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.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.