The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mariano Rivera Contemplating Retirement?

From Bryan Hoch at

General manager Brian Cashman called Rivera on Tuesday to check on the closer’s future plans and was informed that no final decision has been made.

“I talked to Mariano Tuesday night, and he is not sure what he’s interested in doing just yet,” Cashman said. “I think in Spring Training he was intending to retire at the end of the year, so I don’t think he knows what he wants to do just yet. Am I surprised by that? No.”

Cashman said that the Yankees do not need an answer at this moment, and likened Rivera’s situation to that of left-hander Andy Pettitte, who said that he needs about a month to decide what he wants to do next year.

Rivera’s season ended on May 3 with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament, and he vowed he would pitch again in 2013.

“I am coming back. Put it down,” Rivera said the day after he sustained the injury chasing a fly ball during batting practice. “Write it down in big letters. I’m not going down like this.”

Mo, don’t go! I wrote it down in big letters just like you said!

Seriously, though, while obviously no one could blame Rivera if he didn’t feel like playing next year, it would royally suck if he did not return for one last season for us to lavish him with praise. He certainly won’t be pitching in 2014, so his contract shouldn’t be an issue. Just give him a nice chunk of money for one more year, like $8-10 million. It won’t affect the austerity plan.

--Posted at 10:04 pm by Brian Cronin / 30 Comments | - (0)


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so which is it?

1) Rehab is going much worse than he expected, and he fears not coming back as elite

2) negotiating ploy

3) girardi going crazy and benching the lineup in ALCS has Mo fearful of the lack of talent / chances of making playoffs in ‘13?

MO? Fearful? Unlikely.

Say it aint so, MO!

[0] - I don’t think 2014 is the only issue.  The Yankees probably have between $170-$175 for next year (assuming they resign Chavez, Kuroda, and Pettite and moderate arb raises for those eligible) but that is with holes in RF, C, DH, and the bench.  And that’s just the 25 man roster.  They don’t need to get to $189 in 2013 but they still have had a budget.  Giving $15M to Mo does severely limit how they can fill 3 lineup spots and maintain the depth that has been key to their last few seasons.

Spending 8 figures or relievers is not a good idea, especially for a team like the Yankees where good bullpen arms is something they are very good at developing from within.

[4] “Giving $15M to Mo does severely limit how they can fill 3 lineup spots and maintain the depth that has been key to their last few seasons.”

No fricking way they should give Mo anything near $15M.

It makes no sense to give the same contract to a 43 y.o. coming off a major injury, and lost season, that you gave to a 41 y.o. coming off 4 straight sub-2.00 ERAs

Yes you overpay b/c of who he is, but it’s more like $8-10M.

Mo has to come back. He hasn’t even started throwing his changeup yet.

Yeah, I was thinking $8-10 million as a “nice chunk of money.” I’ll go back to specify that if that was confusing. Of course you can’t pay him the same contract you gave to him three years ago, especially after he just suffered a season-ending injury at age 42.

[1] d) none of the above?

I don’t think this is the first time in the last several years that Mo has contemplated retiring, and instead wanting to stay home with the family.  So even if rehab is on target (or a little ahead), he still has to spend the entire off-season rehabbing, and THEN go through the normal wear and tear of a season, at the age of 43.  I can see why he thinks of retiring.  But I still think he’ll come back.

[4 & 5] Agreed.  I think maybe something like $5M with performance bonuses.  Maybe an extra $1M for every 5 appearances after 40?  He hasn’t exceeded 70 appearances since 2005.  If he’s same-old Mo he’ll get between 60-65 appearances, so between $9M and $10M.  If he’s not he’ll get $5M-$6M.  Sound good?

[double post]

In other news, CC had the surgery, and is expected to be back for Spring Training and ready for the season opener.  Since he’ll start throwing later he may not throw as hard at the beginning of the season (so we can panic in April).  But the one doctor opined that CC may be better in 2013 than 2012 b/c he won’t have pain any more.

Mo won’t sign for less than $10M guaranteed and the Yankees probably won’t offer him anything less than that.

[11] I imagine that negotiations with Mo will go something like this: “do you want to come back? How much do you want?”

[11] - Then Mo can retire.  You can’t pay a 43 year old coming of a missed season due to surgery top dollar for a closer.

I like Mike K’s structure.

You can’t pay a 43 year old coming of a missed season due to surgery top dollar for a closer.

Sure you can.  You shouldn’t, but you can, and the Yankees will.

[14] Well, if money doesn’t matter, I don’t want to hear any BS of sticking to the luxury cap in 2014.  Extend Cano, sign Hamilton and Napoli and act like the Yankees.  Run the $225M payroll and suck it up.

2013 <> 2014
2013 != 2014
2013 =\= 2014

[16]  Profit is profit.  Why would the owners love extra profit in 2014 and beyond, but pooh pooh it in 2013?

If Jeter can take a pay-cut, so can Mo.

Why would the owners love extra profit in 2014 and beyond, but pooh pooh it in 2013?

They have to balance keeping the fans sated with the bottom line.  Making a final push in 2013 would probably buy years of good will if they can win the World Series which would help the team’s long-term profit margins.

The focus on 2014 payroll is because they accrue additional benefits from being under the payroll threshold than they would in 2013. 

I’m sure if they could sign Hamilton and Napoli for one year they’d do it.  But they aren’t going to go after either for multiple years, and it would be stupid to do that anyway.  This team needs to get younger, not older.

Yeah, the key to Mo’s signing is that it’d be a one-year deal. It is not that the Yankees are cutting money to become profitable, it is that if they get under $189 million in 2014, they make so much additional money that they don’t want to turn down that money. If it looks like they’ll be absolutely fucked on the field if they don’t turn down the money, I bet they will, in fact, end up turning down the money. But it IS a substantial amount of money and they would be allowed to then go over the luxury tax the next two-three years without incident, so they will have a lot more wiggle room in 2015. In fact, with the way A-Rod and Teix’s contracts are set-up, 2015 should allow the Yankees to hand out at least one extremely significant contract. It is obviously too soon, though, to guess who that would be.

[18] Yeah, though I don’t necessarily agree to it, paying Mo $15M in 2013 likely costs them an extra $10M or so.  Getting under $189M - in addition to potentially saving $30M up front (extra $20M in salary plus tax) has the added benefits of an extra $40M in revenue sharing rebates, plus resets the tax threshold much lower with more long term savings.  So for sure, potentially saving $10M one year is quite different than saving potentially $70M the following year.

Now, one reason I like the idea of giving Mo an incentive laden deal is setting a precedent.  Basically, if they can ask Mo to take that kind of deal - and he accepts it - why can’t they ask ANYONE to take a deal that guarantees less $$‘s?

I do believe SG is right and they’ll give Mo a ton of money.  But they shouldn’t.

[13]  Let him retire?  I know we’re supposed to be unsentimental and objective, but you’d rather see Mo retire than see the Yankees pay him a few million dollars more than you think he’s worth on a one year deal?

[21] Well there’s limits to everyone right?  If Mo demanded $25M would you be okay with that?  Probably not.  So if he demands $15M you are though?  I mean, Yankees still have a budget for 2013.  It’s probably around $210M.  According to Cot’s, if the Yankees pick up both Cano’s and Granderson’s contracts and trade neither, they have I think $145M committed in payroll, or $65M to work with.  That’s not counting Hughes (Arb 3), Joba (Arb 3), Logan (Arb 3), Robertson (Arb 2) or Gardner (Arb 2), and a few others who are in Arb 1.  So for argument’s sake I think maybe $20M for those guys.  So now we’ve got $45M to work with.  If you give Mo $15M, that’s $30M to work with.  To fill C, RF, at least 1 SP spot, and a few bench slots.  That’s certainly very doable of course.  But will definitely limit their ability to sign players to fill those gaps.

So I guess, would you rather be able to bring back Pettitte and Kuroda, and maybe add a good RF and some decent bench options for $35M, and sign Mo to a $10M contract?  Or do all that and get Martin back for 1 year at $7M and sign Mo to a $5M contract?

[21] If it prevents them from adding necessary pieces, yes.

If giving Mo $5M extra means they don’t resign Kuroda, or get a real RF, then, yes, I’d rather have Mo retire.

[22]  I’m comfortable paying Mo between $10 and $15MM for a one year deal.  It’s not as if he wasn’t still one of the best closers in the game before he got hurt, and that’s basically the going rate.  We’re talking about a farewell season for one of the greatest Yankees ever.  If it has to, this franchise can go over budget for Mo, and I’m sure they’d make at least some of it back in promotional opportunities.

[23] - Exactly.  I want him back, but pretending he is a sure bet to be one of the best closers in baseball next year is foolish.  That’s if you accept that spending $10M on ANY closer is smart for the Yankees.  So if someone else is willing to pay him $10-$15 and Mo is willing to have his farewell tour in another uniform then “Good luck Mo.”

He if is willing to accept a reasonable salary then “Come here big guy!”

If it was good enough for Jeter and Pettitte then it’s good enough for

[25]  Yup.  it’s actually quite silly that people would give Mo $10M+, but would probably scream bloody murder if Pettitte demanded it.

Rivera is a lot easier to replace than Kuroda or Pettitte, as we just saw.  And if it’s anything the Yankees seem good at the last 3-4 years, it’s assembling a bull-pen cheaply.

[22] IDK, I don’t think it will go over particularly well with Jeter that they played hardball with him (though he still got a rich contract) and will bend over backwards for Mo.  And they may have to deal with Pettitte who they got for a discount last year when it may have been his swan-song, and they surely could have gone over budget with him, right? 

IF Mo had a typical season, I can see giving him that kind of money (though still an overpay).  But he didn’t.  He’s a 43 year old coming off of an injury that sometimes ends the careers of promising 23 year olds.  I’m not sure what the big deal is in making it an incentive-laden deal that can get him up to those levels, and protect the team against him not being able to do it.

I just think the Yankees have the financial wherewithal, especially in 2013, to pay Mariano (and Pettitte) on one-year deals without it adversely affecting the rest of the roster.  Do I think they should roll over and hand Mo a blank check?  No.  But I don’t think they should make some kind of $5MM take-it-or-leave-it-offer, either.

I have to confess that it would mean something to me to have Jeter, Mo, and Pettitte back for one last run, even if it meant that the Yankees had to make a sacrifice somewhere else on the field.  But any sacrifice would be small.  Five million extra bucks?  One projected win?  I’d rather root for a Yankee team with Mo on it that projects to win 93 games than a team without Mo that projects to win 94.

“I’d rather root for a Yankee team with Mo on it that projects to win 93 games than a team without Mo that projects to win 94. “

I’ll take the win.  I admit I have no particular fondness for Rivera or Jeter. Great, great players, but I’ve never made an emotional connection.

My favorites at this point (they guys who it really bothers me when they struggle) are Sabathia, Gardner, Pettitte, Swisher, Hughes, and Robertson.

[6] That’s why he is actually going to pitch another five years.  Much like the batters he has toyed with over the years, Mo is simply toying with Cashman and the media.  Why? Boredom probably.  All I know is, I saw that change up too in Spring Training a few years ago and he can pitch until he is Satchell Paige old if he wants to.

This is first year since 96 I have not seen Him in person.  He cannot end his career on the DL, its an absurdity to even think it.  Even if it happens, I still won’t believe it.

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