Yankees Working On Re-Signing Rivera
Rivera Saved 40 Games In 2003
Rivera Saved 40 Games In 2003

Posted Feb 23, 2004


The Yankees want to keep closer Mariano Rivera, and talks could begin shortly with his agent, Fernando Cuza.

"Of course I want to stay here," said Rivera, who made $10.5 million last year while going 5-2 with a 1.66 ERA and 40 saves in 46 opportunities, giving him 283 saves for his career.

Rivera is entering the final season of a four-year, $39.9 million contract and is seeking a four-year extension.

The bar, however, has changed since Rivera last was at the bargaining table.

Considering the Dodgers' Eric Gagne, who converted 55 straight save opportunities, was seeking $8 million and settled for $5 million in arbitration, it's not inconceivable the parameters could range between $18 million and $24 million.

The Yankees are inclined to counter with three years and an option.

General manager Brian Cashman wouldn't say there's a timetable to sign Rivera before the end of spring training, but he made it clear retaining the closer was a priority.

Rivera flexed his arm and said "everything is good," and when a reporter pointed to his head and asked how he was doing mentally, he said, "great."

At 34, it's conceivable this could be Rivera's final contract.

"I think we can get to an agreement on an extension," Rivera said. "I want to remain a Yankee."

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