The Yankees are busy with Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee, but after that’s all said and done, Mariano Rivera will be tops on their priority list. Jon Heyman reports today that, when they do get to him, they’ll find that he wants a two-year deal, not a one-year deal.
This should not be a problem. I think you pretty much give Mariano Rivera whatever he wants. At least within reason. He earned 2011 by continuing to be awesome in 2010. While, sure, he might fall off a cliff eventually, who has a greater right to ask for an extra year than Mariano Rivera? He’s carried them for 15 years. They can carry him for one if, for some reason, next season is his last effective one.
In other news, Heyman says that “Rivera has told friends” of his desire for two-years. I’m trying to picture what Mariano Rivera’s “friends” are like. I can see anything from normal guys, to cyborgs, to supermodels to the nerdiest people who ever existed. Could be anyone, really. Unless I’m missing a big expose that’s been written, we probably know less about Mariano Rivera than we know about any all-time elite athlete in history.
Personally, I’m going with cyborgs.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.