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.
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.
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.