We all expected that this was in the works, and according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will be returning to the Bronx for the 2013 season:
Sources: #Yankees optimistic about completing deals for both Pettitte, Rivera this week. Pettitte likely one yr above $10M, Rivera higher.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2012
That, as well, comes as no surprise to anyone.
So what does it mean for the rest of the Yankees' plans for this edition of the Hot Stove League?
As Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi notes, the return of Pettitte and Rivera won't have much of an impact at all—in 2014.
Don’t think #Yankees are done after Pettitte/Rivera. Obligations for ’14 are $68.1MM, per Cot’s. Lot of room under that $189MM limit.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 27, 2012
Morosi is correct in his assertion that the Yankees aren't done.
But before we look ahead to 2014, what does the 2013 payroll look like with Mo and Andy back in the fold?
It's roughly $160 million, assuming a $15 million salary for Rivera—and that only covers 11 players:
Infielders: Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez
Outfielders: Curtis Granderson
Catchers: Eli Whiteside
Starters: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte
Relievers: David Aardsma, Mariano Rivera
Phil Hughes, Brett Gardner, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson combined for roughly $10 million in salary last season, and all figure to get a raise in arbitration this winter because, well, that's typically what happens in arbitration.
So let's put their combined salaries at $15 million for 2013, bumping the Yankees payroll up to $175 million—but leaving the team without a starting right fielder, starting catcher, fifth starter and any semblance of a bench.
Russell Martin is going to prove costly to re-sign behind the plate, and while Raul Ibanez and Ichiro probably will wind up sticking with the Yankees, they still won't have a permanent replacement for Nick Swisher in right field.
You get the drift—the cost-conscious Yankees are going to get very close to a $200 million payroll once again to field a team in 2013.
As for looking ahead to 2014, while Morosi is accurate in saying that the Yankees have "lots of room under the $189 (self-imposed) limit," he neglects to point out that the $68.1 million number in 2014 only includes three players: Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.
Kuroda, Pettitte and Rivera will all be free agents (and may retire) once again, and three key pieces of the puzzle, Cano, Granderson and Jeter—among others—will need new contracts as well.
So what does re-signing Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera mean in the grand scheme of things?
It doesn't change anything.
They still need a starting catcher, a starting right fielder and a fifth starter, as Michael Pineda cannot be counted on to be ready.
You can be quite sure that the Yankees were looking at the open market with the thought that both Pettitte and Rivera would return for one more season.
The dynamic duo's return only makes the Yankees breathe a little easier—but it does nothing to make them younger, more athletic, or less expensive than they've been.
Next winter, however, is an entirely different ballgame, one that is likely to end with a vastly different Yankees roster in 2014 than what we've grown accustomed to.