Archive for Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera has made up his mind regarding his future beyond the 2013 season … but he isn’t telling anyone. “Yes, I have (made a decision) … But I won’t give it up until I’m ready,” said Mo to Jack Curry. Rivera, 43, did say he will made an announcement before Opening Day. I think most of us have assumed it will be his final year, and a pre-Opening Day announcement reinforces that a bit. I don’t think Rivera would commit to playing in 2014 without first seeing how 2013 went.
Pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa today, and Joe Girardi held his annual start-of-spring press conference this morning. The biggest news concerned (who else?) Alex Rodriguez, who will not join the team in camp and will instead rehab his hip in New York. Other than that, the press conference was pretty standard stuff. Here’s a recap of the session, which was partially streamed on ESPN and covered by the usual suspects: Mark Feinsand, Chad Jennings, Dan Barbarisi, Bryan Hoch, Jack Curry, and others.
On position players and the offense
- If the season started today, Brett Gardner would be in left field and Curtis Granderson would be in center. The team will discuss flipping the two, but Girardi said “right now there’s no plans to do anything.” If they do decide to make the switch, they’ll try it out early in camp first.
- Girardi said one of his biggest concerns in camp is finding a right-handed bat to complement their all-lefty outfield as well as the DH spot. Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz appear to be the two leading candidates for the job and will compete in camp.
- It sounds like Austin Romine is on the outside looking in as far as the catching competition goes, at least right now. “He still has an opportunity here,” said Girardi.
- “Our offense is going to be different, but I believe we’re going to score runs … We’re going to have to find different ways to score runs,” said the skipper when asked how the team would replace the power lost when Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, and others signed elsewhere.
- Girardi doesn’t have a set lineup in mind at the moment. I think we all have a general idea of who will bat towards the top of the order, who will bat in the middle, and who will fill out the bottom anyway.
On players coming off injury
- Girardi said there is some concern about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera as they come off ankle and knee surgery, respectively. He expects both to be ready for Opening Day, however. The Cap’n ran for the first time yesterday.
- As for Michael Pineda — who did throw off a full mound today — Girardi said he’s “still in the early stages (of rehab) … we’re happy with the way he’s progressing.” Don’t expect to see the right-hander in a Spring Training game.
- “I don’t worry about where I’m going to be next year,” said Girardi about his contract, which expires after the season. “I’m worried about the next 162 games and getting to the playoffs and getting to the World Series. That’s my concern. That’s what I worry about.”
- Girardi, always the optimist, said “this team could win 95 games and get to the World Series (because) there’s a lot of talent in this room … If we play up to our capabilities, I believe we’re a very good team.” He is right, you know.
Via Bryan Hoch: Mariano Rivera is about 95% following surgery to repair a torn right ACL this summer. He’ll begin throwing in about a week. “It’s not 100%. It would be, I would say, 95%,” said Rivera yesterday. “By the time Spring Training starts, it’ll feel 100% … It needs more strengthening. The 5% will come quick.”
Rivera, 43, said he expects a normal routine in camp following the surgery. Of course, normal for Mo means reporting about a week later than the other pitchers and throwing about eight innings before the start of the season. He fully expects to be ready for Opening Day. Spring Training starts a little earlier than usual this year due to the World Baseball Classic, but that’s probably a good thing for Rivera. He’ll have plenty of time to ease back into things and prepare himself for what most assume will be the final season of his Hall of Fame career.
Via Howie Kussoy: Mariano Rivera will announce his plans for 2014 at some point early next year. “I’ll tell you in Spring Training,” he said at a charity event yesterday. “Spring Training is going to be the date.”
Rivera, 43, debated between retirement and playing again after the season only to announce his return. I think we’ve all assumed next season would be his final year, and in fact Mo confirmed to Kussoy that he would appreciate a Chipper Jones-style fairwell tour. Rivera could easily announce an intention to pitch in 2014, but it seems pretty obvious the retirement announcement is on its way in a few weeks.
The Yankees just announced a series of roster moves, so let’s recap…
- Mariano Rivera passed his physical, so his one-year deal worth $10M guaranteed is official. He’ll receive $500k for ALCS MVP, $1M for World Series MVP, and $1M for the Rolaids Relief Award according to Ken Rosenthal.
- The Yankees claimed right-hander Jim Miller off waivers from the Athletics. The 30-year-old pitched to a 2.59 ERA (4.74 FIP) in 48.2 innings for Oakland last year. He owns a 2.42 ERA (4.42 FIP) with big strikeout (8.10 K/9 and 20.4 K%) and walk (5.12 BB/9 and 12.9 BB%) rates in 63.1 career big league innings. He’s a fastball-slider guy.
- Jayson Nix has been re-signed to a new one-year contact, avoiding arbitration. Chad Jennings says it’s a $900k deal, which is exactly what MLBTR projected.
- The Yankees designated both Nix and Mickey Storey for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Rivera and Miller. Nix agreed to accept the assignment to the minors if and when he clears waivers.
The greatest reliever of all-time is back for another year. The Yankees and Mariano Rivera have agreed to a new one-year contract with a $10M base salary and another $5M in awards-based incentives according to Jon Heyman, Dan Barbarisi, and Jayson Stark. The Yankees have been monitoring the right-hander’s health this offseason, so the process of finalizing the contract should be expedited.
Rivera, who turns 43 today, appeared in only nine games in 2012 before a fluke incident shagging fly balls during batting practice in early-May resulted in a torn right ACL. He had surgery to repair the knee and missed the final five months of the season plus playoffs. Prior to the injury, Rivera allowed just two runs in 8.1 innings. Rafael Soriano took over as closer and was phenomenal, but he opted out of his contract after the season and figures to sign elsewhere as a free agent. Mo will resume ninth inning duties.
The Yankees have now re-signed three important veteran pitchers to new one-year contracts as Hiroki Kuroda ($15M) and Andy Pettitte ($12M) with join Rivera in the Bronx next season. The pitching staff can still use some tinkering, but the heavy lifting is done. Right field and catcher will be the priority when the Winter Meetings start next week, ditto the bench and miscellaneous depth. The Yankees have taken care of some major offseason business before the calendar flipped to December, but there is still work to be done.
Via Jayson Stark: A new contract between the Yankees and Mariano Rivera is expected be completed by tomorrow. The two sides have already agreed to the parameters of the deal, but they’re still hammering out the exact salary details. Stark says the contract is expected to be worth $11-12M with incentives that could push it up to $15M total, but Jack Curry hears the base may be $10-11M. No big deal either way.
Via Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman: The Yankees are optimistic about finalizing a new contract for Mariano Rivera this week. It’s expected to be worth a little more than the $10-11M pact Andy Pettitte is close to signing.
Sherman notes the Yankees have been monitoring the health of both Rivera (knee) and Pettitte (leg) following their injuries, so the process of re-signing both will be expedited. With Hiroki Kuroda already in tow, the Yankees would be able to go into next week’s Winter Meetings with a clear shopping list (and budget) should they finalize new deals for Pettitte and Rivera within the next few days.
For the second straight offseason, the Yankees took care of just one piece of major business by the time late-November rolled around. Last winter it was signing CC Sabathia to a new contract extension before he exercised his opt-out clause, and this year it was re-signing Hiroki Kuroda before some other club lured him away. Unlike last offseason, however, we have a pretty good idea of what the Yankees will do next.
At some point soon, possibly before the end of this week, Andy Pettitte will let the team know if he plans to pitch next season. If he decides to return for another year as many expect, the two sides figure to hammer out a contract relatively quickly. Mariano Rivera has already let the club know he will return next season, and they’ve reportedly been talking about a contract for a few weeks now. For both guys it’s not so much if they’ll work out a new deal, but when.
Late last week Andrew Marchand wrote Brian Cashman is employing a “methodical, punch-list approach to the offseason. He would like to go in order in making his decisions, but will react if circumstances dictate.” Items one through three on that punch list appear to be bringing Kuroda, Pettitte, and Rivera back for another year, and Marchand speculates that finding a starting catcher will be next. That makes sense given both the importance of the position and the dearth of quality backstops. Right field, the bench, the bullpen, and miscellaneous minor league depth pieces also figure to be on the agenda.
Moreso than Rivera, Pettitte is dictating New York’s offseason pace. If he decides to return, they know the rotation is set with the three veterans up top, Phil Hughes as the four, and either Ivan Nova or David Phelps as the five. If he decides to retire again, the Yankees will have to search the free agent market for not only a legitimate AL East-caliber pitcher, but also a pitcher willing to sign a one-year contract given the 2014 payroll plan. That’s much easier said than done since there are medical red flags associated with pretty much any pitcher open to a one-year deal, including guys like Dan Haren (back), Shaun Marcum (elbow), and Brandon McCarthy (head, shoulder).
Cashman tends to preach (and practice) patience, but that might not be possible this winter. Buster Olney recently explained how this offseason is essentially playing out backwards — asking prices have clubs seeking out bargains early while the top guys figure to sign late. The one-year contracts given out to Bartolo Colon and Scott Baker are the types of deals we usually see happen in January and February, not November. Maybe that approach will allow the Yankees to grab a premium free agent on a short-term contract later in the offseason — how great would Josh Hamilton look on a one-year pact worth $25-30M? — or maybe it leaves them scrambling for solutions because all the reasonably-price players already have new homes.
The Yankees have been connected to all sorts of players who fill their roster holes these last few weeks, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll move on any of them until Rivera and (potentially) Pettitte are signed for next season. The Winter Meetings start one week from today and that’s when the hot stove really takes off around the league, so hopefully the club gets things sorted out with their two long-time pitchers before heading to Nashville in a few days.
Via George King: Brian Cashman confirmed that there is “nothing to report” about contract talks with Mariano Rivera. It’s been a little more than two weeks since the team’s long-time closer announced that he’ll return next year, but since then we’ve learned the Yankees will offer him a pay cut.
Rivera, who turns 43 later this month, appeared in only nine games this season due to his torn knee ligament. It’s fair to say he’s more of a question mark now than ever before given his age and injury, but the team will obviously welcome him back with open arms. The two sides have a history of contentious negotiations though, including an arbitration hearing and at least two threats to defect to the Red Sox, but I’m hopeful they’ll hammer this thing out before the Winter Meetings early next month.