Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees, already in a public free agent battle with shortstop Derek Jeter, are now at odds with Mariano Rivera about a contract for next season.
Rivera wants a two-year deal worth around $18 million per season but the Yanks only want to give him a one-year pact.
First reaction? The Steinbrenner kids are serious about running the club like a business and not spending wildly like the pinstriped teams of the past. They’re really going to play hardball with the old timers.
Second reaction? Rivera won’t be treated like Jeter, because Mo is still a highly effective player and worth a little outlandish cash for a couple of final seasons. The 40-year-old closer turned in a 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this past year while holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average. Jeter, meanwhile, registered a career-worst .270/.340/.370 batting line and showed poor range at the shortstop position.
The Yankees’ three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter is a generous one. I think we all need to be reminded of that.
Brian Cashman and Co. will concede on Rivera — probably not at a total of cost of $36 million, but they’ll concede. They shouldn’t on Jeter.
OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.
Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?
The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.
There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.
OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.
King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.