Welcome home, Mo


Via MLBTR, the Yankees will sign Mariano Rivera to a two year, $30 million contract (according to Christian Red of the Daily News). The deal isn’t official yet, but Red reports that it will be completed by Friday night.

The real interesting part of this is the following passage:

Thursday night, Rivera’s agent Fernando Cuza – who was one of the many guests at Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s celebrity golf tournament kickoff dinner – had said the Yankees and Rivera’s camp were “a little far apart” on getting a new deal done for Rivera, and that “hopefully we’ll be able to work it out.” But within hours, a deal came together, perhaps expedited because Rivera had recently received a three-year deal and more money (believed to be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year) from another team, according to the source. The source added that Rivera wanted to maintain his ties to the only team he has ever played for, and went with less money and fewer years to continue wearing pinstripes.

The smart money is on Anaheim as the team that offered Rivera three years at $17 million each. Maybe it was serious, maybe it was a ploy to get the Yankees to up their bid. In either case, it didn’t work. Red’s source notes that, “[Rivera] wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees.”

Still, that does seem a bit fishy. To rephrase the above quote, the deal got done because another team offered Mo more money and more years than the Yankees were willing to offer, and Mo chose less money and fewer years. That doesn’t sound quite right. If the Yankees were willing to go 2/34, maybe I could see it. But 3/51 vs. 2/30? That just doesn’t add up. Maybe Mo really is just that loyal to the pinstripes. But before we make that determination, I’d like to hear someone else confirm the story — if for no other reason than my unfamiliarity with Red.

Maybe Mo taking the same average annual value with fewer years has inspired Derek Jeter. Shortly after the Mo news Broke, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti tweeted:

I’m told Yanks/Jeter have made “significant progress,” could have deal before WM begin. Yanks sticking to 3yr deal, possible 4th yr option.

It would be fitting if both Jeter and Mo came back at the same AAV as their previous contracts, but for a shorter term.

Update: Jon Heyman hears that it was the Red Sox who made the three-year offer in question, and that two other teams offered three years. That’s an, uh, interesting twist to the story.

Update 2: Per Heyman again, another team was the Angels. I knew it!

Categories : Transactions


  1. bexarama says:

    Yay!!! Very, very happy.

  2. Anthony Murillo says:

    *Plays Enter Sandman*

  3. max says:

    that was easy… cough, cough

  4. Squishy Jello Person says:

    #42 will pitch when he is 42 in Yankee pinstripes.

    I have utterly no problems with this.

  5. pat says:

    I thought Cashman was too busy signing retreads, haggling with Casey Close and rappelling down buildings to get this done.


  6. Doug says:

    Honestly, would have preferred the 2nd year be a vesting option, but if that was a deal-breaker, no problem making it guaranteed.

  7. vin says:

    Another team offering him 3/51? Very interesting plot line. Not buying it though.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Yeah really. If you’re going to offer that to a closer, offer it to Soriano.

      • Steve H says:

        Offer Soriano 3/$40 and spend the $11 elsewhere. He could get more than that, but not much more I wouldn’t think.

      • All Star Carl says:

        Mo > Soriano?

        Soriano is still on the market, might as well try for Mo first right?

      • Chris says:

        Soriano’s not a spring chicken (he’ll be 31 next year), and hasn’t shown the consistency that Mo has. If you’re paying a reliever make sure it’s one that’s likely to maintain his performance. Even with Mo’s age, I’d have more confidence that he’ll be a top reliever over the next couple of years.

      • ZZ says:

        Why would you rather offer it to the inferior player, with much less of a track record, and much more injury history?

        If you are going to go big or go home with one reliever it has to be Mo.

        • Because that “inferior” player is currently performing at virtually identical levels as the “superior” player, and that inferior player is a full decade younger and further from his projected decline phase, and he’s probably cheaper to boot?

          For 2011, I agree, if you’re going big on a reliever, it’s Mo. For 2013, I might prefer having then 33 year old Rafael Soriano over then 43 year old Mariano Rivera.

          • ZZ says:

            He has currently performed at identical levels for one year. He was very good in 2009, but he has only performed at Mo-like levels in 2010.

            How about he does it for more than one year before start comparing his level of performance?

            With the volatility of relievers, Soriano’s injury history, and Mo’s unmatched consistency + track record, Mo for 3 years hands down.

          • Kyle Litke says:

            I totally get your argument. But with Mo, well…how’s that projected decline phase going for him?

            I mean, obviously, he can’t do it forever. But at 38 he put up arguably his best season ever (best WHIP, second best strikeout rate after 1996, insanely unheard of strikeout to walk rate, second best ERA and close to best). At 39 he was just as good as he ever was. At 40 his strikeout rate did go down, but everything else was right in line with what he’s always done, and anyway, it’s not the first time he’s had a strikeout rate that low.

            Under normal circumstances, I’d agree 100% and I can also see where 2013 might be starting to push it, but man. Mo pretty much got better at the age he was supposed to be getting worse. At the age of 36 he dropped his walk rate dramatically and it never went back up. At 37 he raised his strikeout rate to consistently over 9 for 3 straight years til it went back down this year. So far the usual decline just doesn’t really seem to effect him.

      • emac2 says:


        Mo’s is not only better but you weaken the AL favorite.

        That’s before you get into the medical issues.

      • steve (different one) says:

        Soriano costs your first round pick, Mariano doesn’t. Also, signing Mariano takes him FROM the yankees. There are plenty of good reasons to do this.

    • candyforstalin says:

      i’d say there’s a 10% chance that happened.

  8. Chris says:

    I’m confused. Why would getting an offer of 3/$51M expedite him signing with the Yankees for 2/$30M?

    • jim p says:

      Does he feel he needs the millions? How many has he made already?

      I could see he doesn’t feel needy for money, he gets an offer, he says “Heck! (he doesn’t swear) I want to play in New York, we’ve got our lives settled here for the baseball season… Why mess around any more?”

    • Sayid J. says:

      Maybe the Yankees were offering 2/24 and then upped their offer to something Mo wanted once they heard other teams were getting serious.

    • Dirty Pena says:

      Maybe the Red Sox were only offering it through tonight (with the chance to then cut Papelbon loose.)

    • steve (different one) says:

      My guess: the dollars weren’t as important as the 2nd year guaranteed. The yanks prob weren’t willing to guarantee it until he had 3 other offers for 3 years. They guaranteed it, he signed.

  9. JerseyDutch says:

    The pieces are falling into place. World domination is within grasp. Mwa-ha-ha!

  10. Plus/Minus 3 days before the mystery team is leaked?

  11. ledavidisrael says:

    Maybe MO got a two year deal with an option and he is just that confident in his abilities?

  12. Total Dominication says:

    Good, now that the Yankees aren’t pre-occupied with Mo, they can focus on Jeter….wait what?

  13. JGS says:

    We all knew it would happen and was only a matter of time. Still, I’m sitting here with a smile on my face that refuses to come off.

    Welcome back, Mo

  14. bexarama says:

    Holy crap Heyman just said that the 3/$51 team was the Red Sox.


  15. All Star Carl says:


    #redsox tried to steal rivera with 3-year offer, im hearing. 2 more teams also offered 3. but rivera is close to $30-mil deal with #yankees

  16. FIPster Doofus says:

    My favorite athlete ever :). Hopefully Mo’s dominance continues and this isn’t his last contract.

    • jim p says:

      Let me remind people that Mo has 4 pitches he hasn’t even broken out in a game yet. Three of them don’t even involve his arm, he wills the ball toward home. He’ll be around for years and years. I take comfort in that.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

        …When He grows tired of pitching, he will play centerfield. Wait until he starts stealing bases.

  17. Total Dominication says:

    I know most players really aren’t as morally amazing and loyal as they’re said to be, and generally they just want the money. However, if Rivera really turned down a deal anywhere close to 3 for 50, then he’s even greater than we had ever imagined.

  18. Clint Holzner says:

    The Great Rivera once again proves his name. Our players actually have loyalty, how loyal was the Red Sox center fielder? They just want to be us. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

  19. radnom says:

    Wow, I can’t believe this is legit.

    I love when athletes prove the ‘the only single thing any free agent cares about is getting the most money’ crowd wrong.

    • Gonzo says:

      Before getting on that bandwagon, consider that Mo stands to make a ton more money in endorsements with the Yanks.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

        mmm…I bet if he moves to Boston EVERYONE in Beantown wants to give him some money to do anything. Think of what a coupe it would be, its the epitome of marketing.


        • Gonzo says:

          I have to respectfully disagree. There is way more money for a lifelong NYY legend/icon than otherwise.

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

            you won with the respectful part :)

            either way, bucketloads of money.

            he’s got…like his own earmark or something. HUGE.

            anybody been to his restaurant?

    • pat says:

      Believing it’s legit may be your first mistake. There’s a big difference between making a serious contract offer and throwing something out there to try and scare the Yankees into offering too much money or an extra year.

  20. JGS says:

    If Mo has a 3.0 bWAR season, he will pass Dave Stieb, Sandy Koufax, Bret Saberhagen, Red Ruffing, and Whitey Ford on the career bWAR list.

    That would make him the Yankees all-time pitching WAR leader.

  21. djh116 says:

    Three teams bid more for Mo then NY? Wow! That’s shocking.

  22. Everybody says:

    Heyman is a moron. More than half of his rumors have no legs. Next he will hear a mystery team offers Jeter a 10 year deal.

    • chriskeo says:

      Doubt that.

    • Tom Zig says:

      When it comes to breaking news, Heyman (and Sherman) are pretty good at it. Heyman’s fault is when it comes to analysis and objectivity.

    • Kyle Litke says:

      Heyman said the Red Sox and Angels, and he said 3 teams total, but he wasn’t the one who first said Mo was offered 3 years for more money, that was the Daily News. So if it’s a rumor, Heyman wasn’t the only one to hear it and report it as fact.

  23. Reggie C. says:

    I guess this shows how much faith Theo has in D. Bard. We all knew Mo > Paps & Bard. Now, RS Nation knows it too.

  24. Avi says:

    It’s interesting to note the stark contrast between Mariano’s negotiation and Jeter’s.
    Mariano had much more leverage yet was much easier to resign.

    • Conversely, Jeter’s negotiation is taking longer because the team wants to cut his pay, and the team never made an attempt to cut Mariano’s pay. That’s the central factor in the lengthiness of the negotiations. If both sides agreed to maintain Jeter’s 18.9M AAV and they were just haggling over years (like Mo and the team did), maybe that would have been wrapped up too.

      I’m not saying the team doesn’t have a right to ask Jeter to take a paycut (they do), but that’s the central factor adding to the acrimony. Cutting an employee’s pay, justified or not, always makes shit more complex.

      • ZZ says:

        Have to disagree here.

        The single biggest hangup in any negotiation will be competing offers. Mo actually had that, yet did not invoke it.

        Mariano could have played hardball, much tougher than Jeter has been, because he actually had legit competition for his services.

        • JGS says:

          He could have, but he was less inclined to stick it to the Yankees…because they weren’t trying to cut his pay.

          • ZZ says:

            Negotiating based on your market value is not really sticking it to the Yankees. It is just, pay me my fair market value.

            • Which goes back to the original point: Mariano’s negotiation moved faster not because he had more leverage, but because what he wanted (to not have his pay cut) and what the Yankees wanted (to pay him roughly his market value) aligned perfectly, because paying him his market value didn’t demand cutting his pay. Neither side was really arguing about anything.

              Jeter’s negotiation is more acrimonious and labored because of the gulf between his new market value and his old pay rate. The lack of alternative suitors for him to shop his services around haven’t curtailed that acrimony or laboriousness in the least.

              • ZZ says:

                If this 3/51 offer is true and aside from money 3 teams offered him 3 years, I don’t see how you can classify 2/30 as roughly his market value.

                That is a huge gap and at the very least his MV was 3 years.

          • Avi says:

            Tommie and JGS: Who says a reduction in average annual salary (from his previous contract) was a big deal for Jeter? Did you see that somewhere?

        • Yes, but both Mo and Jeter:

          A.) Wanted to remain Yankees for life and didn’t want to seek out or entertain competing offers
          B.) Were wanted back by the Yankees
          C.) Wanted at least to maintain their prior AAV salary levels

          Point C is where they differ. As you said, Mo got competing offers but signed quickly and without rancor; Jeter didn’t have competing offers but is still squabbling and negotiating and won’t sign for a little while more.

          Generally, competing offers = leverage = longer, more acrimonious negotiations, sure, but that’s only after one or more parties has truly chosen to consider leaving. Neither player here really wanted to shop himself around and only would have attempted to do so if his goals of achieving A, B, and C weren’t likely to be met. For Mo, all three parameters were agreed to quickly, and the negotiation moved apace (even regardless of the emergence of competing offers, apparently). For Jeter, C was a sticking point, so he’s holding out, even in the absence of a real alternative.

          • ZZ says:

            In this situation I really don’t think Mo had to consider leaving.

            The Yankees are not going to let him walk and he knows that. He could have dragged this out much longer, with the public perception on his side, and know he was going to come out on top at the end of the day. Or he could have just pressured the Yankees into giving him more money quickly by just threatening to walk.

            We also do not know what exactly the hangups are in Jeter’s negotiations. I have to suspect that the number of years is a major factor here. Maybe even moreso than the AAV.

  25. pat says:

    Sox were probably hoping to steal Mo so they could nontender Papelbon. Dude is gonna make around 12 million and has been getting worse as his career progresses.

  26. FIPster Doofus says:

    Funny how Papelbon just got bitch slapped by his own employer.

    “You’re not good enough. We want the closer from our archrival; he’s 11 years older than you but clearly superior nonetheless, and we’re willing to pay him $5 million more than you on a longer contract.”

    Boom, roasted.

  27. Hughesus Christo says:

    Wonder what fake story will get made up for when Jeter signs.

    • Everybody says:

      Thank You. I’m glad someone else isn’t dumb enough to forget all the fake crap Heyman shoots ut.

    • Tom Zig says:

      There will be a report that you are objective and don’t hate everyone.

    • Kyle Litke says:

      Heyman didn’t break that. Heyman said the Red Sox and Angels offered 3 year deals, but he wasn’t the one who broke the “3 years, more money” story, that was the Daily News. If they’re both reporting it as fact it makes me think it was probably true, although whether the offer was in good faith or to try to drive up the Yankees price, I don’t know.

  28. mustang says:

    I can’t even think of Mo in Red Sox uniform that would have hurt.

    Mo is amazing even when he is not on the mound.

    • Oliver Queen says:

      Don’t worry, ESPN will probably run a photoshopped image of Rivera in a Boston jersey during the first NYY/BOS Sunday Night Baseball game of 2011.

  29. yankthemike says:

    Seeing Mariano in a sox uniform would hurt me more than jeter

  30. Avi says:

    Funny, if the Red Sox really made an offer to Mo what do they tell Papelbon now?

  31. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    I was thinking my rating of Rivera before was a 10…but now I realize:

    This one goes to 11.

  32. Steve H says:

    I love that Yankees spurn bigger dollars from the Red Sox, but Johnny Damon had no problem doing the opposite. Fuck the Sox.

  33. Newbie says:

    I really love you Mo.

  34. bonestock94 says:

    lol redsox lol

  35. MikeD says:

    I’m still having difficulty believing that three teams offered Rivera a three-year deal, and it seems two of the teams (reportedly the Angels and Red Sox) offered him $17 million per, then Mo turns around and takes a two-year deal from the Yanks at $15 million per, which is what he’s made the last three seasons, yet he reportedly asked the Yankees for $17 million at the start of the negotiations.

    I don’t question that Mo wants to remain with the Yankees, but he now had the perfect leverage to at least get the Yankees to up the dollars. Yet once he has the leverage, he immediately signs for a lower amount.

    Does anyone here think the Yankees would have let him leave for one or two million more? Something doesn’t seem quite right.

    • Kyle Litke says:

      The only thing I can come up with is that Mo didn’t actually care that much about the dollar amount, that he really wanted two years. It’s possible the Yankees were standing at one year, then these offers came in, they said “Okay, two years”, Mo gets what he wants, move on.

      Heck, he may not even want the 3 years. He might prefer to take it year to year after 2012.

      • MikeD says:

        If what’s reported is correct, I think you’re scenario makes the most sense. He wanted a second year and the Yankees were holding firm at one until the three-year offer came in.

    • rek4gehrig says:

      Mo is smart and humble. That’s why

  36. Shaun says:

    I’m glad Mo is staying but oddly, I am beyond pissed that anyone would try to take Mo from the Yankees. I was disappointed when Matsui, Damon, Melky left in 2009 and hoped the teams that got them would treat them well but, I want to see those who tried to take Mo away utterly destroyed next season.

  37. mike o says:

    Via Heyman twitter: the #yankees like russell martin. they believe at least 1 of 2 talented kid catchers (montero/romine) will be ready; but who knows?

    I wouldnt mind Martin as a depth move

  38. Cy Pettitte says:

    Mo is pure class, I hope he continues to be ageless because it will be a sad day when he finally retires

  39. Larry G says:

    Now DJ needs to learn a lesson from this….Salute Mo!

  40. Adam says:

    It would have been awesome if Mo/Cuza contacted the Sox for an offer with no actual interest, just to zing Papelbon for when he claimed he wouldn’t be adverse to becoming the Yankees closer/when he claimed that he should have closed the ’08 All-Star game.

  41. OldYanksFan says:
    The New York Daily News reported that Rivera was offered a three-year deal by an unnamed team.

    Los Angeles Angels GM Tony Reagins refused to verify an report that the Angels had offered Rivera a contract.

    “That’s just part of the rumor

  42. George39 says:

    He just took 1 look at Lebron, and said no to boston!

  43. rek4gehrig says:

    I love you, Mo :-)))

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