Peep Show

Updated: March 22, 2004, 8:34 AM ET
By Jim Baker

American League

Minnesota Twins: There goes that part of the rotation -- at least for a while. Rick Helling, slated to be the Twins' fifth starter this year, will be out until May with a broken leg reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Nobody thought much about the liner by Shawn Wooten that smacked off of Helling's leg in Saturday's game against Philadelphia. Sure enough, though, x-rays revealed a crack in the fibula. Helling spent last year with the Orioles and Marlins. He pitched nearly as much in the postseason for Florida (8 2/3) as he did in the regular season (16 2/3). Neal writes that possible replacements include journeyman Joe Roa (on his twelfth organization) and Grant Balfour, a journeyman of a different sort, having grown up in Australia. He adds that a trade to fill the temporary opening is unlikely.

New York Yankees: Negotiations continue with Mariano Rivera on a contract extension. Not wanting the distraction once the season starts, Rivera set a deadline of Opening Day to get the deal done. The two sides have agreed to this much: two years with a third year option. George King of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have made what they hope will be their final offer. "The ball is in their court," said general manager Brian Cashman, referring to Rivera and his agent, Fernando Cuza. "He said he would get back to me (today). I feel very comfortable with the offer we put out." Rivera has been money for the Yankees since becoming their closer in 1997.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at