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!