Red Sox Try to Shake Gambling Up with Rivera Bid
Perhaps the single most important component in the New York Yankees’ staying at or near the top of World Series picks every year at online gambling sites is the dependable brilliance of closer Mariano Rivera. But this offseason, the Boston Red Sox are trying to upend the apple cart and make sports betting on baseball even harder to figure as the team looks to add the star pitcher from their rivals.
ESPN is reporting today that Rivera has turned down a two-year, $30 million package from Boston to accept a similar deal to stay in New York. With Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon coming off his worst Major League season, the Red Sox gambled that Rivera would consider leaving his only team, but apparently will fall short.
The move is a risky one for Boston on several counts. Not only did they extend themselves for the aging Rivera, who turned 41 last month, but also may have alienated Papelbon, to whom they will now probably look again.
“There are a lot of steps in the process, from agreeing to something in principle to getting the physical done,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPN in denying a deal with Rivera is locked in place. However, he indicated the framework has been laid, and said he expects the perennial all-star back with the Yankees.
If contracts with Rivera and shortstop Derek Jeter are worked out, and the expected bid on free agent pitcher Cliff Lee is accepted, the Yankees may very well once again be the spring gambling pick to win the World Series.