With Rivera’s return, the Yankees’ bullpen will once again be a strength
Mariano Rivera did not take much time at all to inform Yankees’ General Manager, Brian Cashman, he wanted to return in 2013. With this most recent news, the Yankees can now focus on a series of separate actions and approaches. In regards to the Rafael Soriano and Rivera situations, it could not be a better outcome for New York.
Soriano was made a qualifying offer he will likely reject in search of a “four or five” year deal according to his agent, Scott Boras. With the rejection, the Yankees will earn a draft pick in the supplementary round inbetween their first and second picks. This is likely to also happen with Nick Swisher, whom was also offered the same qualifying offer. This means the Yankees, in need of development for the future, will have two extra picks at a minimum and will have a closer of comparable value return to his original role at a discounted price. This also means the Yankees, who paid a combined value over $28 million dollars to Rivera and Soriano last year, will likely only have to pay somewhere under 15 million this season.
As an added bonus, Rivera only wants a one year deal this time around as he is likely to retire after 2013, meaning none of this money will affect the Yankees’ goal of cutting payroll by 2014. With Rivera’s return, the Yankees’ bullpen will once again be a strength this upcoming season when Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, David Aardsma and Boone Logan all figure to vie for late innings.
In the beginning of his contract, one Cashman had no hand in signing, it looked like Soriano’s deal could be a disaster with an escalating salary and three different opt out clauses. It turned out not to be so bad as Soriano was overpaid for one year then played a huge role as an actual closer this season and as a result opted out, earned the Yankees a pick and saved them money in 2013 even though his value is unlikely to be missed.
The Yankees can now turn its attention to waiting on Hiroki Kuroda to accept his own qualifying offer, a stronger possibility than Soriano and Swisher, and finding out if Andy Pettitte will return to help fill two spots in the rotation, again, in two contracts unlikely to be on the books in 2014.
Finally, the Yankees will look towards one year stopgaps at catcher and right field and can keep to the plan of having over 50 million dollars to resign Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, or both, cut payroll, and hope some upper prospects like Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez or Austin Romine are ready to play for the league minimum in 2014.