Yankees, Mo agree to one-year contract
All-time saves leader missed most of last season due to knee injury
By Bryan Hoch /11/29/12 9:05 PM ET
NEW YORK -- One day after suffering a season-ending knee injury, Mariano Rivera defiantly addressed a group of reporters in the visiting clubhouse of Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium, vowing to pitch again and saying to "write it down in big letters."
On Thursday, Rivera and the Yankees attached some fairly large numbers to that promise. New York and the all-time saves leader agreed to a one-year contract reportedly worth $10 million plus awards incentives, according to CBS Sports.
The Yankees have not officially announced the signing, but a Major League source confirmed the agreement.
Rivera, who turned 43 on Thursday, made just nine appearances for the Yankees in 2012 before tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in a batting practice mishap on May 3.
The owner of 608 regular-season saves, plus a Major League-record 42 in the postseason, Rivera had recorded at least 25 saves in 15 consecutive seasons (1997-2011) and has reached the 30-save plateau 14 times in his career, tying Trevor Hoffman for the most all time.
The Yankees expect Rivera to reclaim his role as closer after turning it over to Rafael Soriano, who converted 42 saves in 46 opportunities before opting out of his contract to declare free agency.
The $10 million figure is a step down from the two-year, $30 million pact that Rivera just completed, but Rivera will reportedly be able to make up the difference by achieving incentives.
After briefly flirting with retirement, Rivera said earlier this month that he had decided to return, not wanting the final moment of his career to be writhing in pain on a warning track.
"The fact that I didn't want to go out like that," Rivera said. "I felt like, I have something left, and [I should] give it a shot. Why not?"
Rivera said that he has been seeing results from intense rehab with the help of a New York-based trainer, and the Yankees believe that he will have plenty of time to prepare for the beginning of the '13 season.
"I have a long time to go. I'm not rushing," Rivera said. "I just have to make sure that my knee gets stronger. It does. It's getting stronger and stronger every day. I'm happy with that. I just have to continue what I'm doing."