Mariano Rivera on reported talks with Red Sox: “It was real”

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Mariano Rivera has confirmed reports that he had talks with the Red Sox prior to re-signing with the Yankees for $30 million over two years, saying: “It was real.”

Rivera didn’t verify reports that his agent actually initiated contact with Boston, but made it pretty clear that he viewed the Red Sox as a legitimate option if negotiations with the Yankees broke down.

“I made sure that I thanked [the Red Sox], because they took me into consideration,” Rivera told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. “But, again, this is business, and the Yankees did the right thing. And I’m here.”

Asked if he ever truly felt pitching for the Red Sox was a realistic possibility, Rivera said: “It would’ve been different. I don’t think so. I don’t think the Yankees will allow that to happen. I just had to make sure that I had a job, and the Yankees did that.”

Unlike the Derek Jeter negotiations Rivera’s talks with the Yankees (and Red Sox) mostly went under the radar, with various details emerging only after he’d already re-signed. Boston reportedly offered him the same two-year, $30 million deal that he accepted from New York.