Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No birthday gift for Mariano Rivera from Yankees

Mariano Rivera's 41st birthday came and went yesterday with no news on a new deal with the New York Yankees. Perhaps it will just be a belated birthday gift.

Mo hasn't been heard from publicly so far this offseason, but it has been reported that he wants a two-year deal, which I think is entirely fair. The Yankees supposedly have concerns about going that long on a new contract, but Mo hasn't given any indication that age has slowed him down at all. In fact, his only rough patch in 2010 was attributed to poor mechanics, which he corrected right in time for the playoffs.

Baseball contract negotiations can be tricky and contentious so I don’t discount the possibility of things getting ugly between the Yankees and Mo as they have with Derek Jeter. But I hope the Yankees don't draw the same line in the sand that they have with their captain. Unlike Jeter, Mo had another typically great year and should be rewarded for maintaining his status as the best closer in the game by having his very reasonable request of two years granted, along with a solid raise. The Yankees can’t afford to let Mo go because they don’t have anyone ready to replace him. Signing Mo for another two years will give them a chance to groom some brave soul to take his job when he retires.

Mo’s new deal will come after his birthday, but better late than never. Happy Birthday, Mariano! And a very happy birthday to my nephew Jonathan!

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