There is some moderate consternation among Yankees fans about what the Yankees will do with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi this offseason, seeing as all three of them will no longer be under contract once the year ends. Sure, everyone knows that all three will almost certainly be back, but the details are a bit fuzzy and, given the ages of Rivera and Jeter, the negotiations could be kind of delicate. It’s not really a question of “if” they’ll come back but “how.”
The “how” for at least one of those guys is clearing up, however, as Mariano Rivera told Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently that he would accept an Andy Pettitte-style one-year deal to come back. You figure that he’d take a series of them, actually, with the Yankees continuing to offer them for as long as Rivera remains effective. Which, at present, seems will be forever.
Probably good news for Yankees fans. Everyone knows that Jeter will get a big deal that, at the end of the day, will probably be for too much money. No one really cares about that actually. Rivera was probably a source of slightly greater concern inasmuch as it was within the realm of the possible that he’d demand multiple years and the Yankees would balk, at least initially.
As of now, that seems to be a moot point.
So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.
The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.
Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.
With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.