Notes: Rivera not upset
Closer talks with Cashman, wants to remain in pinstripes
TAMPA, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera doesn't want to picture himself in another team's uniform, though he would consider testing free agency after this season.
The longtime Yankees closer has discussed his stance on his contractual issues with general manager Brian Cashman, reiterating Wednesday that he is not upset with his situation.
"I'm going to focus on this season, and at the end of the year we will see what happens," Rivera said. "The Yankees know me, and the Yankees know what I want to do. I want to remain a Yankee."
Rivera, 37, will earn $10.5 million this season and is in the option year of a two-year contract, making him eligible for free agency after 2007.
He said he spoke via telephone with Cashman on Tuesday evening for about 10 to 15 minutes, after the general manager had said he wanted to better gauge Rivera's emotions.
"I wasn't sure if something was being blown out of proportion, to be quite honest, or if there were issues here that we needed to deal with," Cashman said. "I had a very good conversation with him [Tuesday] night and I'm glad we did."
On Monday, Rivera appeared impassioned with reporters, speaking about how the Yankees would need to show him the "respect" he feels he deserves.
Cashman's phone call, Rivera said, did not change his feelings.
"I feel the same," Rivera said. "I didn't feel bad, don't get me wrong. It didn't change anything. I'm fine."
The Yankees plan to wait until after the season to consider extensions for the club's expiring contracts. In addition to Rivera, catcher Jorge Posada and manager Joe Torre are also mainstays entering walk years.
"It's very hard, despite how great Mariano is, to all of a sudden pick and choose who to start discussing contracts with," Cashman said. "... It's not as easy as picking one person and leaving everybody else out in the dark."
Rivera -- who posted 34 saves and a 1.80 ERA last year -- said that he would not discuss an extension with the Yankees during the regular season, hoping to avoid potential distractions.
Cashman said an extension was unlikely to be reached during Spring Training, though the Yankees could pursue a contract in an exclusive window following the season.
"I don't anticipate Mariano being anything but a Yankee," he said. "There's a time and place, and we'll deal with it in a proper time and place. We love Mo, he knows that, and he knows how we feel."
If negotiations were to reach the free-agent period, Rivera said the Yankees would no longer hold a leg up on the other 29 clubs.
"The Yankees will not have an advantage," Rivera said. "Everybody has a free shot."
One and done? Torre has said that he hopes to keep Rivera limited to just one inning in his role as the club's closer, which helps to explain why the Yankees plan to carry a 12-man pitching staff for the regular season.
Rivera isn't so sure, saying that he would leave open the possibility of still pitching multiple innings.
"I will never think [about pitching just] one inning," Rivera said.
Rocket relaunch: Andy Pettitte believes Roger Clemens will pitch somewhere in 2007, facing hitters other than the Houston prospects he's recently taken to firing hours of fastballs to in batting practice.
"He's amazing," Pettitte said. "If I threw for an hour now, I wouldn't pitch for the rest of the year."
Pettitte said he played golf recently with Clemens, and expects to catch up with the future Hall of Famer in his temporary role as a part-time batting practice pitcher for the Astros.
However, Pettitte said he will hold strong on earlier comments that he would not try to sway Clemens' thought process toward the Yankees, even though Pettitte would love to reunite with his old friend in New York.
"There's nothing I've got to say," Pettitte said. "He knows how I feel about him. I know how he feels about me."
Out of touch: Torre isn't the only person having trouble reaching Bernie Williams.
Rivera said his telephone calls to the outfielder -- who still has not officially declined the Yankees' standing invitation to camp -- have gone unreturned thus far.
"I've been trying, but no luck," Rivera said.
Cashman said a telephone message left for Williams following the GM's recent trip to Asia has also been unanswered. Williams has yet to officially decline the Yankees' non-roster invitation to camp, though he told reporters that he does not intend to accept it.
"I think Bernie has communicated through [the media] what his thoughts are, and I respect that," Cashman said. "I don't anticipate anything different."
Let's get physicals: Wednesday began for some Yankees pitchers and catchers at 7:30 a.m. ET, with players headed through a gauntlet of physical exercises and examinations.
Seniority, it seems, does have its advantages. Mike Mussina lamented the fact that Rivera had somehow moved to the front of the line at one station, ahead of a dozen teammates.
"[He] must have said, 'I've been here for 25 years,'" Mussina said.
Closer to the action: Eighty premium seats have been installed behind home plate at Legends Field in the new Bright House Networks Dugout Club.
The theatre-style seats are 50 feet from the catcher -- 10 feet and six inches closer than the pitcher -- and are available with a three-year commitment. A row of seats costs $11,400 per year, while a box is priced at $22,800.
In memoriam: The Yankees have held No. 30, last worn by the late Cory Lidle, out of circulation. Lidle and a flight instructor were killed last October when their private plane hit a Manhattan apartment building.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.