Via Brian Costello –
Yankees fans have nothing to worry about this winter if you listen to team president Randy Levine.
Levine virtually guaranteed the return of icons and impending free agents Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera next season at a speaking engagement in Manhattan last night.
“We don’t negotiate in public,” Levine said as part of a “TimesTalks” program. “But I would find it highly, highly unlikely if both of them were not back with the Yankees.”
The expiring contracts of Jeter and Rivera has hung over the franchise all year. Jeter turned 36 over the weekend and Rivera will be 41 next season. Both of them are still performing at a high level, but their age and price tag could make negotiations sticky.
“Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Yankees,” Levine said.
General manager Brian Cashman also appeared on the panel, but did not show his hand as much as Levine. He did speak about the difficulty of finding a successor for Rivera when that day comes.
“It’s going to be hell replacing him,” Cashman said. “He has been the most meaningful Yankee during this stretch.”
So, does this mean that Levine will be handling the contract talks with Jeter and Mo – and not Brian Cashman?