All-time saves leader and career New York Yankee Mariano Rivera has notified the team he intends to pitch another season.
According to a report in Newsday on Saturday, Rivera told general manager Brian Cashman he will return for his 19th season after missing most of 2012 because of a torn ACL in his right knee. Rivera, who will turn 43 near the end of November, suffered the injury shagging balls prior to a game in Kansas City on May 3.
Considered the greatest closer in history, Rivera has 608 regular-season saves and 42 in the postseason.
The Yankees will have to negotiate a contract with Rivera, whose two-year, $30 million contract expired at the end of the season. The Yankees on Friday extended a $13.3 million qualifying offer to Rafael Soriano, who saved 42 games for the team in Rivera’s absence. Soriano is expected to decline the offer and become a free agent.
The return of Rivera could remove the Yankees from the closer market, or run off free-agent closers from considering the Yankees. Soriano is the best of the class. He is expected to draw a contract in the $15-million-a-season range for three or four years.
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