Mariano Rivera returns to Yanks, ignores better deal from Boston

The Interwebs recently became fascinated with what Derek Jeter(notes) would look like dressed in every other major league uniform — especially that of the New York Yankees' greatest rival.

But as news breaks of 41-year-old Mariano Rivera(notes) re-signing in the Bronx, details have emerged about the Boston Red Sox's attempt to pry him away as their closer.

Enter Sandman to Fenway Park — as Jonathan Papelbon's(notes) replacement?

It could have happened, if Mo had taken mo' money.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated Tweeted around midnight that Boston was among three teams who offered Rivera a three-year contract. Rivera reportedly is on the verge of signing for $30 million over two seasons with the Yankees.

You see, Yankees fans, what happens when the Empire and one of its superstars play nice during contract negotiations? Weird, huh? That's apparently what happens when one side exercises some humility.

Writes reporter Christian Red in the New York Daily News:

[A] deal came together, perhaps expedited because Rivera had recently received a three-year deal and more money (believed to be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year) from another team, according to the source. The source added that Rivera wanted to maintain his ties to the only team he has ever played for, and went with less money and fewer years to continue wearing pinstripes.

"He wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees," the source said.

But, oh, what might have been. Heyman, who said the Los Angeles Angels also offered Rivera three years, went on to say:

#redsox do not trust papelbon. first they shopped him, then, word is they went for rivera

Does that mean the Red Sox would have non-tendered Paps? Does this mean he's definitely on his way out of Boston before the start of the 2011 season?

Further, does this mean The Captain will ease up on his own contract demands and follow Mo back to Yankee Stadium? If Rivera can pass on better offers, then Jeter can do the same to the imaginary offers he's not getting from other teams.

It would allow him to save some face. And the Yankees could be one, big happy family again.

Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave

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