Bronx, NY – New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed on Saturday that star closer Mariano Rivera intends to play a 19th major league season in 2013.
Rivera, who will turn 43 on Nov. 29, informed Cashman of his decision on Friday. Though the accomplished reliever is presently a free agent, he's fully expected to re-sign with the Yankees, the team Rivera broke into the majors with in 1995 and has spent his entire career as a member of.
"He called me [Friday] and told me that he'd like to play in 2013," Cashman said. "Now [Rivera's agent] Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen."
Rivera, the all-time saves leader in MLB history with 608, was uncertain about returning after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while fielding fly balls before a game at Kansas City in early May. He underwent surgery the following month and is on track to be ready for spring training.
The 12-time All-Star appeared in just nine games last season and managed five saves and a 2.16 earned run average along with a 1-1 record. Rivera had registered at least 28 saves in 15 consecutive years prior to 2012.
In 64 appearances during the 2011 campaign, Rivera amassed 44 saves and a 1.91 ERA while posting a 1-2 record.
Rafael Soriano held down the closer's role in Rivera's absence this past year and notched 42 saves in 46 opportunities, but is also a free agent after opting out of his contract earlier in the week.