Talks of contract offers fill the air

I'm just sayin'...
Yanks to rename new stadium A-Rod Park

As A-Rod and the Yanks work toward a seemingly surreal contract, the Yanks have kept busy on a few other contract fronts. Let’s check in.

Mike Lowell

According to reports out of Boston, the Yanks are one of four teams to offer Mike Lowell a four-year contract somewhere in the $55-60 million range. The Yanks’ offer comes with a caveat: They want Lowell, a career third baseman, to move across the diamond and man first base.

I don’t see this move going any further than it already has. As I noted two weeks ago, Lowell isn’t a great fit for the Yanks, and he doesn’t want to play first. He’ll have to decide if he wants that fourth year badly enough to leave Boston for Anaheim, Atlanta or St. Louis. My money is on Lowell’s returning to the Red Sox, especially with A-Rod seemingly sticking around the Bronx.

As a side note, clearly the Yankees do not envision much for Jason Giambi in 2008. Hideki Matsui is the presumptive DH, and the team is actively looking for a first baseman. While I don’t see the Yanks landing much if they trade Giambi, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s shipped out for a few fringe prospects just so the Yanks have some roster flexibility.

Mariano Rivera

This is the contract that has much more of an impact on the Yankees. Rivera still hasn’t put pen to the paper on the Yanks’ offer of three years and $45 million. Now, as commenter Bob Sage pointed out, Sweeny Murti was on the FAN this morning claiming Rivera, 38, will sign a three-year, $52-million deal or a four-year, $60-million deal.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Joe Torre said the Dodgers will welcome Rivera. Add on the requisite “if the price is right” clause, and you’ve got yourself a deal. No way, however, will the Dodgers offer Rivera the $15-$17.3 a year Rivera wants, and neither should the Yankees.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or what is happening here. Rivera, for some reason, is playing hard to get despite having what many would consider a deal-sealing argument on the table. For someone supposedly so humble and altruistic, he sure is being a ruthless businessman, and I’m beginning to wonder if he’s too ruthless for his own good.

I'm just sayin'...
Yanks to rename new stadium A-Rod Park
  • Kanst

    If Rivera doesnt think 15 million is enough, let him go. It will be tough to swallow but 15 mil a year for a reliever is pretty nuts, we could sign Fransisco Cordero and Ron Mahay for that amount and we wouldnt lose that much.

    I love Mo as much as the next Yankee fan but if he thinks he can get more money else where, let him go and take the draft picks

  • Count Zero

    Agreed. No way I give him four years or more than $15MM per year for three. It’s too much money for any reliever, even if he were still the best closer in MLB…which he isn’t.

    Sad if it ends this way, but if someone gives him a $60MM deal they’re insane…plain and simple.

  • Pettitte’s stare

    Any word on contract negotiations with Vizcaino? I would rather the yankees use young guys in the bullpen then give Vizcaino a new deal. I would also like to get the supplimental pick in next years draft.

  • Keith

    He’s MO, and I really dont are how much the yankees spend, because it’s not my money, but i just cant get past the fact that they are going to pay a closer more than they just paid their full time catcher. It doesnt make sense.

    I know the yankees dont want to lose him, but 3/45 is pushing the limit already. i’d stand firm, and if he finds another deal he likes better than that, godspeed.

  • Count Zero

    I’m actually beginning to think he’s gone. He’s painting himself into a corner from which he will have a hard time escaping.

    Oh and one more thing…Sweeny Murti is a dipshit. Just had to throw that in there… ;-)

  • Steve S

    I have to say first time I have ever heard anyone call a baseball player altruistic. And I dont think humility requires him to sign as soon as possible. By the way Sweeney Murti is the worst, nice guy, but I have never heard him break a story in my life. He can tell you the starting lineup at 5:30 on game day and offer some nice analysis but reporter he is not.

    • Count Zero

      OK that’s probably a fairer evaluation of Sweeny than my “dipshit” was — but he’s irritating me today. :-)

  • ShawnT

    hey do we still get the compensation picks if arod signs

    • Ben K.

      From ourselves? Nope. Teams don’t get picks for retaining their own free agents.

  • E-ROC

    The Yankees should withdraw their offer. Rivera made them wait long enough now. They should let him walk. Yankees have offered him a ton of money. The Yanks should take the picks and Rivera leave.

    • Keith

      I dont know why, but this is really starting to irk me. It’s not that he’s waiting to sign; he can take all the time in the world (re: how Pettitte handled all this).

      but the fact that he’s actually asking for more years and money to sign is making me turn on him.

      He’s been a HoFer in pinstripes, but he’s been compensated as such for several years now as the best paid closer already. they are treating him with the respect he deserves by giving the offer they’ve thrown out there already, even though i think we can all expect that evenutally, there will be a time, and it could be soon, that he’s no longer the sandman.

      he doesnt want it, i would draw the line in the sand, and start shopping around.

  • Kevin23

    $17.3M !?! For 70 f’n innings?!? That’s about a quarter of a million dollars per inning! That is completely insane. Play hardball with the best player in baseball (which everyone agrees was a great thing to do), then light cigars with hundred dollar bills while you negotiate with an over-the-hill reliever with absolutely zero upside. Great business mentality: Half NY Knicks and half Oakland A’s. Does this mean we’re going to get half way through the playoffs again?

    I’d give him one year at $6M, and a club option for $8M next year. And that is my final offer. Oh, the Dodgers offered you a better deal? Let Joba slam the door on his ass on the way out. He’s better anyway. Paying top dollar just to settle for second best is stupid at best.

  • Kevin23

    I just calculated how much A-Rod would cost us per game at the top of his requested salary that was quickly and rightfully rejected ($350M over 10 years = $35M per year). He would have cost just over $216K per game. That’s every game, offense AND defense, at least 4-5 AB’s per game. Now Mo is going to get a quarter million every time Metallica plays over the PA?

    Does this not seem bat*@#t insane to anyone else!?!

    • Keith

      yes, it is. put it into perspective. he wants the same salary as Andy Pettitte would get if he resigned. he wants more money than they just signed for their all-star full time catcher…. we could go on and on with this…

  • Tom

    I say pull the offer of 3/$45M and adjust it down to a standing offer of 3/$36M and if he can beat that on the open market, good for him. And I say this even though Mo is my favorite Yankee. This is just too much money. It’s a stupid business decision to continue to overpay, especially when there doesn’t seem be anyone close to touching that figure. Plus, isn’t there some rule that a team can only sign something like three A-Type FAs? Since they signed Posada, and then if they sign A-Rod and Mo, that would be it. So much for adding Lowell at first or anyone of that type, or, if I am understanding the rule correctly, any B-type FA as well.

    • Pettitte’s stare

      Actually the Yankees can sign more free agents cause the rule allows you to sign your own free agents without penalizing you. So the yankees can sign three free agents that are not their own as well as our current type A free agents.

  • Keith

    it doesnt count towards a team limit when you retain a type-A FA that was already on your team the season before.

  • Stephen

    I’m not too worried about the Mo situation. I don’t think that anybody is really prepared to go over 15 m. per year or more than three years. I think that before too long Mo will realize this and will come back.

    I don’t see the Lowell talks going anywhere. I wouldn’t be totally opposed to signing him at first (he’s a very solid option at the 6 or 7 whole in the lineup) but I don’t think the Yanks are going to be willing to shell out too much to get him. I think he’s waiting for the Sox to add on a fourth year. I realy don’t see him leaving Boston.

  • Andrew

    Name me one team that would consider Rivera at even 3 years, $13 million.

    Pappa Joe and the Dodgers? No freaking way. They pay Saito and Broxton about $2 million combined, and they put up better numbers than Rivera as it is. The last thing the Dodgers need is another relief arm.

    The Orioles have a huge need for bullpen arms, but if they’re looking to rebuild, Rivera is the last guy you want to sign for big bucks. He’s a luxury to teams that have the money. Nope.

    The Cardinals would be an interesting destination, but they have Isringhausen, and can always put Wainwright back in the role. Still, no way they clog their payroll $13 million for the next 3 years for a relief arm.

    Detroit looks the most probable, with Zumaya out maybe for his career, but they just picked up Todd Jones for $7 million. Horrendous, but if they only used him strictly in the 9th inning like last year, then it’s not so bad. But why then, would they spend $13 million more and make Jones and that $7 million absolutely useless? Not happening.

    Could go on and on, but the fact remains that expensive closers are a luxury only a few teams can afford: Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels. And the only team that doesn’t have a closer, right now, are the Yankees. Rivera is only going to sign with the Yankees, and he’s not getting anywhere near $50 million.

    • Kevin23

      3 years for $13M total is about right. $4.3M per year. Seeing as how a great pitcher will get about 180 IP’s per season and make $20M max. That’s just over $111K per inning. And that is for the elite, ie. BEST, pitchers in the GAME.

      Now we’re seriously talking about doubling that amount for a 39 year old closer who is already slipping, and is not even close to being the best RELIEVER in baseball. Let alone the best PITCHER.

      Wow. I mean…WOW. Our front office has lost its damn mind, Yankee fans. Is fear over a little bad press really worth it?

  • Mike A.

    Why is Mo being such a prick?

    • http://deleted Mike R.

      Blame Hank Steinbrenner. That’s what everyone else is doing until the players come around. Then silence.

  • Mike

    As I posted in my blog during the GM meetings, even though Giambi has a full no-trade, he might welcome a trade due to the fact he is going to see reduced playing time in his walk year. Last spring there was a rumor that Giambi was headed to the Giants for Lance Niekro.

  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    Does anyone else see the absolute insane hilarity of an inf of Arod (3b), Jeter (ss) and Lowell (1b).

    Now, maybe Arod is too big to play ss the way he used to, but for me that looks like 3 guys playing out of position. No question that Lowell is a brilliant glove at 3rd, Arod only avg at 3rd but was great at ss, and Jeter, feh.

    Give me Lowell at 3rd, Arod at ss, and Jeter, finally, at 1st, where his lethal first step will be less of an issue.

  • Rob_in_CT

    Arod probably isn’t a good glove at SS anymore (probably better than Jeter, though).

    Lowell, playing 1B at that sort of $/yrs is INSANE. His value is that he’s a good defensive 3B who hits pretty well. Switching him to 1B and overpaying to get him is nuts.

    And the Yanks are just bidding against themselves with Mo. I don’t see any team topping the 3/39 offer, let alone coming within a country mile of 3/45. It’s ridiculous.

  • JCP

    I too believe it’s ridiculous, but there are really only three realities to consider IMO:

    – How much do the Yanks have to spend?
    – Who replaces Mo? (if the Yanks don’t make a free agent signing like Coco Cordero, then arguably the best bullpen arm going into ’08 is replaced by the worst ML ready bullpen arm going into ’08)
    – Can Mo really get the money he’s looking for elsewhere? As ridiculous as we say these numbers are, I remember being similarly stupefied by the B.J. Ryan and Billy Wagner contracts

    Maybe Mo is waiting for Coco Cordero to sign.

  • JCP

    also, if the Mets were willing to spend $15M per season for Posada, then their recent catcher signings leave them with an extra $8M a season to sign other players over at least the next two years

  • barry

    I don’t see why everyone is so down on Jeter’s glove at short, its not that bad. You don’t want lowell he has Giambi written all over him.

    • Kevin23

      I love Jeter…but he’s about as bad as it gets in terms of field coverage. Thank god for that swing.

  • Kevin23

    re: Lowell

    Anyone else notice that the Yankees are overly obsessed with players who do well against them? Giambi, Pavano, Damon, Randy Johnson, etc. – all these guys took a major step towards the lazy side after they signed. How about we learn our lesson and admit their stellar play against us was most likely more likely the result of terrible pitching on our end than it was their inherent universal brilliance. And I’m sure PED’s had nothing to do with any of it, either. And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell…

    Lowell needs to stay in Boston. Mo needs to go. The Yanks should be embracing a time when their talent will be under-rated for a change because it doesn’t consist solely of aged superstars with fat resumes, but slow bats or dead arms.

    • Stephen

      It should be noted that all of those trades made sense at the time. Only the Pavano conract was truly indefensible.

      • Stephen

        Sorry I should say signings not trades (well except for the Johnson one)

        • Kevin23

          Everything makes sense if you look at it from the right angle. The Yankees need to change the angle.

    • brxbmrs

      Kevin 23,

      Excellent point – you left out Tony Womack.

      Also, Yanks suppodedly were trying to sign Chris Gomez as a b\u infielder – he kills us – he actually is a slick fielder and would love to see him on the team over Andy Phillips

  • Pingback: Rivera holds out for fourth year; Yanks take heat over offer | River Ave. Blues | A New York Yankees blog

  • Pingback: Mike Lowell and a possible return to pinstripes | River Avenue Blues