivers from the Pirates. At that point Arroyo had a 5.44 ERA in parts of three seasons with Pittsburgh and the Pirates exposed him to waivers. He would add considerably more value in Boston, where he posted a 4.19 ERA in parts of three seasons before being traded to Cincinnati for Wily Mo Pena in Spring Training of 2006. Here are today's links...
- Mariano Rivera declined to answer when Newsday's David Lennon asked the Yankee legend if this would be his final season (Twitter link).
- The contract of Blue Jays manager John Gibbons includes a rolling option that means he won’t face a season as a lame-duck manager, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. Gibbons, who signed for two years plus an option earlier this offseason, has a unique clause in his contract. As long as the Blue Jays don’t fire Gibbons by January 1st of a given year, his option will vest for the following season and the sides will add another option to the contract. The unique deal means Gibbons will have a two-year contract as long as he’s managing the team. It’s reminiscent of the perpetual option on the deal between the Red Sox and Tim Wakefield, though it appears to be the first of its kind for an MLB manager.
- Julio Lugo said he’s leaning toward retiring following this year’s Caribbean Series, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports. "It might be [the end], unless something comes that changes my mind," Lugo said. "But I think this is going to be it for me." The 37-year-old infielder last appeared at the MLB level with the 2011 Braves. He has a .269/.333/.384 batting line over the course of 12 seasons plus $48MM in career earnings (via Baseball-Reference).
- The Cubs (Scott Feldman), Brewers (Mike Gonzalez) and Pirates (Russell Martin) completed some under-the-radar signings that have the potential to pay off in 2013, Matthew Leach writes at MLB.com.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms that the Rangers and Indians have interest in free agent infielder Ryan Theriot (Twitter link). The Phillies and Giants are also interested in Theriot, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported last month.
The Yankees have agreed with closer Mariano Rivera on a one-year contract for 2013, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The deal is worth $10MM in guaranteed money, plus extra performance and awards incentives. Rivera is represented by SFX.
Rivera, who turns 43 today, appeared in just nine games before tearing his ACL in May. He considered retirement after his two-year, $30MM contract expired before deciding to return. Rivera, the all-time leader in saves, has remained very effective beyond his 40th birthday --- he posted a 1.87 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 from 2010-12, his age 40, 41 and 42 seasons. Rivera was ranked as the 39th-best free agent on the market by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes, who unsurprisingly predicted that it would be "Yankees or retirement" for the veteran stopper.
The Yankee icon is expected to immediately resume his duties as closer, though it wouldn't be surprised to see New York pick up another experienced bullpen arm to provide depth given the nature of Rivera's injury. Rafael Soriano, who became the closer in the wake of Rivera's injury last season, elected to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in search of a multiyear deal.
ESPN's Jayson Stark reported earlier today that the two sides were close to a deal, with YES Network's Jack Curry and FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi both adding contract details (Twitter links).
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post
2:20pm: The Yankees are finishing off a contract with closer Mariano Rivera and expect to complete a deal by tomorrow, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports. SFX represents Rivera, who missed most of the 2012 season with a torn ACL.
The sides have agreed on the parameters of a one-year deal, and have worked today to agree on Rivera's salary and incentives. The deal is expected to guarantee Rivera $11-12MM and include incentives that could bring the total value of the deal to $15MM, Stark reports.
Rivera, who turns 43 today, appeared in just nine games before tearing his ACL in May. He considered retirement after his two-year, $30MM contract expired before deciding to return. Rivera, the all-time leader in saves, has remained effective beyond his 40th birthday. He posted a 1.87 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 from 2010-12, his age 40, 41 and 42 seasons.
The Yankees are optimistic about completing a deal for Mariano Rivera this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The free agent reliever would likely earn more than Andy Pettitte, who is expected to return on a one-year deal worth $10-11MM. Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com also say the Yankees are optimistic about signing their longtime closer this week (Twitter links).
Rivera, who turns 43 this week, appeared in just nine games before tearing his ACL in May. He considered retirement after his two-year, $30MM contract expired before deciding to return. Rivera, the all-time leader in saves, has remained effective beyond his 40th birthday. He posted a 1.87 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 from 2010-12, his age 40, 41 and 42 seasons. Rivera is an SFX client.
On this date in 1957, Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle won the AL MVP, narrowly edging out Ted Williams of the Red Sox for the award. Williams had superior numbers on a per at bat basis, but Mantle played in more games, had more wins above replacement and the Yankees won the pennant. Here are today's AL East links...
- The Orioles acquired Trayvon Robinson for Robert Andino because Robinson is more affordable and the O's already have lots of options at second base, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes. However, if the out of options Robinson doesn't make the team out of Spring Training, expect executive VP Dan Duquette to move on.
- The Yankees haven't made Russell Martin a contract offer yet, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. In fact the Yankees haven't made offers to any free agents, including Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. King's sources suggest Martin can command three years at $8-10MM per season as a free agent.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney discussed the Orioles and Red Sox earlier today. Here’s MLBTR’s look at the highlights from Olney’s piece.
- You can read about the offseason outlook for each AL East team here.
5:12pm: The Dodgers "are not in" on Kuroda, an industry source tells Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Feinsand adds that the Angels appear to be out of the running for Kuroda as well.
4:00pm: The Yankees are seen as the favorites to sign free agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. In fact the Yankees are "very confident" they'll sign Kuroda, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. Stark suggests Kuroda will pitch for the Yankees if he's pitching in MLB next year. However, Heyman reports that the Yankees sense a threat from Japan, where Kuroda pitched before joining MLB.
The Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox have also expressed interest in Kuroda, who is linked to draft pick compensation after declining a qualifying offer from the Yankees. It appears the Dodgers and Angels are shifting their focus elsewhere, Stark writes. The Dodgers are now pursuing Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster and others, according to Stark. The Angels are also targeting Greinke.