It has been a quiet few days in baseball as the GMs digest the information they obtained in Orlando last week.
For the Yankees, the next two days will be stressful. Starting Tuesday, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera will enter the open market and with the swipe of a pen could leave the Yankees.
I have not yet heard a team express an interest in Rivera. The industry-wide assumption is that he will return to the Yankees. The Phillies were a possibility but they traded for Brad Lidge. One way or another, Rivera will stay in pinstripes.
But Posada will have options. The Mets almost certainly will make him an offer on Tuesday if he is available. The Blue Jays are interested and the Marlins will at least inquire.
Posada will not leave New York. His son’s doctors are here and he recently expanded his home in Manhattan. He will play for either the Mets or Yankees next season, that much we do know.
I believe the Yankees will act out of desperation and sign him. But it’s not guaranteed. Posada has always had a little edge to his personality and he could hold it against the Yankees that they would not sign him to an extension in spring training. He also was Joe Torre’s clubhouse enforcer, a guy who brooked no disrespect to the manager.
Posada is a smart guy. As members of the feeble National League, the Mets are closer to the World Series than the Yankees are. He would arrive in Queens an instant team leader.
But he also understands the value of being a career Yankee. He has seen up close the stature Yogi Berra has. He wants to walk into history with his buddy Derek Jeter.
Ultimately, it’ll be the money. Omar Minaya acts on impulse and Brian Cashman is devoid of sentiment. If Minaya gets the Wilpon family to throw four years and $65 million at Posada, Cashman might just walk away.
His agents have played it smart, going right to the deadline. What advantage is gained by signing earlier? Now the deadline is approaching.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: Just to clear something up, the Yankees made firm offers to both players, that happened weeks ago. Now there is negotiating going on. Some people e-mailed me asking about a report that the Yankees would make them offers. They already have. The question now is where the negotiation goes.