The greatest closer of all time is almost ready to hang up his cleats.
It's an open secret that Mariano Rivera intends to retire, and that announcement figures to be very soon, perhaps Saturday.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 7, 2013
Some felt Rivera's last season was going to be in 2012, but after suffering a torn ACL injury back in May on the outfield grass of Kauffman Stadium, the Yankee closer didn't want his career to end like that.
Rivera swore to everyone that he would return for one final season, and he stuck to his word when he signed a one-year deal for $10 million this winter.
The 43-year-old is the all-time saves leader in MLB with 608, and holds a 2.21 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP over his 18-year career.
While those figures are extremely impressive, what has really set Rivera apart are his postseason numbers, which are off the charts.
In 96 postseason contests, Rivera has gone 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA while recording 42 saves. He's also been a part of all five Yankees championships since 1996—tossing the series-clinching pitch in four of them.
When Rivera officially announces his intentions to retire after the season, the Yankees can start figuring out who their next closer will be.
In-house, they could look to Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson or prospect Mark Montgomery, but looking outside the organization would not be out the question.
The Yankees' fill-in closer from last season, Rafael Soriano, signed on with the Washington Nationals over the offseason.
Expect a lot of light bulbs to go off whenever Rivera takes the mound in 2013, as the retirement tour for this future Hall of Famer will be one for the ages.