Rivera considering retirement
After suffering a season-ending injury in May and rehabbing all summer, Mariano Rivera told Yankees GM Brian Cashman last week that he’s not sure if he will return for next season or retire.
The day after he tore his ACL in Kansas City, Rivera stated his plans in no uncertain terms. “I’m coming back,” he said. “Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I ain’t going down like this.”
Now, though, the 43-year-old Rivera appears to be reconsidering. He’s said in the past that he wants to leave the game while he’s still competing at a high level, rather than gradually fading out, and he would be going out on a high note if he retired now. However, no athlete wants an injury to decide his retirement date for him.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was vague about the issue when asked, saying, “I think he’ll sit down with his family, evaluate where he is maybe a little bit later in this process and how he feels and how his arm feels, to feel like you think you can compete at the same level he’s always competed at. But I don’t think that you push a rehab like he pushed it unless you think that you possibly have some interest in coming back.”
As bizarre as this sentence sounds, the Yankees’ payroll could also be an issue, as the team is trying to decrease its budget by 10 percent by 2014 to take full advantage of the league’s luxury tax system. A new contract for Rivera, who made $15 million last year, could complicate things on the financial end as well, although the Yankees would likely find a way to work something out if he did decide to return.