After a week of worrying that neither of their two potential closers would return for the 2013 season, the New York Yankees received welcome news over the weekend. Mariano Rivera announced that he wants to return to the bullpen next season rather than retire, reports Erik Boland of Newsday:
Cashman: "Mo said he'd like to come back." Informed the GM of his decision yesterday. Contract terms obviously will have to be worked out.— Erik Boland (@eboland11) November 3, 2012
Rivera, 42, earned roughly $15 million each of the past five seasons, but may end up taking a bit of a pay cut because of his age and lingering injury concerns. The future Hall-of-Famer appeared in only nine games for the Yankees in 2012 before going down with a season-ending ACL injury.
Rivera’s return may not bode well for Rafael Soriano, who opted out of the final year of his contract last year. The Yankees had expressed interest in re-signing Soriano to a multi-year deal -- and offered him a qualifying offer -- but as Mo will only command a commitment of one year rather than the four that Soriano is seeking, it seems likely that New York will pass on Soriano.