MLB Saves Leader Rivera Signs One-Year Deal To Return to Yankees
Rivera, 43, will rejoin the Yankees for his 19th MLB season, the team announced yesterday in an e-mail that did not provide financial details. The contract is worth $10 million, the Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the negotiations.
A 12-time All-Star and the team’s closer since 1997, Rivera missed most of last season after suffering a knee injury while catching fly balls before a May game. He hinted during spring training that the 2012 season might be his last, then vowed to return after the injury.
Rivera has a 2.21 earned run average with a MLB-record 608 saves in his 18-year career, spent entirely with the Yankees. He first signed with New York as an amateur free agent in 1990, made his MLB debut in 1995 and won World Series titles with the team in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. He was voted World Series Most Valuable Player in 1999.
Rafael Soriano, who took over the closer’s role following Rivera’s injury in May, finished the 2012 season with a 2.26 ERA and 42 saves, third most in the American League. Last month, the 32-year-old Soriano turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from New York to explore free agency.
Rivera took a cut in guaranteed salary from a $30 million two-year deal for the past two seasons, the AP said. The team also has signed deals in the last two weeks with starting pitchers Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda.
The Yankees won the American League East with a 95-67 record last season, and were swept in the AL Championship Series by the Detroit Tigers.
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