"I'm coming back. Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this," Rivera said. "I love to play the game. To me, I don't think going out like this is the right way. I don't want to retire because I got hurt in the way that it happened. I don't think like that. With the strength of the Lord, I just have to continue."
Whether or not the 42-year-old Rivera is able to return to form in 2013 remains to be seen, but I believe it's not a given that he'll be back with the New York Yankees.
He'll be a free agent when the season is up, and I'm not positive Rivera will give the Yankees a "hometown discount" to secure another year of his services. That puts Yankees GM Brian Cashman in a tough spot, as he looks to balance the team's payroll for the years ahead.
Of course the Yankees have plenty of riches, but they don't just throw money around like they used.
If Robertson or Soriano leads the New York Yankees to a World Series championship this season and does a fine job in the closer's role, would you then automatically give Rivera his job back even though he would be 43 years old by that point and coming off a stretch of not pitching for nine months?
Even if Rivera does make it back in 2013, the Yankees will need a closer for the 2014 season.
It would be an awkward situation if Robertson helps the team go all the way this year and then you give the job back to Rivera in 2013, and then switch back to the 27-year-old for 2014.
That may not go over too well with Robertson, and you don't want to have a situation where you lose one of your closers of the future by shuffling his role too often.
So if Rivera does return and it's not with the New York Yankees, I'm sure the Boston Red Sox would love to stick it to the Bronx Bombers by having him close out his career in a Red Sox uniform.
The Red Sox have a ton of respect for the aging legend, as David Ortiz alluded to in a recent interview when he heard the news that Rivera was done for the season. "Mariano, man, I always say he's the best pitcher in the game I've ever seen," David Ortiz said in an mlb.com report. "Period. Simple. One pitch."
Boston also has a glaring need at the closer's position, with Alfredo Aceves struggling this year and Andrew Bailey out with an injury.
Would Mariano Rivera pitch for the Boston Red Sox in 2013? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York baseball fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mariano Rivera
- New York Yankees
- David Robertson