Rivera having second thoughts about returning in 2013

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Via Andrew Marchand: Mariano Rivera is having second thoughts about returning to pitch next season, informing Brian Cashman that he is unsure about his future earlier this week. “He wasn’t certain on what he is going to do,” said the GM.

Rivera, 43, suffered a season-ending knee injury in early-May and said definitively that he would return to pitch another year the following day. Mo’s free to change his mind of course, especially if he felt the rehab was more grueling than expected. Either way, I selfishly hope he comes back for another year just so the fans can give him a proper send-off. Getting carted off the field in Kansas City is no way for Rivera to go out.

Open Thread: World Series Game Two
Mailbag: Pineda, McCann, V-Mart, Draft Picks
  • OMG! Bagels!


  • Robinson Tilapia

    It sounds like a bit too much tea leaf reading.

    I absolutely want him back. I want a better final act. That being said, the right “final act” is the one you feel comfortable with when you go to bed at night, and THAT is for Mo decide.

    Who am I kidding? He’ll be on the mound in 2013.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Who am I kidding? He’ll be on the mound in 2013.I desperately want him back next year and don’t know what I’ll do if he decides to retire.


      • Robinson Tilapia

        Actually not entire accurate, Cris. ;)

        I want him back, but it’s for the same selfish reasons everyone else does. I want to have that “retirement moment” with Mo. I want my son to watch him pitch. I want him and Andy to retire together. It may mean a lot less to him, at this point, to have that “retirement moment.”

        The Yankees will have a closer in 2013, whether it’s Mo or not.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Let the doom and gloom start…now.

  • Pete

    Oh, I guess he *did* watch the ALCS then… :P

  • Pat D

    Yea, he at least has to come back and record one more save at home, if nothing else.

    Get the Kerry Wood treatment X infinity.

  • Cbean

    And now I need to take to my bed

  • http://twitter/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Maybe Cashman’s just saying that to hedge his bets. Maybe it’s like a 99% chance Mo is coming back, but they don’t want to risk saying he will unless it’s official.
    [Begins self-medicating]

    • JohnC

      could also be a negotiating p;oy on Mo’s part. Waiting to see if Soriano opts out, in which case he’d have more leverage

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I sincerely doubt those types of games will happen between the team and Mo this offseason. This is going to be as close to “blank check” as it gets for 2013.

        • Mike HC

          Not necessarily. Mo is kind of in the Pettitte camp where they just don’t have much leverage because it is Yanks or retirement.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Yes, but I sincerely doubt that the team either tries to lowball Mo, or that Mo tries to highball the Yankees.

            • Mike HC

              I’m with you there. It should be a relatively easy negotiation.

            • OldYanksFan

              The Yanks just paid Mo $15m for nothing.
              He is a year older and a bit out of shape.
              Maybe they don’t feel $15m is reasonable, considering the circumstances.
              I’ve seen a lot of things in baseball, but the one thing I’ve never seen is a player who didn’t think they were worth more than they are.

              Hate to say it, but like with Jeter, I think there may be some hangups during negotiations.

              • sevrox

                With all the money Mo has made for the Yankees with his contributions to their success, they should pay him as much as he wants them to.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You also forgot the rather important “He’s Mariano Fucking Rivera” factor.

                I won’t pay him $50 mil to play next season. Fine.

          • Ed

            The difference is Mo knows how to negotiate. Pettitte doesn’t. Pettitte speaks his heart, then gets upset when the team takes advantage of his weakened position.

            Remember Mo’s last 3 year contract, signed the year he and Posada were both free agents? Cashman offered 2 years. Mo said he’d consider leaving the Yankees and talked to the Red Sox. Cashman upped his offer to 3 years. Mo again hestitated, then finally signed when Cashman wouldn’t budge. After signing, he said he would’ve accepted a 1 year deal if that was all the Yankees offered.

            • Laz

              Yankees offered Pettitte a decent contract back in the winter. He spent too long to decide so they signed Kuroda.

              MO is definetely set on money, it just comes down to if he wants to play again.

  • DC

    Marchand = grain of salt.

  • Anthony

    Say it ain’t so….

  • Rocky Road Redemption



    Every Yankee Fan Everywhere

  • MC

    Perhaps Mo sees a team in transition this year. Maybe he doesn’t have it in him. Who knows what he is thinking, but I wish him well on whatever he decides. There is a very real chance that he retires. As for the Yankees, they are fine either way. With him or without him next season. I know it’s nuts to suggest this, but I’d be fine with Joba (yes, believe it or not) given a shot in spring training. I’ve had this in the back of my mind for a while and think he could be a good fit and for several reasons. He’ll be much further removed from his injuries. He’ll also be taking over at the same age Mo did when he became closer. It’s worth a shot. It could also work to the Yanks advantage with massive amounts of money coming off the books, which they could use elsewhere to build the roster. I would love to see Mo for another season, but it’s more of a fan thing at this point.

    • TomH

      I would need a lot of convincing about Joba. We just didn’t see enough of him this past season. Robertson does not strike me as a closer–that Houdini act. Soriano is the only one on the present team for that job IF Rivera says Adios.

      I hope he doesn’t, but it seems to me more likely that, at 43 and coming off such a serious injury, that he would call it quits. I have to say your point about a possible suspicion, on Rivera’s part, of a Yankee team in what you delicately call “transition” seems plausible. Mariano might not like where it’s “transitioning” toward.

      • Laz

        This team led the AL in wins, and that was with alot of injuries. You can’t guarantee anything in the playoffs. This team will again have a good shot next year. They are still a talented team.

        • MC

          I agree with all of that. I think what I meant saying “in transition” is a lot of new players possibly. Plus factor in all the debate about Arod, perhaps Mo does see a team with a different make up going into next year. Who knows.

      • MC

        Trust me, I need a lot more convincing on Joba also. Not insinuating that its a slam dunk choice, but Joba DOES have the make-up to be a closer, whereas, like you said, Robertson really doesn’t. While Robertson is a lights out reliever, perhaps one of the top 5 set up guys in the game, he seems to thrive in that role and in that role only.

        • JB

          he had what, 3 games as a closer? way too early to say if he’s not closer material.

          but i do think that joba could potentially flourish in that role. time has come to sink or swim with him.

  • chuck

    although I love Mariano I hope he retires if he has any doubt. Hate to see him come back and not win it all if he is on the fence about things.

  • manimal529

    Hes probably going to milk it until the preseason is almost over then show up to work as if nothing is different lol

  • Lindsay

    Isn’t that why they have agents? To tell them when to keep their mouth closed and let them do the talking?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This is Andrew Marchand reporting on what he says Brian Cashman said that Mariano Rivera told him. Keep that in mind. Best case scenario, this is still info three times removed. For all we know, Mariano may have told Cashman, “Hey, I like Hamden, CT a bit more since my son started attending Quinnipiac.”

  • Rich in NJ

    Obviously, I would love to have Mo back (although it’s understandable if the Yankees want him to bear some of the financial risk), but as long as they have either him or Soriano, the closer role is covered.

    • johnfish

      Please do not put Soriano in the same league as Mariano.

      • Rich in NJ

        Please try to not misread my post.

        The inescapable point is that next season, they need one, and if Mo isn’t interested, Soriano is the next best thing.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          And this is also the downside to hearing Mo may retire. More incentive for Soriano to opt out and try to get a longer, more expensive contract from the Yankees.

          • Rich in NJ

            I think he was going to opt-out anyway, but that’s true. The Yankees need to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

            The could have the fallback position of going with Robertson as a closer and then looking for cheaper setup options, but obviously, that would carry far more risk.

  • Jamey

    I’d also selfishly hope whatever he decides it happens before decisions on matching any offers for Soriano comes into play. I think Robertson’s a great bullpen weapon, but I’m not sure many Yankee fans’ hearts could make it through a season of 9th inning Houdini acts.

  • Fin

    Eh, hurting your knee shagging fly balls is a far better way to go out than most players. He’ll be back. Hes just letting the Yankees know that he wants $15m to come, if they dont give him that he could always retire. MO, is not saint Mo he works for the same reason everyone else does, to get paid as much as he can.

  • VaYankeeFan

    When MO retires if is his business and for whatever reason he wants; he has earned that! Nothing last forever! I would love to see MO retire from the mound, but again his call! Whatever you do MO, thanks for all the memories. I’m pulling for a few more memories!!

  • cody

    He should retire & be remembered as the best that there ever was. I wouldnt be shocked to see Jeter retire with Mo.

  • Duh Innings

    Hey – one year and $5M means Mo will have made $20M the past two seasons ($15M for 2012 + $5M for 2013) pitching only 9 games in the first of these two seasons because he had to tempt fate shagging flyballs at 42 years of age / for the 15th to 17th straight season (since whenever he started this dumb shit with the shagging flyballs which it always was and it’s a miracle he never got so much as a leg cramp doing it prior to 5/3/12.)

    He made $15M last year – he owes the Yanks a discount considering he barely justified the cost thanks to a completely avoidable injury as he didn’t HAVE to shag flyballs in 2012 (or all these years for that matter), he WANTED TO and it finally caught up to him, unfortunately. I’m sorry, he’s in no position whatsoever to ask for top dollar. He has zero leverage. If he refuses $5M, he retires, unless he wants to go out a mercenary taking the highest payout which I doubt he’d do, and the Yanks have $35.5M to spend on the bullpen: $15M cleared letting go of Rivera + $12.5M buying out Soriano + $4M letting go of Garcia + $4M letting go of Feliciano, besides that they have an in-house option for closer Robertson as a more than capable successor (double, triple, or quadruple his $1.6M salary for 2012 and he’s still a bargain) plus Aardsma and whoever is out there. Life goes on. The Yanks could get 40 saves out of someone and so what if they’re not as sexy as 40 from Mo or any 40 Mo ever collected? A save is a save is a save. Yeah, I’d be more nervous with D-Rob or someone else, but how could you not when it’s not Mo? At some point you realize – no, ACCEPT – that a new guy will do it in a different way / his own way and it wouldn’t be so bad. Mo is not the only closer to help a team win a World Series.

    Mo accepting $5M would mean a $10M savings for the 2013 Yankees. Add to that $8M saved letting go of Garcia and Feliciano ($4M each) and that’s $18M the Yanks could offer Jake Peavy for 2013 only so Peavy still makes $22M for 2012 after the Chicago White Sox buy him out for $4M to avoid paying him $22M. In essence, the Yanks turn $23M they spent on 2012 Mo, Garcia, and Feliciano into $23M for 2013 Mo and Peavy. Also Pettitte gave the Yanks a discount ($2.5M for 2012) – why not Mo? Even Jeter gave one with his pithy $8M player’s option for 2014 I doubt he’ll exercise but he did want or agree to it in his contract. It’s about money at this point? How ’bout helping the Yanks bolster the rotation (Peavy), bullpen (backup setup man for D-Rob), or offense (Melky Cabrera) with less money taken?

    Getting Peavy using a discounted Mo would mean the Yanks means the Yanks have leverage on Kuroda as they’d have Sabathia, Peavy, Hughes, and either Pettitte or Nova as their front four, and who says the Yanks couldn’t use the $11M letting go of Kuroda to get someone else? If Pettitte returned, they need only fill the fifth starter slot and could do that with homegrown options Nova, Phelps, or Warren where all three battle for the job in spring training. Maybe Kuroda realizes the Yanks are his last chance at getting a World Series ring and either takes another year and $11M or re-signs for less, say $8M. I like him but I don’t think he’s a given to equal or better his 2012 given his age. Peavy is only 31.

  • Duh Innings

    Here you go:

    Mo accepts $5M for 2013, a $10M discount.

    The Yanks sign Jake Peavy to a one-year $18M contract using that $10M coupon and $8M cleared letting go of Garcia and Feliciano. Peavy still makes $22M for 2013 ($18M the Yanks pay him + $4M the Chi-Sox buy him out for) and the Yanks don’t have to trade for him.

    The Yanks re-sign Kuroda to a one-year $13M contract (give him a $2M raise using the $2M cleared letting go of Jones) and Pettitte to a one-year $5M contract (double his salary and pay him as much as Mo so he and Mo make the same.)

    Sabathia / Peavy / Kuroda / Hughes / Pettitte

    That rotation would guarantee another division title and could easily help the Yanks finish with the best record in the league thus get homefield advantage throughout the AL postseason if not the entire postseason. I see the Red Sox and Blue Jays battling to stay out of first place and neither finishing higher than third. I see the Rays and Os battling for second place and wildcard slots again with the Rays coming out on top as their pitching is too deep for them to come up short again. Who’s to say the Os are for real? They have to do it again for me to think they are.

    Nova, Phelps, and Warren are more than enough rotation insurance and perhaps the Yanks could use one of them and/or Hughes plus perhaps Chamberlain as tradebait since they’re all under control for several years each and Hughes is in his walk year.

    • Duh Innings

      Correction: I see the Red Sox and Blue Jays battling to stay out of LAST place.

      My prediction is Yanks/Rays/Orioles/Red Sox/Blue Jays first to last, Red Sox third, Orioles fourth if the Red Sox greatly improve and the Orioles take a few steps back.

    • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

      $18M for Peavy? Jake Peavy???


      • Robinson Tilapia

        This is what happens when Mike forgets to lock the back door at night.

  • David Ortizs Dealer

    I think this may or may not give Soriano leverage, if Mo does opt out he did an All-Star level job, not Mo level, but All-star level. If Mo doesnt come back, he would certainly have something on the Yanks at that point.

    • MC

      This doesn’t give Soriano any additional leverage particular to the Yankees. If anything, it increases his market, making it all but certain he does opt out if Mo retires. It’s a weird way of thinking, but if Mo retires, there is probably a greater chance that Soriano opts out. Go into the free agent market with the Yanks in need of a closer. Have them in the bidding, likely upping the price for other teams. Or he could opt out, the Yanks make a qualifying offer only. They do have in house options, which may not be a perfect answer, but a bullpen of Logan (7th lefty guy) Robertson (8th set-up) Joba (closer, we’ll see about that) and add in the possibility of Montgomery as a player to watch in the Spring (may still be another year off, but based on what I am reading here, could be a factor for the pen in 13), that would require Cashman to augment the bullpen with a few other parts. Eppley and Rapada could be tendered contracts, if they are eligible. You still have Phelps also, but I think his value is greater in the rotation or as trade bait as an arm for another rotation. Keep in mind also there is Aardsma, who is no sure thing, but could be a wild card for the Yanks bullpen in 13. It might also be worth looking into Feliciano on a 1 yr, $1mm deal, if he’ll take it, which he may, considering the circumstances of his last contract and its total loss. Perhaps he’ll want to establish value this season before looking for a guaranteed contract elsewhere, plus he’s done his rehab with the Yanks, so both parties will know what needs to be done to get him back on the mound. There is value in that for Feliciano as well. You don’t want to come off 2 years of an injury and go to another team that has little idea of the extent of your injury and rehab and be used the wrong way, only to be re-injured. This is a Girardi specialty, so maybe there is value in that for Felciano.

  • dalelama

    Maybe Mo just can’t stomach this current bunch of heartless, gutless, spineless cowards. Watching Arod hit .200 while making $25M per year is enough to make anyone puke.

    • sevrox

      ‘…heartless, gutless, spineless cowards…’ who finished with the best record in the AL. typical spoiled Yankee fan.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Don’t bother.

  • Chris

    The one thing Mo may have seen that is turning his opinion. Not a single save opportunity in the entire 2012 playoff run for the Yankees.

    Not saying he is about the numbers but he may have looked at the team and decided they just aren’t getting it done and besides, I like being with my family now.

  • hornblower

    Most people in any profession fear retirement. Maybe he has discovered that the travel etc. is not worth it anymore. He may want to watch his boys play sports. Once you find out you can fill your time and don’t need the money retirement is not bad.

  • thenamestsam

    I may be the only one, but as sad as I would be to see him go, I think this might actually be a good thing for the actual team on the field. Mo is an amazing closer, but I think this year was pretty revealing about his actual value. The bullpen barely missed a beast without him, and I’m pretty confident that with or without him the Yankees can build a good bullpen next year. 15M for a closer is just too much, and I think that money can be spent more effectively.

    • MC

      I’m a little bit in the same camp as you. Remembering those first days of him going to the games watching him light up the opposition really was awesome. The guy has been everything you could ask for in an athlete and a teammate. But, part of me does feel a little bit like you and wonders if this could be a good thing for the team overall if he does retire. Regardless, the budget constraints don’t come into play next season, so if the Yanks want to hand out a 1 yr $12mm deal, so be it and I’ll support it. If they don’t and he retires, I’ll support that as well. If they lose both Soriano and Mo, along with Swish, that’s upwards of $40-$45mm in salary coming off alone. Feliciano $4m, Martin $7.5m, which obviously will be replaced and or resigned (I see a 2 yr deal being likely with him), plus a pretty sizable reduction in Arod’s salary. Add in the spare parts, Ibanez, Jones, Chavez, Garcia (another $7m-$10m in savings), as well as Kuroda, the Yanks do in fact have a lot of money to play with this season. Sorry for the ramble. Once I got thinking about the possible savings on Mo, I started to realize that the Yanks could in fact make 1 big signing and or a trade for someone with some money owed to them. This could be a helpful post for the guys at RAB to post as a refreshed of who’s owed what for 13 (definite roster players) arb numbers (like a Hughes) and so on. A lot of hypotheticals, but would be helpful to read.

  • Vic

    Mo will be back next year and the Yankees will give him 15, as they should, obviously. It will be a quiet, classy negotiation. Sadly, next year will be his last.
    I’ve been following this club every day since 1967, and he’s my favorite Yankee. He has always handled himself like a champion and a gentleman, on and off the field. He’s homegrown and has never worn another uniform. He’s given Yankee fans numberless unforgettable moments of joy. Since ’96, his presence has affected every game he’s ever suited up for — whether he pitched in it or not.
    You live and die for the Yankees because of Mo and a few others — in my lifetime, Mantle, Munson, Piniella, Rivers, Mattingly, Bernie, Tino, O’Neal, Jeter, Pettitte Posada — who in some ineffable way embody what it is we love about this team. When Mo quits after the 2013 World Series, hopefully with some fresh hardware, it won’t just be his numbers that are irreplaceable.