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Yankees Resign Mariano Rivera

Old 03-23-04, 07:18 PM
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Yankees Resign Mariano Rivera

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1766025

NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera has no desire to leave the Yankees. That's why it took little time to negotiate a two-year, $21 million contract extension through 2006.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner looked on as the deal was announced Tuesday and gave the pitcher a hug.


"I think I was born to be a Yankee," Rivera said. "I want to thank Mr. George to get the opportunity to stay with the Yankees forever, have a chance to get into the Hall of Fame with the pinstripes. That's big for me."


Rivera, MVP of the 1999 World Series and last year's AL Championship Series, helped the Yankees win four Series titles and six AL pennants. He was 5-2 with a career-low 1.66 ERA last year and had 40 saves in 46 chances, increasing his career total to 283.


"He's the best I've ever been around," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Not only the ability to pitch and perform under pressure, but the calm he puts over the clubhouse. He's very important for us because he's a special person."


Rivera will make $8.89 million in 2004, the final season of a four-year contract. He is baseball's second-highest paid closer behind Atlanta's John Smoltz, who will make $11 million this year.


Rivera's extension calls for $10.5 million salaries in 2005 and 2006. New York has a $10.5 million option for 2007 that would become guaranteed if he has 60 games finished in 2006 or a combined 114 games finished in 2005 and 2006.


Yankees general manager Brian Cashman negotiated the deal over the past week with Rivera's agent, Fernando Cuza.


"Without question we're talking about the best reliever, in my opinion, in the history of baseball," Cashman said.


Neither side wanted to negotiate during the season, and Rivera didn't want to become a free agent.


"This is my home," Rivera was quoted as saying in The New York Times on Tuesday. "Why buy another house?"


Rivera put in a plug for Torre, who has been negotiating a two-year extension this spring with general partner Steve Swindal.


As they left the news conference, Steinbrenner told Rivera: "Now we have to get Joe, and we'll have everybody."


Torre and Swindal likely will talk again this week. Torre won't be concerned if the extension isn't agreed to before the season opener next week.


"You want to have it done today or tomorrow, no question," Torre said. "But it doesn't mean if it's not done then, it's going to change anything."


Notes
Steinbrenner said he will not accompany the Yankees to Japan for their season-opening series against Tampa Bay on March 30 and 31. ... SS Joaquin Arias was sent to Texas on Tuesday to complete the Feb 16 trade that brought Alex Rodriguez and $67 million to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano. Arias, ranked the No. 4 prospect in the Yankees' system by Baseball America, hit .266 for Class A Battle Creek last season with three homers, 48 RBI and 12 steals.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:01 PM
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Rivera's extension calls for $10.5 million salaries in 2005 and 2006.
Boy, I don't know, that's a lot of money for a closer, period, not that the Yankees have to worry about that. And especially for one who will be 35 and 36 yrs old during the extension years. He's only suffered the one _major_ injury, and came back quite strong, but he always seems to lose some time each year because of something, and with the annual workload he has (in part b/c the Yankees are always in the postseason), he's a little risky to sign long term. I really think he'll do great in 2004, but begin to decline soon thereafter. The Yankees were kind of strapped though because I can't think of any "Yankee caliber" closers out there who will be available after the 2004 season (and not also at the end of their career).

The best news is that it isn't a 3-yr deal, which was the rumor last week. Instead, they've made the 3rd year a team option

New York has a $10.5 million option for 2007 that would become guaranteed if he has 60 games finished in 2006 or a combined 114 games finished in 2005 and 2006.
I don't think there is much chance the Yankees will get stuck with that option. He's only finished 60 games three times in his career, and not since 2001. Given his age, workload, and injury history, I don't see him qualifying for that option year.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:08 PM
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For those keeping track at home, that's:

$140,000 per inning pitched (assuming 75 IP average)
$262,500 per save (assuming 40 save average)
$175,000 per strikeout (assuming 60 K's per season)
$1,500,000 per Joe Torre's-gonna-get-fired story this season
$1.73 per utterance of "Aaron F***ing Boone" by a Red Sox fan this season
$19.38 per Jason Giambi nose hair
$50.38 per participant in the "Guess Mariano Rivera's *real* age" contest at Yankee Stadium
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Old 03-23-04, 08:13 PM
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Considering his injury problems the last two years and the fact that he isn't getting any younger... this is too much money.

My problem with this, BTW... is that it's the Yankees setting the market again far beyond what it should be. Every agent out there who represents the high level closers saw this and they're going to be asking for this, if not more, the next time their players are out there in free agency.

Last edited by WildcatLH; 03-23-04 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by WildcatLH
Considering his injury problems the last two years and the fact that he isn't getting any younger... this is too much money.

My problem with this, BTW... is that it's the Yankees setting the market again far beyond what it should be. Every agent out there who represents the high level closers saw this and they're going to be asking for this, if not more, the next time their players are out there in free agency.
I agree. And with the Dodgers trying to sign Gagne, i dont like the looks of this
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Old 03-23-04, 08:31 PM
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The problem is the existing contracts for closers. The free agent signing of Foulke saw the beginning of a correction, but there are still a number of high priced contracts still out there. Here are the highest contracts for closers that I could think of. Sorry if I left anyone off...

Smoltz = $11M in 2004, $12M option in 2005
Nen = $9M in 2004, then a free agent
Wagner = $8M in 2004, $9M option in 2005
Percival = $7.5M in 2004, then a free agent
Isring = $7.25M in 2004, $9.25 in 2005, option in 2006
Mantei = $7M in 2004, then a free agent
Koch = $6.38M in 2004, then a free agent
Foukle = $4.5M in 2004, $7M in 2005, $7.25 in 2006, 2007 is too messy to post

Rivera's $10.5M is too high for the market-corrected salaries this year, but considering the list I posted here, it's not too far out of whack. Given his age and recent injury history, a fair market-corrected salary for Rivera is probably in the $7-8M range. But I'll bet that $10.5M salary in 2006 is gonna look pretty ridiculous, especially since I don't think he'll be nearly as outstanding as he's been til now.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:41 PM
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Good for him - he's milking the Yankees for everything they're worth.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by B.A.
Good for him - he's milking the Yankees for everything they're worth.
Along these lines, considering the Yankees will be at the 40% luxury tax next year for all salary over $128M. Before signing Rivera, they were already locked in at $170M, so now we're up to $180.5M, which is a luxury tax of $21M.

Effectively, this makes Rivera's contract worth at least a few million more per year.
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Old 03-23-04, 09:04 PM
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Exactly what I was thinking.

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Old 03-23-04, 11:22 PM
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"Mr. George"?
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Old 03-23-04, 11:40 PM
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The Yankees will still net out more profits than any other team in baseball, even after adding on this contract.
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Old 03-24-04, 11:32 PM
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It's a lot for a closer, but we're talking about the Yankees here...
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