Mariano Rivera could receive one more retirement present in the form of a long-awaited appearance in center field. Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters (including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) that he could give the closer an inning of work in center during the season-ending series this weekend in Houston, which also mark the final three games of Rivera's legendary career. Rivera has said he will take the defensive assignment only if he feels physically up to the task. "If I cannot do it, I will not be making a fool of myself there," Rivera said. "I'm a professional. This is not a joke. This is serious, this is business."
Here are some more items out of the Bronx…
- Curtis Granderson's preference would be to remain with the Yankees but he's looking forward to his first taste of free agency, the outfielder tells The Star-Ledger's Brendan Prunty. MLBTR's Steve Adams recently profiled what Granderson could claim on the open market this winter.
- Going into what could be his last home game in Yankee Stadium, Robinson Cano told reporters (including Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York) that he planned to take a long break after the season and then think about his future. As Matthews notes, this likely means the Yankees won't be able to extend Cano during their exclusivity period following the World Series. Cano also didn't say if he would require the Yankees to commit to making other free agent signings this winter before re-signing with them.
- Earlier today, it was reported that Cano was seeking a ten-year contract worth at least $305MM. He has already rejected two extension offers from the Yankees worth $138MM over eight years and between $161MM-$168MM over seven years.
- Alex Rodriguez "absolutely" expects to finish his career as a Yankee in 2017 after playing out the rest of his contract, he told Newsday's Steven Marcus. "I'm looking forward to that….I've shown myself that there's a lot left in the tank — and I have a lot to prove," Rodriguez said.
- It might not be for 211 games, but Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog figures Rodriguez will face some kind of PED suspension, and Axisa looks at how the Yankees would be affected if Rodriguez had to miss 50, 100 or 150+ games.