The greatest reliever of all-time is back for another year. The Yankees and Mariano Rivera have agreed to a new one-year contract with a $10M base salary and another $5M in awards-based incentives according to Jon Heyman, Dan Barbarisi, and Jayson Stark. The Yankees have been monitoring the right-hander’s health this offseason, so the process of finalizing the contract should be expedited.
Rivera, who turns 43 today, appeared in only nine games in 2012 before a fluke incident shagging fly balls during batting practice in early-May resulted in a torn right ACL. He had surgery to repair the knee and missed the final five months of the season plus playoffs. Prior to the injury, Rivera allowed just two runs in 8.1 innings. Rafael Soriano took over as closer and was phenomenal, but he opted out of his contract after the season and figures to sign elsewhere as a free agent. Mo will resume ninth inning duties.
The Yankees have now re-signed three important veteran pitchers to new one-year contracts as Hiroki Kuroda ($15M) and Andy Pettitte ($12M) with join Rivera in the Bronx next season. The pitching staff can still use some tinkering, but the heavy lifting is done. Right field and catcher will be the priority when the Winter Meetings start next week, ditto the bench and miscellaneous depth. The Yankees have taken care of some major offseason business before the calendar flipped to December, but there is still work to be done.