Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Closing it out in the BronxPosted by Matthew Namee
The New York Times is reporting that Yanks closer Mariano Rivera is about to sign a two-year, $21 million contract extension with the club, with a vesting option for a third year. This could be Rivera's last contract, which means he'll be one of very few modern players to spend his whole career with one team.
The Times article brought up the question of Rivera's Hall of Fame candidacy. He's likely to clear 350 saves before it's all said and done, but saves aren't going to get him into the Hall -- Lee Smith's 478 haven't gotten him in, and I'll be shocked if John Franco's 424 do any better.
In terms of Win Shares, Rivera has just 128 in his career (the same as his predecessor, John Wetteland). If you figure Mariano has 40 Win Shares left in the tank, he'll be right around guys like Rick Aguilera, Doug Jones, and Rick Sutcliffe in total career value -- not exactly Hall of Fame territory.
Matthew Namee cofounded The Hardball Times in 2004, when he was working as the assistant to baseball author and Red Sox executive Bill James. Matthew still lives in Kansas, where he is currently pursuing a law degree. He can be reached at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.