Mariano Rivera will be closing games for the Yankees in 2011 in beyond it seems, as the 41-year-old reliever and the team were close to finalizing a two-year deal worth around $30 million, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.
But before that deal was sealed, was Mo come close to replacing Jonathan Papelbon at the back of the Red Sox bullpen?
An unnamed person with knowledge of the Rivera negotiations told the New York Times that the Red Sox had made Rivera a two-year deal, that news coming on the same day the team announced it would tender Papelbon a contract for 2011, which came as no surprise.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had a “no comment” when asked whether the Red Sox had expressed interest in Rivera.
It’s unclear whether the Red Sox got into the bidding for Rivera in order to drive the price (and years) up on the Yankees.
Papelbon will become a free agent at the end of the season and it stands to reason that the Red Sox would have tried to trade him this offseason should they have landed Rivera.