Yanks give 36-year-old Posada $52.4M, four-year deal
Posada, 36, must pass a physical before the contract is finalized.
Posada's $13.1 million average salary becomes the highest for a catcher, topping the $10 million Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez and Boston's Jason Varitek currently are guaranteed and the $13 million Mike Piazza averaged under his contract with the New York Mets from 1999-05. Rodriguez will earn $13 million next year, the option season of his contract with the Tigers.
Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner wasn't concerned that Posada will be 40 when the deal expires.
"He's a catcher, but he can also later on be a DH," Steinbrenner said Tuesday. "I'm fine with keeping his bat another four years. And as far as the salary is concerned, he was pretty logical. You can't argue with that. He didn't go nuts with what he asked for."
Posada and his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, had lunch Monday with Mets general manager Omar Minaya and vice president Tony Bernazard. The Yankees initially offered Posada a three-year contract but upped their proposal to four years on Monday evening.
Posada hit a team-high .338 this year with 20 homers and 90 RBIs. He set career highs for average, slugging percentage (.543) and on-base percentage (.426).
The Yankees also offered closer Mariano Rivera a $45 million, three-year contract to stay with the team.
"The ball's in their court," Steinbrenner said. "If they still want to look for more somewhere else, that's up to them."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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