Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 18 News List

MLB: Yankees to offer All-Star catcher Posada new deal

AP , NEW YORK

The New York Yankees planned to make a new contract offer to Jorge Posada on Monday in an effort to re-sign the All-Star catcher before he hits the open market.

New York also was trying to re-sign Mariano Rivera before yesterday, when free agents could start talking money with all clubs.

"Mariano already has been given an improved offer, and Jorge's will be today," senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said. "We're kind of hoping to get an answer at least on one of the two tonight."

Posada, a five-time All-Star who was 36, said on Sunday he was "really close" to an agreement with the Yankees and his preference is to remain with the only major league team he's played for. His contract is expected to be for three or four years.

"A lot of that now that the players and agents do, it's just spin," Steinbrenner said. "But the bottom line is I think he means it."

Rivera, an eight-time All-Star, was in the Dominican Republic on Monday. Rivera, who turns 38 on Nov. 29, said on Monday if he couldn't reach a deal with New York, he would consider following manager Joe Torre to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The closer is expected to receive a three-year contract.

"The Yankees are my first option," he said in Santo Domingo. "But if that is not possible, there is Joe with the Dodgers."

General manager Brian Cashman said re-signing the pair are his top priorities right now.

"The ball's pretty much in their court now. They've both been made very good offers now, and we'll see where they're at," Steinbrenner said. "We'll see how committed they are."

Steinbrenner said the Yankees still were trying to gauge what the Florida Marlins might want in a trade for All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is being made available.

"We got a couple ideas, what they might be asking for, and it's a lot," Steinbrenner said. "I don't know what's going to happen there, but there's still plenty of time on that."

It's also far too early to determine whether the Minnesota Twins will attempt to trade two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, who can become a free agent after next season. Steinbrenner said the Yankees certainly would speak with the Twins if he becomes available.

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