Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shocker: Mo, Jeter will be Yankees next year

In what has to qualify as one of the least shocking statements in New York Yankees history, team president Randy Levine virtually guaranteed that Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter will be back with the Bronx Bombers next year.

"Obviously, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Yankees, the both of them," he said to applause from the crowd at a TimesTalks event. "We don't negotiate obviously in public, but I would find it highly, highly unlikely if both of them were not back with the Yankees."

Not that letting either one of them go is an option for the Yankees. There will be an epic mutiny among Yankee fans if it even looks like the team is trying to shortchange these legendary Yankees. Mo seems willing to make it easier on the Yanks by going on a year-to-year contract like Andy Pettitte. But Jeter, the youngest of the Core Four, will likely want a multi-year deal at more than $20 million per and the Yanks will have to give it to him, no matter what he does this season.

But more importantly, the team is not ready for life without Mo or Jeter. Rivera once again proved how indispensable he is with his superior performance on the latest road trip, giving up only three hits and no runs in five innings to win two games and save another Yankees victory. Jeter has struggled at times this year, with a current .286 batting average that is well below his lifetime BA of .316. But he is still the anchor of that infield and the Yankees don't have anyone close to being ready to replace him.

Levine was talking about next year, but he could have easily said that the two of them will be Yankees for life because that’s inevitable.
"These guys understand the importance of legacy and being here," Brian Cashman said. "They know they've been treated fairly by this franchise. They've have more than treated us fairly and this fan base with great pleasure, great games."

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