This is the last year on the current contracts for both Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Now its a no brainer that they will both be resigning with the Yankees and retiring and probably buried in pinstripes.
What makes this even remotely interesting is the guessing how long and how much. First lets take a look at their current deals and then the great Rookstrdomous will make a guess at what they will get.
First Jeter: When people talk about Derek Jeter they make it seem like he is an old man. Granted he is not the youngest guy on the team but at 35 he is not ancient either. He is in the final year of his 10 year $189 million dollar contract that started in 2001. Last year Derek made 20 MILLION dollars, the most he has ever made and probably had the best season he has ever had.
Now Rivera: Mariano Rivera is undoubtedly the greatest closer of all times. If you asked ten baseball people who is the greatest closer ever Nine of them would say Rivera. Mo is 40 years old now and is in the final year of a three year 45 Million dollar deal.
The more difficult of these contracts is Rivera’s mainly because of the fact that he is forty years old. It would be easier if he showed signs of decline, but he hasn’t, If anything he has gotten better with age. Last year Rivera had 44 saves in 46 opportunities and an ERA of 1.76.
Jeter on the other hand is still young enough to get a pretty substantial Payday. Like Rivera, Jeter has come off what is one of his best seasons ever batting .334 with 18 HR and 30 SB.
The Yankees have a policy of not talking about contracts during the season and this will certainly work to their advantage in this situation as their performance in 2010 will certainly weigh on their next contracts
So now it has come to this, prediction time:
Derek Jeter will get a 5 year 90 million dollar deal. Now I know what you are thinking. You think I’m crazy and that the Yankees wont spend that kind of money on a mid thirties infielder who is certain start to show some decline sooner rather than later.
Those of you that are saying that don’t understand Jeter’s make-up. Jeter is the kind of player that you say he can’t do something and he will work twice as hard to prove that he can. Then some more of you are saying that he won’t be able to play short stop for another 5 years and they will have to move him to the outfield. I don’t know where people make up this crap, first of all the Yankees have no plans of moving Jeter to the outfield, secondly on what do you all base this assumption? Has Jeter shown any decline in the field? Any decrease in his range? Is he starting to slow down? The answer to all these questions is no, no and no.
Jeter is the face of the Yankees and the Captain of the team. I can’t name more than two or three short stops that are better than Jeter and none that are more complete players. Those of you who think Jeter is overrated are ignorant.
As for Rivera its a little different. The mechanics of pitching is a bit harder on your body than being a position player and at 40 years old age becomes a bit of a factor. I think that Rivera will know when to say when but certainly will be given another two year 28 million dollar deal with a 10 million dollar option for a third year that has a 5 million dollar buy-out, or something like that.
Both of these guys are going to be Yankees as long as they want to be. Don’t be surprised if somewhere down the road you see them both coaching or working in the front office but it will be when they decide.