UPDATED: Yankees to offer Mo a paycut

Thursday: Ken Davidoff adds some more details to the story today, by contrasting Rivera with Derek Jeter’s negotiations after the 2010 season. Davidoff points out that, unlike Jeter, Rivera is no stranger to working out a new contract and has always been shrewd when it comes to his own machinations in free agency (indeed, when you really think about it, the contrast between Rivera happily fielding an offer from the Red Sox for leverage and Jeter being upset at being told to see what the market held for him two years ago is incredibly striking). In other words, he’s dialing back the notion that Rivera will be offended by the Yankees offering him a pay cut, recognizing that business is business. That seems reasonable to me, especially because I think that Rivera is going to end up earning something in the range of his customary $15 million salary one way or another next year. If there’s any sort of back and forth, it’ll likely be about how much of that is guaranteed and how much will be in the form of incentives that a healthy Mo should have no trouble reaching.

Mariano Rivera might be committed to pitching in 2013, but first he’ll have to get a new contract. You would think that wouldn’t be such a tough proposition, but Rivera actually has a history of being a pretty tough-nosed negotiator, and this promises to be the most difficult new contract of his career. After all, though it was already hard to figure out what to bet on the seemingly ageless closer, he’s now a ripe old 43 years of age and he’ll be coming off of a major knee injury that cost him nearly all of the 2012 season.

To that end, the Yankees are preparing to make Rivera an offer for next season that would reduce the $15 million salary he earned in 2012, Bob Klapsich reports today. Klapsich doesn’t put a number on the cut, however, and adds that Rivera would likely get a package of incentives that would give him the chance to push his earnings back to his customary level. I would imagine that this is mostly much ado about nothing, as even if Rivera isn’t happy about the base salary, he’s going to be earning roughly in the ballpark of $15 million one way or another if he’s healthy and effective. The one thing that could potentially make things interesting is if another team comes along and offers that to him in the form of guaranteed money. Not that anyone can see Mo playing anywhere but The Bronx, but Rivera has never been shy about playing the field for leverage in negotiations, even reportedly fielding offers from the Red Sox the last time he was on the market after the 2010 season. If that were to happen, however, the Yankees would almost certainly match any offer Rivera gets, at least for the 2013 season.

9 thoughts on “UPDATED: Yankees to offer Mo a paycut

  1. brian

    wow, slick job there with that last line… that's the one thing i never really thought of..

    what if another team comes out and offers mo 2 year, 22 million contract guaranteed… no way he takes it, but does he use to to force a second year out of the yankees? does he even want 2 years or is this just about getting his 15 for one year?

    I don't like the people who currently run the yankees, and Mariano Rivera is well… Mariano Rivera so I'm rooting for him to get as much as he can, like I do for all players

    • I don’t think Mo’s going to ask for more than a one year deal, but I do think that maybe THE most interesting unknown about the team’s austerity plans is what they’ll do if Mo decides he wants to play in 2014.

      • jay_robertson

        Good question – but IF Mo did want to come back in 2014, I'd think he would be enough of a team player to help get things under the cap; not that he'd play for free or anything, but if it came to a mil or two, and ONLY getting 11 or 12 million to close – he might go for it.

        There is precedence – football players have played number games to get guys on their squad they want, while staying under the cap. Scotty and Cano – hell no. Mo, at age 45? Sure.

        • Allen

          The Yankees do not have a salary cap – Mo does not need to donate money to the Steinbrenners in order to be a team player. There is no salary cap in baseball. The only thing getting uner this magic number does is put tens of millions more dollars in the Steinbrenners pocket. It is not mandatory, and it does not help the team in any way.

          • jay_robertson

            Guess I live in cloud cuckoo land. If I had a gig, and got paid 15 mil for the gig, even tho I only played one song (you know – tripped over a drunk groupie or something and broke my pinky) – when I got healthy, I'd come back and play the show for free. I sure wouldn't ask for a raise. Or even the same money.

            I know Mo ain't gonna do that – but you'd think he'd be a little sheepish over "earning" a pretty hefty check for a Pavano season.

          • Allen

            The only reason players sign multi-year contracts is so that they have guaranteed money even if they play badly or don't play at all. The alternative is for players to only sign 1 year deals, which without a hard cap would quickly cause salaries to spiral out of control. You can't fault players for playing by the rules that the owners and players agreed upon.

  2. uyf1950

    Maybe it's just me. But as great as Mo has been over his career I just can't see the Yankees offering him a 2 year guaranteed contract this time around. I can see them overpaying for 1 year to keep him in the fold, but not 2 years.

  3. a57se

    The Yanks would be nuts to overpay for Mo, I don't care what he's done in his career or where other offers may come from, the Yanks should make him a decent, incentive laden contract for 2013 and if he tries to leverage it against another deal, let him go…..

  4. Francis

    I am so glad that you've made an update and yes that would really be one of the best… That's what I thought to know, right?
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