Mariano Rivera has informed New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that he intends to return in 2013 after missing most of the 2012 season with a torn ACL.
“He called me yesterday and told me that he’d like to play in 2013,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Major League Baseball’s website. “Now (agent) Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen.”
After tearing his ACL in Kansas City in early May, Rivera vowed to make a comeback in 2013.
“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.”
However, late last week, ESPN New York reported Rivera was having “second thoughts” and was considering retirement to spend more time with his family.
The 12-time All-Star underwent surgery in June to repair his right anterior cruciate ligament and is expected to be ready for spring training.
The 42-year-old will be looking for a new contract entering the season after making $15 million last year. Rivera only appeared in nine games in the 2012 season, posting a 1-1 record with five saves and a 2.16 earned run average. It is unclear if Rivera will receive that much money, but his services are much needed and wanted by Yankees.
“I believe in his ability to fill that job that he’s always done,” Cashman said. “He’s never failed, and I know that knee is going to be good, so we look forward to returning him to the closer’s role.”
The Yankees turned to Rafael Soriano in Rivera’s absence. Soriano shined by converting 42-of-46 save chances, but opted out of the final season of his contract to test free agency.
Rivera, who will be 43 on Nov. 29, is the MLB’s all-time leader in regular-season saves with 608. He has been the Yankees’ closer since 1997 and hopes to add to the number next season with the departure of Soriano.