Friday, December 3, 2010

Is Mariano Rivera's new deal bad for Jeter?

Mariano Rivera is reportedly on the verge of signing a new deal to remain the closer for the New York Yankees, allowing everyone in the Yankee Universe to breathe sighs of relief. Everyone, of course, with the possible exception of Derek Jeter.

No question Jeter wanted his fellow Core Four guy to remain with the Yankees. But Rivera's willingness to take about the same money as he made in 2010, even though he reportedly had offers for more money and actually deserved a raise, does not bode well for the Jeter negotiations. If Rivera was willing not to hold out for a raise, even though he had another great season and apparently a lot of leverage, it does not look good if Jeter demands more money after a subpar campaign, even if it is only one bad year, and with no real interest from other teams. Jeter’s agent Casey Close is probably getting a little grayer in the temple, wondering why Mo couldn’t wait just a little longer to come to terms with the Yankees.

In fairness, Rivera also did get the two-year deal he wanted from the Yankees (although other teams were willing to offer three years). So it seems clear that Jeter will have to compromise on at least one demand, either the money or the years. He may be able to get a three-year contract for more money than the Yankees are offering right now or perhaps a deal with a fourth year option for a lot less money than he currently makes.

I hope Rivera's deal doesn't lead to another round of Jeter bashing, but that seems to be a distinct possibility, unless Jeter and the Yankees can quickly bridge the gulf and strike a deal.

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