Free Agent Rivera Will Turn 43 Later This Month

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mariano Rivera isn’t ready to hang up his spikes just yet.  Major League Baseball’s all-time save leader called Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman to inform the Yankees he’s ready to return in 2013.

This will be reassuring news to Yankees fans who were fearful the 42-year-old would call it quits after having time to contemplate an emotional 2012 season.  By declaring his intention to return, one of the Yankees’ biggest offseason questions has been answered.

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Rivera will be coming out of the Yankee Stadium bullpen gates in the 9th inning to close out games in 2013.

Had Rivera retired, the Yankees would only have David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain as available closer options after Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract earlier this week.

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Rivera is currently a free agent after his two-year, $30 million dollar contract expired.  He only appeared in 9 games for the Yankees in 2012 before suffering a freak cruciate knee ligament injury while shagging balls in the outfield during batting practice in Kansas City in May.

He finished 2012 with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 2.16.  Rivera converted 5 of 8 save opportunities to bring his career save total to 608.

The legendary closer will turn 43 on November 29.  He earned $15 million dollars in 2012.  It is unclear exactly how much the Yankees are willing to pay Rivera for 2013, but the organization is greatly relieved their star closer isn’t calling it a day.

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Yankees fans — how reassuring will it be to have Rivera back in 2013?  Share your thoughts below…