Yankees closer Mariano Rivera ponders retirement
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is unsure whether to return for a 19th season or leave the game for good, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
Cashma told ESPN.com that he talked to Rivera and the closer informed him that he’s still undecided on whether to play next season.
“He wasn’t certain on what he is going to do,” Cashman said.
Earlier, Rivera vowed to return after tearing his ACL in Kansas City in early May.
“I’m coming back,” an emotional Rivera said in Kansas City a day after the injury. “Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I ain’t going down like this.”
If he retires, Rivera will leave a legacy of being the best closer in Major League history with 608 saves and five World Series rings.
If Rivera decides to return, he could receive less than the $15 million he earned last season with the Yankees starting to tighten their budget in anticipation of trying to lower payroll by 10 percent to $189 million for 2014.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi also hinted in his end-of-season press conference that Rivera may not return.
“From watching how he rehabbed and everything that he was going through, picked up a baseball sooner than he was supposed to and got his hand smacked a little bit, that would tell me that Mo probably wants to play,” Girardi said.
“But in saying that, it’s a decision that I think he’ll sit down with his family, evaluate where he is maybe a little bit later in this process and how he feels and how his arm feels, to feel like you think you can compete at the same level he’s always competed at,” he added.
Rafael Soriano, ably filled in the void left by Rivera with 42 saves, could opt out of the final season of his contract.
“He’s one of the best closers in baseball,” agent Scott Boras said of Soriano. “He had 42 saves, and he didn’t start until May.”