Yesterday, when Joe outlined our thoughts on Mariano Rivera’s contract situation, I figured we had written everything that needed to be said on the issue. In an effort to exact some measure of juvenile revenge, Rivera was keeping the Yankees and their overly generous three-year, $45 million offer waiting for a few days. I thought Rivera would just sign the deal and let bygones be bygones.
So much for that.
Pigs may fly; the sun may rise in the West; and A-Rod may be open to the idea of a return to the Yanks. I guess Joel Sherman, George King and Mark Hale had some space to fill in The Post’s sports section. There’s just not much to say about a 2-4 Knicks team on a three-game losing streak. And I’m sure Scott Boras had absolutely nothing to do with a story designed to drum up interest in his client who hasn’t been flooded with $350-million offers yet.
Update by Joe: Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden offer a similar story.
Despite all of the back-and-forth posturing between the Yankees and A-Rod’ camp, the Daily News learned today that the two sides have been discussing a deal for the past few days to keep the two-time MVP in pinstripes, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The biggest catch? The Yankees don’t want agent Scott Boras involved in the negotiations.
A high-ranking Yankees source told the Daily News that the team is willing to bring Rodriguez back on a below-market contract, one that would make up for the $21 million subsidy from the Rangers that the Yanks lost when A-Rod opted out of the final three years of his contract.
In addition, the Yankees don’t want to deal with Boras, who has been Rodriguez’s agent since the slugger was 16 years old.
“We will not negotiate with Scott Boras,” a Yankees source said. “He cannot be in the room.”
Rodriguez apparently approached the Yankees through a third-party intermediary. “He went to them,” said the source.
It’s tough to turn away the best player in baseball, especially if he’s willing to come back at a discount.
I’ll (Joe) have more commentary on this if anything else substantial arises.
According to a report in Metro, a free paper in Canada, the Blue Jays are interested in both Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. This is one odd report. First, if the Jays want Roger Clemens and his overinflated salary, you guys have fun with that. Second, Pettitte has made it perfectly clear that he will pitch for the Yankees or not at all. Why the Blue Jays would even waste their time is beyond me. · (14) ·
That’s according to Tyler Kepner of the Times. Is anyone else a bit baffled as to why Mo hasn’t accepted yet? Does he think there’s some team willing to offer him four years at $55, $60 million?
Look, the game is up. We know Mo is crying about not getting a new contract back in the spring. Get over it. For a guy who is portrayed so reverently in Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, Mo is acting like a teenager here. The Yankees have made a more than generous offer, which figures not to be topped by another bidder. What, does he think the Dodgers will outbid the Yanks just because Joe Torre is now the manager?
I’m honestly surprised the offer got this high. Three years, $40 million was an offer not likely to be topped. And now the Yankees upped the offer by $5 million in hopes of signing Mo before other teams could bid. Well, now that other teams can, the point of that $5 million is kind of moot.
What the Yankees should do, though they certainly won’t, is let Mo field offers from other teams. Hey, he wanted to test the market, right? So when teams are coming in with far less than three years, $45 million, the Yankees can say: “Mo, we’ll match your best offer. But you blew signing that three-year, $45 million deal. Just like we blew signing you cheaper back in Spring Training.”
After all, this should work both ways, right?
With Jorge Posada under wraps and Mariano Rivera’s return seemingly imminent, the Yanks can now turn their attention to the team’s other holes. First up, according to The Daily News, is the ever-popular backup catcher situation. At the end of their piece on Posada, Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden report that the Yanks and Jose Molina are close on a deal. No word on the length, but I like this move. Molina should lessen the burden on Posada next season. · (5) ·
Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden break this story: The Yanks and Jorge Posada have agreed to a four-year, $52-million contract. The deal, of course, depends on a physical and some final language. It is not finalized yet, but the inking of the deal seems to be a mere technicality right now.
Per The Daily News:
After being schmoozed by Mets general manager Omar Minaya Monday afternoon during a lengthy lunch at Le Cirque, Posada and his agents finally received the offer from the Yankees they had been hoping for all along. The Yankees offered Posada a four-year, $52 million contract … to remain in pinstripes. The deal will become official pending a physicial and final contract language being ironed out.
In a lunch meeting with Brian Cashman on Friday, Posada and his wife, Laura, made it clear to the Yankees’ GM that they were seeking a four-year contract. Cashman had been holding firm to the team’s original three-year, $40 million offer throughout the negotiations, but after mulling over the issue this weekend, Cashman, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner agreed during a morning conference call yesterday that they would give Posada the fourth year.
Four years is good. I can deal with four years. While I doubt Posada will be an effective catcher by the end of this deal, it’s miles better than a five-year deal, and the dollars are right. Posada has basically set the market. He signed for $13 million a year when most people were pegging him at $15 mil per. I wonder how this will affect Mike Lowell who supposedly wants a similar deal and Alex Rodriguez who really shouldn’t get an offer higher than $25 million.
Posada picked a great year to turn in an MVP-caliber season. Had the Yanks negotiated with Posada before he hit .338/.426/.543, they probably could have signed him for less. Of course, no one expected him to hit that well, and I’m not sure he will approach those numbers during the course of this season. But, hey, at least now he can feed Latrell Spreewell’s family.
Credit on that video there goes to my sister. Click the link and watch it. It’s funny.
In a failed effort scare the Yankees into forking over more money, Mariano Rivera, recipient of a three-year offer from the Yanks, tried to convince the world that he would follow Joe Torre to the Dodgers if he can’t come to terms with the Yanks. This is about as likely as Bonds’ name not showing up in the upcoming Mitchell report. The Dodgers, with Takashi Saito, Jonathan Braxton and, yes, Scott Proctor, had the third lowest bullpen ERA in the Majors in 2007. With their offensive production so poor, they aren’t about to make a 38-year-old closer any offer that comes remotely close to the one the Yanks have extended to Rivera. Just sign your contract already, Mo. · (17) ·
Zach McAllister | RHP
McAllister grew up just outside of Peoria, IL, in the small suburb of Chillicothe. His father Steve is the Central Region scouting supervisor for the Diamondbacks. McAllister was a star in both baseball and basketball while at Illinois Valley Central High School, but it was clear from the get-go that his future was on the diamond and not the hardwood.
I’m not talking about Yankees’ farmhand Justin but rather Benedict XVI. The Pope will be making an April visit to one of baseball’s most celebrated Cathedrals. He’ll have to find another number though for his trip to the Bronx as Number 16 was retired long ago. · (13) ·
In news that will be surprising to only Will Carroll and Will Leitch, Jorge Posada is really close to signing a new deal with the Yankees. I know the Yanks offered him three years originally, but I fear that this deal will be for four. Hopefully, Jorge is up for learning how to man first base. · (14) ·