Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Reliever Mariano Rivera remained with the New York Yankees, signing a two-year contract to join shortstop Derek Jeter as members of the team’s so-called Core Four veteran All-Stars to sign new deals.
The signing of Rivera, the American League’s career saves leader with 559, was announced yesterday by the Yankees in a news release one day after they were spurned by free-agent starter Cliff Lee.
The $30 million contract will give Rivera $15 million in each of the next two seasons, the Associated Press reported. Rivera, 41, an 11-time All-Star, also made $15 million in each of the past three seasons.
The right-hander has been with the Yankees since 1995 and their top reliever since 1997. With a pitching arsenal built around a cut fastball that can break bats in two, Rivera has helped the Yankees to five World Series championships.
This past season, Rivera recorded 33 saves in 61 appearances, with a 3-3 record and a 1.80 earned run average. He is second in Major League Baseball history to Trevor Hoffman’s 601 regular-season saves. His 42 saves and 0.71 ERA are both postseason records. His career ERA of 2.23 is the lowest among active major leaguers with a minimum of 1,000 innings pitched.
He is one of four players who have been at the heart of the Yankees’ run of success since the mid-1990s, with playoff berths every year but one since Rivera’s rookie season.
Catcher Jorge Posada has a year left on his contract, and the Yankees are waiting to hear if left-handed starting pitcher Andy Pettitte wants to return or retire.
Jeter, the Yankees’ 36-year-old team captain, agreed on a contract that will keep him in pinstripes as he chases his 3,000th career hit next season and on through at least 2013. Jeter’s contract is worth between $15 million and $17 million annually, according to the New York Times.
Major League Baseball reported on its website yesterday that the Yankees had agreed to terms with free-agent catcher Russell Martin, 27, who hit .248 with five home runs and 26 runs batted in during an injury-shortened 2010 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While the negotiations with Jeter were publicly contentious, with agent Casey Close and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman exchanging barbs, the re-signing of Rivera had just one question -- whether he would stay in the Bronx for one more year or two.
Lee, the most sought-after pitcher on the free-agent market, has agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies instead of the Yankees or Texas Rangers, said a Major League Baseball official who requested anonymity because the deal isn’t complete.
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