The New York Yankees officially signed 26 of their 39 draft picks from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, including their top pick, left-hander Jacob Lindgren.
But there was one particular name with a special pedigree who the Yankees did not sign.
The team did not come to an agreement with Mariano Rivera Jr., a 29th round pick by the Yankees and the son of the recently retired Yankee closer Mariano Rivera.
The 5’11” right-handed Rivera Jr. was 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 appearances at Iona College in his sophomore season in 2013 and is expected to go back to school for his junior year.
He started 12 of those 13 appearances, leading the Gaels with 50 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched including a game at Monmouth where he struck out a season-high seven batters in six innings. He also threw five complete games for Iona College.
“He just wanted to continue where he’s at currently,” Yanks GM Brian Cashman said to Newsday. “It’s not something that he wants to pursue just yet. I think Mariano and the family feel like some more seasoning in the college ranks will benefit him more.”
Cashman also emphasized that Rivera Jr. “wasn’t a courtesy draft.”
“Damon Oppenheimer and his staff saw the value. At that level of the draft, they felt as if it was worth pursuing.”
When asked about his scouting report in June, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said: “His velocity — he’s gotten bigger and stronger and it’s increased.”
The Yankees also signed 10 post-Draft free agents, five of which were pitchers.