Mariano Rivera has never really been one for drama. There are closers who like to load the bases or let in a run before slamming the door on the opposition. Rivera's never been like that. He strolls to the mound, throws his one pitch 10 or 12 times and then shakes Jorge Posada's hand.
That's his style when it comes to contract negotiations as well. We had none of the tortured griping of Derek Jeter from Rivera. He made it clear that he wanted two years, didn't seem to make much of a fuss about a specific dollar amount and never once did he invoke his place in the franchise history as justification for making things more difficult than they needed to be. And, lo and behold, the deal got done without any drama.
The Yankees and Rivera have reportedly agreed on a two-year, $30 million contract that will be signed on Friday. That's a lot of money for a guy who pitches only 60 innings a year, but the fact that he's still the best closer in baseball makes it a lot easier to swallow the payout.
So does the fact that other teams were sniffing around Rivera's door, including the Red Sox. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported early Friday morning that those hated rivals -- as well as the Angels -- offered Rivera a third year, but the allure of remaining a Yankee trumped those offers. What's more, Rivera might have even received an offer for more money per year from one of those suitors.
It would have been very easy for Rivera to put those offers out to the public to drive up his price, but he seemed to realize that there was more value to remaining a Yankee than a couple of million dollars a year would have been worth somewhere else. He didn't, eschewing the drama once more and we'll always be thankful he chose that route instead of the one travelled by one of his teammates.
Even better, now the Yankees are getting the word out that they're interested in signing Carl Crawford, which is hard to swallow outside of the fact that it would drive the price up for his more established suitors in Boston and Anaheim. It's more likely they'll just concentrate on getting Jeter's deal done before moving on to Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte and the 2011 season.