News of Mariano Rivera's imminent two-year, $30 million deal hit the blogosphere late last night. But that's not all the news; apparently the Red Sox, Angels and a third unnamed team offered three year deals to Mo. For him to take the Yankees' lesser offer, leaving $15 million on the table, really says something about him.
- With Mo's contract in the rear-view mirror, the three year, $45 million offer the Yankees initially made to Derek Jeter has been increased. MLB Network reported the new offer as three years at $16M-17M/year. Either way, the parties have made 'significant progress' despite the Yankees' unwillingness to go beyond three years or a fourth-year option at most. Let's hope Derek finally accepts and we can end this drama.
- Cliff Lee's agent says he is not expecting a Sabathia-type deal. While he may ask for seven years, he's willing to accept six, and maybe even five. Talk is that he could very well get upwards of $23 million a year, which would put him above Sabathia in terms of AAV. How would CC react to that, especially considering his superior resumé and opt-out clause following the season?
- Russell Martin was released by the Dodgers and has drawn interest from the Yankees and Red Sox. Francisco Cervelli was almost traded for him, but now that he's a free agent, the Yanks might give him a shot. He's a solid defensive catcher, he can hit a bit, and is only 27 - I'd be down for him to share catching duties with and mentor Jesus Montero. On the flip side, he missed the last two months of 2010 with a severe hip injury (albeit that he did not need surgery for), and he has yet to start running or even get into a crouch. It would be a risk, no question, but is he worth it?
- If you're still undecided about whether the Yankees should pursue Lee, read the following passage from a recent BPro article (sub. required) -
The Yankees failed to reach the World Series in large part because of the collapse of their rotation. In the second half of the season, their starters put up a 5.24 ERA, worse than every AL team except the Royals; excluding CC Sabathia, it was 5.91. A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez became two of the league's most disaster-prone starters, Phil Hughes put up a 5.07 ERA after June 19, and Andy Pettitte missed most of the second half due to a groin injury. In the postseason, the rotation was rocked for a 5.23 ERA with just four quality starts out of nine.
- Joining Buck Showalter in Baltimore will be former Yankee player and coach, Willie Randolph. I like both guys, so I'll be pulling for them everyday (unless they're playing the Yanks, of course).
- Joe Sheehan wrote a great piece criticizing the idea of a 'second wild card' team possibly taking hold in 2012 -
I called this idea "unimaginably stupid" on Twitter, and trust me, I was underselling its problems. The idea is to make winning a division more valuable than winning the wild card, so much so that a team will have to try to win its division. What it effectively does, though, is make winning a bad division valuable.
So the first Wild Card didn't water down the regular season enough, huh? As Bud Selig moronically said, "10 teams is more fair than eight," to which most writers responded with, "16 is more fair than 10, and 30 is more fair than 16." Anyway, I urge you to read the whole thing in order to understand the issues.
- In the wake of Jim Leyritz' acquittal in the DUI murder of a Florida woman, he'll be fined $500 and put on probation for a year.
- Syracuse University will play in the first Pinstripe Bowl on December 30th in Yankee Stadium. It will be the first college bowl game in the Bronx since 1962. Syracuse's opponent is yet TBD, but it will hail from the Big 12.