The linchpin to New York's bullpen is expected to dawn Yankee pinstripes for the next three seasons.
Veteran closer set to accept record deal for reliever
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera's icy negotiations with the Yankees may be reaching a thaw, as the future Hall of Fame closer appears primed to remain with the club.
According to a report published Sunday in the New York Post, Rivera is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million contract offer early this week. Rivera had spent last week in the Dominican Republic conducting baseball clinics.
The Post reported that Rivera will meet with his representatives on Sunday. According to multiple reports, Rivera may have had interest in a fourth year being added to his contract.
Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner has said the team would hold firm with its offer, which would make Rivera baseball's highest-paid closer, eclipsing Billy Wagner's deal across town with the Mets, where he earns $10.5 million annually.
Rivera, who turns 38 on Nov. 29, has pitched for the Yankees since 1995, compiling an American League-record 443 saves in the regular season. The most dominant postseason pitcher of his generation, Rivera owns a Major League-record 34 more saves in the playoffs, where he has a 0.77 career ERA.
Rivera made 67 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2007, finishing with 30 saves while going 3-4 with a 3.15 ERA. His signing has been earmarked by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman as one of the club's priorities leading into the early offseason months, along with re-signing catcher Jorge Posada.
Hours before he could have discussed financial terms with other clubs, Posada reportedly agreed to a four-year, $52.4 million deal. Posada had a physical last week and an official announcement is expected shortly.
The Yankees are also continuing to hammer out the details of Alex Rodriguez's landmark 10-year, $275 million contract, just weeks after the likely American League MVP delivered word that he had opted out of contract during Game 4 of the World Series.
"It feels great," Steinbrenner told the Post. "There was never any question we wanted to keep all of them. Obviously, they are being paid very well. Alex was the thing nobody expected, and he came through."