Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mariano to Pitch in 2013, plus other notes

My apologies for the lack of updates. As you all know, Hurricane Sandy rolled through the area on Monday and as a result, I lost power on Monday night at approximately 8:00 PM. I did not gain power back until tonight (Saturday) at about 7:00 PM. That was five full days without power, heat, lights, and Internet. However, other people received much worse from the storm so I should be thankful that I am here writing this blog and not looking for my furniture on the streets.

This was a quiet week in Yankee land, but at the same time there was a lot of noise. Rafael Soriano began the news by opting out of his contract in search of a long-term deal. The opt out was imminent and the Yankees knew he was not going to return after the season he had for the Yankees in 2012. Being a Scott Boras client, I expect he will get at least another three year contract at about the same rate he received with the Yankees.

Following Rafael Soriano's opt out, the Yankees extended qualifying offers to three of their free agents: Hiroki Kuroda, Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano. The Yankees extended the offers to Soriano and Swisher almost knowing they would reject the offers, which is what the Yankees want. By offering contracts, they are guaranteed a draft pick in compensation for any lost free agents. Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano should give the Yankees what they want, while Kuroda is a different story. The right-hander has expressed interest in signing another one year contract and has made it known that he enjoyed playing for the Yankees. After making $10 million in 2012, a qualifying offer of $13.3 million could and should get the job done for both sides, and the Yankees would sign up for that in a heartbeat. The Yankees did not extend an offer to Russell Martin however, in part because he is not a $13 million dollar player. That doesn't mean the Yankees do not want him back. Look for the Yankees to offer Martin a multi-year contract. Martin has played exceptionally well as a Yankee despite a poor batting average. His work behind the plate is what gives him an edge over other catchers, making him a prized commodity this off-season.

Lastly, the New York Post reported today that Mariano Rivera made it known that he intends to pitch in 2013. After weighing his options concerning retirement, Mariano has clearly chosen to extend his Hall of Fame career for one more season (at least for now). No numbers have been discussed between Rivera and Cashman but with Soriano out of the picture, look for the Yankees to get this deal done quick to have Mariano Rivera close games for one more season.

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