Yankees Talks with Rivera are Not Active

A lot has been made so far about the Yankees meeting with both Cliff Lee and Derek Jeter, but so far we haven’t heard a lot about Mariano Rivera.

Here was a bit from the NY Post today:

While the Yankees met with Jeter, talks with Mariano Rivera and his agent Fernando Cuza were described yesterday by a Yankees source as “not active.”

Rivera is going to be 41 at the end of the month, but there is both interest on his part and on the part of the Yankees to bring him back. He’s on the back-burner because of the importance of signing Lee and the intricacies of signing Jeter.

He’s probably going ot earn close to what he has made over the past three years, $15 million. The only thing he and the Yankees probably have to worry about is whether it is a one or two year deal. He might be in line for a small raise, but nothing sigficant.

I would like to see the Yankees reaching out to him every now and then to remind him of his importance to the team so that way he doesn’t take this all as an insult though. I doubt he would anyway.

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36 Responses to Yankees Talks with Rivera are Not Active

  1. Bronx Knight says:

    I agree, couldn't hurt to let Mo know, "hey, we love you, just gotta get a couple things out of the way before we resign you." I would hate to see any repeat of the way we ignored Andy and drove him to Houston back in 2004.

  2. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I would agree with the sentiment of reaching out to Mo if for no other reason than to stay in touch. Having said that, I really would not want to sign him beyond more than a year.

  3. Mindkind says:

    I agree with letting Rivera know. I really don't have a problem giving Mariano a 2 year deal. I know it's risky because of his age but this is Mo we are talking about. If the Yankees sign him to two years and he breaks down in the second year of the deal the Yankees still got the better deal. Why? because Mariano Rivera has been the greatest closer for a long time and if the Yankees only carry him injured one year then I say that's a pretty good deal. We are not talking about Javier Vazquez or Nick Johnson here remember that.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I don't really share that sentiment. Mo's been paid $130 million over the past 15 years for pitching on average 70 innings per season. That is a HUGE sum for a reliever. I don't see any need to overpay for him. If we want to pay for who they are or what they've done, why not just give Jeter a 6 year $150 million contract while we're at it. He is an all time Yankee legacy player, something Mo will not ever been know as. Jeter has been the face of the franchise for 15 years and will be for many years to come, even into retirement. If Mo plays well in 2011 and wants to play in 2012, I'm sure the Yanks will give him the most money to do just that. No point in locking up a 41 year old for a $15 million second year. Especially one who is merely a relief pitcher.

      • Mike S. says:

        Mo not an all-time Yankee legacy player? I don't buy that line. #42 will be retired for Mo (as it is already for Jackie Robinson, Mo getting the rights to wear it as he was already wearing it at the time of the Robinson announcement). Mo is as much legacy as Jeter. The greatest closer ever.

        • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

          Mo will not be remembered as a Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Mantle as Jeter will (perhaps even undeservedly). Mo, in time, will probably not be remembered even as a Yogi Berra. He will probably take his place amongst a Roger Maris, Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter, etc. There are many in the sabremetric community that would argue that he doesn't even deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because of such a limited role, though I don't share that view.

          And to say that Mo is the greatest closer ever, which as a HUGE Yankee and Mo fan I'm not necessarily convinced of, is not much more than saying he is the best middle reliever ever.

          • Mike S. says:

            Not buying it. At all. Take Mo off the Yankees and put him on another team and it's not the Yankees winning 5 titles 1996-2010, it's Boston or Atlanta, or…

            He, probably more than ANY other Yankee, is most responsible for the five rings 1996-2010 (yes, we know about 2001).

            The argument has been made that he may have been the single most valuable player in baseball in the era I mentioned, 1996-2010. Over anyone.

            His dominance has been incredible. 10 years ERA under 2.00. (Only one other closer has more than four of those type years). 42 postseason saves. Postseason ERA of 0.71.

            In Yankees lore, Mo blows away Maris, Hunter and Guidry. It's not even close, and I have the greatest respect for those three players.

            Not HOF? You are kidding, right? He's first ballot, and (yes I know no one has ever gone in unanimously) but he should be unanimous (as some other greats should have been).

            Just because he's a closer? Even as a closer, his dominance on a game is incredible. Managing to get to, or avoid HIM. Few people in the game are as feared as he is.

            He's on a different level. One of the all-time greats, period. Someone who just absolutely dominated and blew away his era.

            I am just waiting for the hand Mo gets when he gets introduced at Old Timers Day Games. Bernie gets great hands when he comes back, but Mo will blow that away. He and Jeter will be the DiMag and Mantle of tomorrow. The last two introduced as Joe and Mickey were for years.

          • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

            I couldn't disagree more. In fact, he cost the Yanks the 2001 WS and the 2004 ALCS. He alone was in a position to close those out and didn't. I certainly don't give ANY closer the single most credit for anything, let alone being the driving force behind the 5 titles. His WHIP, ERA, and all that is impressive but when you compare his blown saves, you realize that the end result is not remotely all that impressive because it's all about winning games. And toward than end, he's at best been slightly better than other good relievers of his era.

            I personally thank him for easing the burden of watching late innings for Yankee fans but he alone has done nothing that spectacular. In fact, as big a fan as I am of him, I consider him to be one of the most hyped and overrated players of this era. Funny how Yankee haters always target Jeter, inappropriately IMO.

          • Mike S. says:

            Baseball reference lists Mo's HOF monitor number at 227 currently. SIXTEENTH all-time in that category. Likely HOF if you have 100 points.

            It's categorized as thus. What's amazing is the number of categories that MO doesn't qualify for because he is a closer. So getting where he got? Absolute dominance. Let me put an X next to categories Mo had NO shot of getting any points for. I didn't go through and figure out how they got the 227, and don't have the time, but just looking below, there are so many categories he doesn't qualify for.

            By way of comparison, Mo has the 227. Goose 126. Fingers 140. Sutter 91. Hoffman 176. Wilhelm 117. Lyle 78. Franco 124. Granted times change, but the difference is incredible.

            I'm looking at career leaders for WAR for pitchers (Wins above replacement). Mo is 69th. 52.90. The next reliever I see on the list is Wilhelm at 41.30, #121. Then Goose at #131 with a 40.00.

            His Adjusted ERA is a ridiculous 205. Granted he's a closer with less IP, but it is 51 points higher than #2 Pedro's 154.

            It's hard to compare across positions. SS vs. OF, for instance. But as far as closers go, Rivera is Ruthian with how he compares to others, and yes, I know closers of the past when more than one inning.

            Anyway, the HOF monitor:

            Pitching Rules

            X 15 points for each season of 30 or more wins, 10 for 25 wins, 8 for 23 wins, 6 for 20 wins, 4 for 18 wins, and 2 for 15 wins.

            X 6 points for 300 strikeouts, 3 points for 250 SO, or 2 points for 200 or more strikeouts.

            X 2 points for each season with 14 or more wins and a .700 winning percentage.

            4 points for a sub-2.00 ERA, 1 point if under 3.00.

            7 points for 40 or more saves, 4 points for 30 or more, and 1 point for 20 or more.

            8 points for each MVP award, 5 for a Cy Young award, 3 for each AllStar Game, and 1 point for a Rookie of the Year award.

            1 point for a gold glove.

            X 1 point for each no-hitter. This is not currently included.

            2 points for leading the league in ERA, 1 for leading in games, wins, innings, W-L%, SO, SV or SHO. Half point for leading in CG. (Note: would never have IP for ERA title, as a closer would never lead in G, Others impossible to get W, IP, W/L %, SO, SHO or CG. Could only pick up points here in the save category, none other)

            X 35 points for 300 or more wins, 25 for 275, 20 for 250, 15 for 225, 10 for 200, 8 for 174 and 5 for 150 wins.

            X 8 points for a career W-L% over .625, 5 points for over .600, 3 points for over .575, and 1 point for over .525, min. 190 decisions. (don't have that many decisions)

            X 10 points for a career ERA under 3.00, min 190 decisions. (don'e have that many decisions)

            20 points for 300 career saves and 10 points for 200 career saves.

            30 points for 1000 career games, 20 for 850 games and 10 for 700 games.

            X 20 points for more than 4,000 strikeouts, and 10 for 3,000 SO.

            2 points for each WS start, 1 point for each relief appearance, and 2 for a win.

            1 point for each LCS or LDS win.

            Mo, to me, is every bit a legacy as Mantle, Ruth, Berra, etc. For he dominated at his position every bit as much as the others did.

          • Mike S. says:

            He didn't cost the ALCS in 2004. Let's remember something here. He came in with a lead in Game 4 of the ALCS. He gave up the tying run. Granted he didn't close it out. He didn't lose the game. The Yanks had three cracks, in the 10th, 11th, and 12th to score. They didn't. How about some blame on the teammates?

            Game 5 he didn't blow. Tom Gordon had a 2 run lead and gave up a HR, walk and single. Mo came in with the tying run on third (lead run at 1st) and no out. He got a flyball and the tying run scored. He then got a groundout and a flyout. He got all three men out. There's not much more he could have done to keep that run at third. He prevented more damage. At that stage it was 4-4 after 8. The Yanks lost 5-4 in 14 innings. Once again, so many chances for his teammates to score and they did not.

            Mo got the last out in Game 7, when it was hopelessly lost. He had nothing to do with the Yanks losing Games 6 and 7.

            He didn't lose the 2004 ALCS. In fact, the only "L" he got in a postseason game was Game 7 2001 WS. A great myth that he "lost" the 2004 ALCS. He prevented the Yanks from sweeping by giving up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 4. The Yanks had three innings to push across a run after that. They did not. Just as they had innings 9-14 to push across runs in a tie game in game 5. They did not. Then Mo had nothing to do with Games 6 and 7.

            To "blame" him for 2004 is just utter nonsense.

          • Mike S. says:

            ..and Mo hasn't been "slightly" better. He's been significantly better. By a wide margin.

          • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

            Of course he cost the Yanks the 2004 ALCS. He had the lead when he came in and couldn't hold it. That's what a reliever does. Hold's leads. He could have ended the series and didn't.

            All of those numbers are very impressive, and I am VERY familiar with all of them and much more. But the bottom line is that a closer just doesn't have the impact on a teams performance as you'd like to believe. Mo pitches less than 5% of all the innings that have to be thrown in a season. That's just the pitching end of it. Assuming batting and pitching are equal disbursements, then Mo has an impact on less than 2.5% of the teams playing time. And it's not as if the difference between him and an otherwise pretty solid closer is going to make the difference of several or even 3 games in a given year. WAR is incredibly useless for evaluating closers.

          • Mike S. says:

            Unreal. Mo had something to do with Games 5, 6 and 7? The last I knew it took four games to win that series. Mo had nothing at all to do with the last two. He's to blame for the fact they couldn't score runs in extra innings in Games 4 and 5?

            As I said, he couldn't have done much more in Game 5 than he did, and as for Game 4, he didn't "lose" it. He gave up the tying run.

            You sound like you still can't get over it.

            Enough. Over and out.

          • Mike S. says:

            One last thing that people might forget about 2004. That was the year the tragedy happened at Mo's place in Panama. Where two relatives were electrocuted in Mo's swimming pool. Take that into consideration.

          • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

            Mike S.

            The more your post, the more you're proving my point. If you want to talk about all the innings after the debacle, and all those games 5, 6 & 7, your inherently bring up the very point that I'm making. That a closer just doesn't have that much impact on the wins and losses of a team. And when he did, he's blown two HUGE situations. And in all the other random postseason and regular season save opportunities, his saves converted is not remotely anything special. He's blown his fair share of games in situations in just about every year, especially in some critical stretches against the Yanks arch-rival.

  4. Russ says:

    There is a logical reason why delaying Mo's deal makes good business sense. If you know it's virtually a done deal, then it makes perfect sense to wait to sign him until after the Rule 5 draft. That way, you get an extra 40 man roster spot to protect another kid.

    • This doesn't really work because if you know you are going to sign him after the draft then when the time comes when you eventually sign Rivera then you would have to release somebody you just added to the 40-man. There is no point in this.

  5. I have no problem with giving Mo a two year deal if Girardi would be willing to using him as a middle reliever in the second year. If he falls off a little bit he's still better than most middle relievers. Also, they have no clear replacement for him as closer.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Rob, I don't see that happening (in terms of Mo doing middle relief). Plus, I couldn't stand the idea of giving $15M to a middle reliever. Even $5M would be a huge salary. But very interesting thinking.

  6. It's just sad that people will forget all the amazing things Mo has done because of 2 games. Sad.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I am not forgetting what he has done and consider him a major plus overall. But people want to talk about him with some invincible reverence that I for one don't believe he has earned. Those "2 games" were potential the difference between having 29 titles now, rather than 27. Perhaps I take this stuff too seriously, but it means a tremendous difference to me.

      Getting back to the point of the article, once again, I for one see no reason to give him a second year as I doubt anyone would give him a 2 year $30 million contract, or anything close to it. The Yanks need to stop bidding against themselves.

      • Are you serious? In 2009 every closer blew a save except one, Rivera. The Yankees didn't sweep through the playoffs, without him last season they only have 26 championships. 1999 World Series MVP, there's 25. The 96 team was probably their worst team of all the championship teams except for the fact that they had a guy who shutdown the opposition for 1-2 innings EVERY big game. Without him they can't even make the playoffs, that's 24 World Series.

        Also, they lost in the 2004 ALCS, not the World Series.

        I'm one of the biggest believers that the closer is an extremely overrated role, but Rivera transcends that. He's been the biggest difference between the Yankees and the rest of the league during his entire career. Nobody other team has had a Rivera on their team, not even the Padres.

        You are not going to win this argument, so please stop it.

        • For the record, you certainly can disagree with me. This is not about that. It's off topic and inflammatory.

          • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

            I'm not trying to be argumentative but I don't see how it's off topic or inflammatory. Just because you or others might take a different view doesn't mean your position, nor mine, is particularly correct. We're all Yankee fans here (I presume). We have to look at all of this as objectively as we can and do what's best for optimizing the number of WS championships going forward. I'm a huge Jeter and Mo fan but that doesn't remotely compare with my loyalty to the Yankees as an organization. Of course, I don't want them to disrespect players that have contributed so much to them but I don't think they're known for doing that.

        • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

          Rob,

          I realize that every reliever will blow saves. That is my whole point. That the marginal difference between what Mo will contribute and what another good to very good closer would is not that different. BTW, they won the 96 division by 10 games. You really believe that Mo was the deciding factor?

          In 99, they swept the ALDS and Mo pitched one game in the ALCS where he may have been a factor. A series they won in 6. In the WS, there was no one run game he was in at the end. I'm not sure why you make such presumptions about losing without his presence.

          And so on and so on. Not he got the job done in plenty of games where he was in but there is no evidence that the Yanks would have any less titles without him. Now I'm very grateful that we didn't have to find that out but once again, I think your being blinded by the hype and media about how much he "transcends" and so forth.

  7. You're probably right. Sorry. Back on.

    Personally, I do think that there isn't much more overrated in baseball than a closer. But I think that there are people that get all over them for a very few blown saves.

    You're blaming Rivera for losing in 2004 and 2001, but you don't give him credit when they win? It doesn't make much sense logically.

    In 2001, the Yankees were out played in almost every aspect. They were lucky to get to game seven. In reality if their field didn't have that cutout going from the plate to the mound, the Yankees win that World Series. Putting the blame on Rivera when there were about 50 other reasons they lost that series. Really the only thing they did right in that series is clutch hitting.

    In 2004 they lost because they had no pitching staff. You make so much about Rivera blowing a game, but if they had a proper and rested starter for games 5, 6, or 7 then they could have won that series easily. Before they even got to the ALCS their pitching staff forced Torre to abuse his relievers (and abuse them he did) so by the end of the season it's shocking that Rivera could even pitch.

    I don't like this argument because you are picking on Rivera for 2 games. I also don't like this argument because there were so many other contributing factors that went into losing that it seems stupid to single out Rivera. It's literally like blaming A-Rod for losing to Texas this year just because he was the last batter of the game.

  8. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    First off, I am not picking on Rivera. I just think we need to take emotion out it and assess things as they happened and not our impression of what happened based on media and hype.

    If I'm not giving Rivera credit, it's because once again, the closer has such a minimal impact on a team's wins. But when they blow those saves…well, it's obvious what happened. Rivera has never had a significant defining series where there were several one run games to close out, at least as memory serves. The 2001 WS was the very special exception to that. He closed 3 one run games but he blew Game 7. Call it blaming him or whatever but I'm merely stating facts.

    Same with the 2004 ACLS. You and Mike seem to want to completely ignore the fact that he was given the lead in an elimination game and blew the lead yet again. Instead, focusing on what could have happened in Games 5, 6 and 7. I don't pin all of this on Rivera. But it's hard to ignore that he was in a situation where he could have FINISHED the SERIES with the ball in HIS hand and DIDN'T. Am I the ONLY Yankee fan who wants to deal with this reality and not bury my head in sand about him and only remember his successes?

    And if you want to divert to the fact that "there were so many other contributing factors", that just reinforces my original hypothesis that a closer isn't THAT important. Don't get me wrong. I'll say for about the fifth time that I'm a huge fan of Mo and consider him the best closer, hands down, of this era. But I for one refuse to believe in some notion of this invincible aura concerning him that all too many folks, even Yankee haters, seem to buy into. I've see way too many games to fall into that.

  9. Mike S. says:

    Good Lord. Even Babe Ruth struck out.

  10. So Rivera lost 1 game in 2004 and what about the other 3 games?

  11. smurfy says:

    I read enough, Hardcore, you should be quiet: Mo is a work of art, unseen before by modern man. You are right that his War exposes the stat for not being able to recognize what did not happen because he was there, but then you stop making sense. [no need for that language] Mo is to be revered for what he does! Did you see him hop that broken bat, then field the ball?

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Geez. Yet another fan blinded by hype who things Mo is nothing less than perfect. Next you'll tell me Jeter is the best shortstop because of all his ballerina plays. Please, it's you who needs to shut it if you can't deal with reality.

  12. I don't think that there are many people who are going to back you up, Yankee fans or otherwise.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I'm not sure what there is to back me up about? I've merely maintained the following in this thread:

      1) Signing a 41 year old closer for $15 million per season beyond one year is not a good baseball policy. Unless the intent is merely to put the player's happiness above the team's best interests. If you and others are fine with that then so be it. I'm not.

      2) Mo is the best closer of his generation. However, that a closer's role is so limited that it has minimal impact on a team's wins and losses.

      3) That Mo has lost two HUGE games (one that would have meant a World Series title and one that very well may have meant another World Series title).

      Those are the three main points that I have articulated and I see nothing wrong with them, nor the idea of expressing them. If you and others want to turn away because the thought of ANY criticism of Mo is so sensitive to your ears, then so be it. I'd rather deal with everything as it was and is and hopefully will be.

  13. JGDragov says:

    Different opinons are what makes internet blogs and chats fun and interesting no doubt.

    That being said how any Yankee fan(like Hardcore Yankee Fan said I think we all are)can think Mo isn't as important or as good a Yankee great of all time I truly can't comprehend. Is there any pitcher in the history of baseball that has carried a 0.71 ERA over the course of 140 consecutive innings? When you stop to consider that Mo has done exactly that during the postseason when the competition is at it's highest and everyone is watching, you can't argue against his contributions. Show me a pitcher, releiver or starter, that has pitched in 94 postseason games and come away with the loss just once. Once!

    The Goose, Rollie Fingers and the like aren't inferior to Mariano by any stretch. Their postseason accomplishments have been just as impressive in many ways as Mo's, sometimes more. Still, in the age of steroids, smaller ball parks and more media scrutiny than in the history of sports, if you think these guys could have secured the final out of 76 postseason victories, you don't understand how incredible Mariano truly is.

    Lastly, Mariano's postseason numbers are off the charts, and that's what seperates him from the rest. However, his regular season numbers are as good, and in most cases better, than any other releiver. A big reason the Yankees have sometimes cruised to their divisonal titles is that Mo was shutting teams down in May, June and July when the divison was still up for grabs.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I agree that his postseason numbers are off the charts and will say yet again what a big fan I am of Mo. He is a total stud. But he's not perfect and NO closer IMO is THAT important. Even in the postseason, Mo has blown a few saves. Even more than his stats would normally indicate. And I'll say again, at the risk of offending every Yankee fan reading this. Two of those were HUGE.

      And you can't measure the accomplishments of a reliever versus a starter, in the postseason or the regular season.

      There is plenty of evidence to clearly indicate, from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint that pitchers who are good, will be much better as a closer. For one thing, a random distribution will have them facing only 3-5 batters of the lineup, which may often not include the heart of the order. Also, unlike a starter, a closer will almost never see the same two batters in one outing, thus not allowing for any rhythm on the batters part to get comfortable with how the closer is throwing unlike a starter who they'll see 3 times on average.

      As for the notion that Rivera shuts down other teams. That is totally true but he is but a small part of that. Are we going to ignore their first rate offense virtually every single since Mo's been playing? As well as the 5+ starters that have to log 180-200 innings on average each. Not only that, but looking as what an alternate scenario would have been. Another solid reliever in his place would not in most instances done much less in terms of converting saves.

      All that said, even though I'm a huge fan of his, I stand by everything I've stated. And the main point of the article, I still don't see any need for giving him a second year at age 41. I mean, he pitches less than 2.5% of the innings and will take up 7% of the payroll. No need to go anything beyond year to year from my perspective.

      • JGDragov says:

        I think it's fair to say that Mariano would never have the career as a starter say that Ron Guidry or Andy Pettite have had. I feel an elite starter would have a very good chance of being a very good closer, rarely the other way around. And I don't think you are smoking anything or are being disrespectful when you say you don't think Mo warrants a two year deal(I'd prefer a one year deal myself but a two year wouldn't bother me).

        My main point about Mariano is simply this: Whether you are talking Babe Ruth, Mantle, Jeter or any other Yankee legend, Mariano is better at what he does than any of those gentlemen. I am not saying that he is the BEST player just the VERY BEST at what he does.

        I always use this analogy when discussing Mariano's place in the Yankee universe. If the Yankee greats of all time get together for Thanksgiving dinner, Mo would be sitting at the adult table. Some years he might ven cut the turkey.