The latest episode of "As the Yankees World Turns" revolves around the storyline of Hall-of-Fame closer Mariano Riveria's looming free agency. He is telling everyone who will listen that he will explore leaving the Yankees via free agency if the Yankees do not bring back manager Joe Torre. He is not the only pending Yankees free agent saying this. Catcher Jorge Posada is also saying the same thing.
Should the Yankees' organization bring back Torre if two very important, and almost irreplacable, pieces to the past 12 years' worth of success say they will consider other teams if the team doesn't do so? Maybe the real question is whether either would have done so anyhow? Recall the shabby treatment OF Bernie Williams was afforded last year after a career spent as a Yankee and as an integral part of the success of the frnachise.
He was not given a major contract to come in and compete for the 5th OF job. Instead, he was given the option of a split contract which would pay him a guaranteed major league salary only if he made the 25-man roster. It was a slap in the face to a player who quietly went about the business of being a Yankee.
The Bernie episode demonstrated that the Yankees are a business first and a family second. I have little reason to think Mo and Posada did not learn that lesson. That is why I wonder if either of them wasn't going to test the market regardless of Torre's situation no matter what either currently says. Whether their resolve was only strengthened to do so by the Torre brouhaha is up for debate although I'd wager it was.
If I had to guess what would happen to both players, I would guess they remained Yankees as no other team is going to make the aggressive offer necessary to lure either away. What kind of offer would that be? Maybe a three-year deal for Mo and a four-year one for Posada at annual salaries in the $12-$15MM range.
Is there a team so in need of a closer with a long-rumored history of elbow issues or a 36-year-old catcher?