While we at TYU have spilled a lot of virtual ink over the Derek Jeter contract, we’ve seldom touched on the Mariano Rivera contract situation. The negotiations have gotten much less press than the Jeter ones, so let’s check in.
Last we heard, Mariano Rivera wanted a two year contract. Last night, we learned that the Yankees want to offer Rivera a one year deal, though.
According to that piece from MLBTR, Rivera wants not only a two year deal, but a raise from his $15MM salary.
I’m of the opinion that, overall, these negotiations will go more smoothly than the Jeter ones have so far, but I think Rivera is going to need to back down a bit here. He, apparently, wants a deal for two years worth $36MM, which would be (obviously) $18MM a year.
Mariano may be the best closer around, but that is a little much. $15MM for a closer is a lot to begin with; a raise on top of that is just exorbitant. Because of how well Rivera keeps himself in shape and how well he knows his body, I’m comfortable giving him a two year contract. In this, I’m on the opposite side from the Jeter situation.
As I’ve said in prior posts, there are two devils in contract negotiations: the Years Devil and the Salary Devil. With Jeter, I’m willing to give in to the Salary Devil. With Rivera, I’m willing to give in to the Years Devil.
Mo knows his body well and keeps himself in incredible shape. Because of that, I don’t mind giving him a two year contract. However, $18MM is too much for a reliever…any reliever. I think, eventually, the Yankees and Rivera will settle on a 2/$32 contract–Mo gets his years and his raise, though at a more “reasonable” (I’m using that term loosely) rate.