The Red Sox offered Mariano Rivera a three-year deal at approximately $50 million, but Rivera ultimately decided to return to the Yankees for a far lesser two-year deal at $30 million.
It speaks volumes about Rivera that he left millions on the table and returned to the team that he became a star with. Other clubs talked with Rivera as well.
And it makes Derek Jeter and all the on-going nonsense of his squabbles with the team look even more foolish and petty.
Going after Rivera made far more sense for the Red Sox than any of these wild-eyed ideas of making a pitch for Jeter. Rivera is still at the top of his game at the age of 41. He still hasn't shown any consistent signs of age, and that is extremely rare for a pitcher of his age. But Rivera wants to be remembered as a Yankee, and more money clearly isn't more important to him. It's clearly a fair deal for him, as he would be still the highest paid closer in baseball.
Again, compare this to Jeter. No question in my mind that the MVP of those championship teams of the late 1990s was Rivera. Both are first-ballot Hall of Famers, but I bet most Yankee fans fell the same way I do.
And I wonder what Jonathan Papelbon thinks of this? It's clear to me that the Red Sox are ready to part company with him after 2011. His numbers has been steadily declining, and he has just reached the age of 30. Rivera clearly wasn't coming to Boston, but this is a clear signal the Sox are heading a new direction with their bullpen in the near future.