Source: Rivera, Yanks not far apart

Updated: November 30, 2010, 8:21 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK --The Yankees' negotiations with closer Mariano Rivera are progressing much smoother than the rancor-filled struggle with Derek Jeter.

"Night and day," said one baseball official with knowledge of both talks.

While the Yankees and Jeter are reportedly tens of millions of dollars apart, the Yankees and Rivera are said to be closer on financial terms. A second official with knowledge of the Rivera talks said the reliever is looking for a raise from the $15 million he received last season, but the Yankees view his demands as much more reasonable than Jeter's.

Rivera likely will get a slight bump to $16 or $17 million. The question that still needs to be fully ironed out is if Rivera will receive one or two years. Rivera has asked for a two-year contract but he turned 41 on Monday. A one-year deal with a vesting option could be a way to bridge the gap.

Unlike Jeter, whose offensive numbers slid in 2010, Rivera is coming off another tremendous season, in which he picked up 33 saves with a 1.80 ERA. Despite a brief hiccup toward the end of the regular season, he looked like the same old Rivera.

Although Rivera is acknowledged by the Yankees and most baseball officials as the greatest closer of all time, he doesn't necessarily have leverage. He wants to remain a Yankee and it is unlikely that anyone would touch the dollar figure that New York will offer.

Last season, his $15 million salary was the highest in baseball history for a reliever and $2.5 million more than the Philadelphia Phillies' Brad Lidge.

Rivera has purposely tried to keep negotiations as quiet as possible. He and his agent, Fern Cuza, believe that is the best way to get a deal done.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews contributed to this report.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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