Via Jon Heyman -
The Yankees have faith they can make deals with pitchers Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte — surely more faith than they can do a deal with Rafael Soriano at the moment.
The Yankees expect to try to work something out with Rivera in the coming week, especially now that Soriano has rejected the $13.3-million qualifying offer. The club’s hope is to get Rivera done at a bit of a pay cut from his $15-million 2012 salary, as he is 43 and coming back from a knee injury.
The Yankees seem to have a fair amount of hope, too, that Kuroda will stay with them on a one-year deal, especially if he desides to stay in the states. The team sees Japan as its major competition, not the Red Sox or even nouveau riche Dodgers, who are among the interested teams in the majors. The Yankees would enhance the $13.3-million offer Kuroda rejected a bit if it meant keeping Kuroda, who is said to have enjoyed his year with the Yankees and is very willing to do a one-year deal.
Word is, Kuroda has promised to finish his terrific career with a final year back in Japan, but the Yankees believe and hope the chances are that he delays that plan a year to give them another fine season in the Bronx.
Pettitte hasn’t “officially” told the Yankees he’s returning, but they seem to believe he will. He’ll get a raise from the $2.5 million he took to come out of retirement last year should he pitch, as they expect.
As for Soriano, the Yankees are amenable to talking about a two-year deal with the man who stepped in for Rivera and did a terrific job in 2012. However, they don’t seem to feel the need to present one at the moment, not after Soriano opted out, then joined the other seven star players who turned down qualifying offers.
For the record, Kuroda will be 38, Pettitte will be 41, and, Rivera will be 43-years old, next season.
That’s a whole ‘lotta old to be counting on for some key spots in your pitching staff. Or, in other words: This is stupid.