After a month of offseason waiting, the Yankees are finally ready to make a big move. Mariano Rivera is reportedly on the verge of a two-year deal that will put the ninth inning back in the hands of the greatest closer of all time. The deal could be finalized by the end of the day.
Granted, it’s a signing that’s been expected since the end of the regular season — before that, really — but there are three names that matter most to the Yankees this winter: Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee. Every other move — unless it’s one of those unexpected, off-radar deals — is minor in comparison.
Bringing back Joe Girardi was a first step. Choosing a new pitching coach was crucial. Deciding who to protect from the Rule 5 and who to non-tender off of the 40-man roster were big-picture decisions that had to be made.
But those moves don’t light up the hot stove.
Getting a guy like Rivera re-signed makes this feel like a real baseball offseason. That’s a significant piece to put back in place.
Associated Press photo