First, it was Hiroki Kuroda. Then, it was Andy Pettitte.
Now, it looks like the New York Yankees will bring back the greatest closer of all time for one more season.
Jayson Stark of ESPN reported that the Yanks are on the verge of completing a deal with long-time closer Mariano Rivera, and the deal will be finalized by Friday.
Yankees expect to get Mariano Rivera deal finished in next 24 hours. Just finishing off $ and incentive details espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/s…— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 29, 2012
The deal is going to be a cut from the $15 million he was making from 2012, but Stark said it could be in the range of $11-12 million.
Rivera's 2012 season was cut short in May after he tore his ACL in Kansas City shagging fly balls in the outfield.
Before the season, it was hinted by Rivera that it could have been his final year in 2012, but he did not want to end his career based on an injury.
The Yankees used Rafael Soriano as their temporary closer, but after Rivera made it clear that he wanted to return in 2013, Soriano used his opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent.
Rivera just turned 43 on Thursday and many have wondered how he will handle pitching with his age and coming off such a major injury.
For the Yankees to give Rivera the money estimated in the deal and to also let Soriano walk away as a free agent, Yankees GM Brian Cashman must be confident that his closer will be just fine.
In a span of a week, the Yankees have taken care of three key parts of their pitching staff for 2013.
All that remains for Rivera is the official signing of the deal and to see how much it's actually worth.
For Yankee fans and the organization, it's another reason to celebrate with Rivera's return.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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