Mariano Rivera threw 25 pitches from a mound this past Friday, marking the first time he’s done so since undergoing knee surgery in May. This is good news for Yankee fans, as it indicates all is going well with the rehab process. Baseball’s all-time saves leader has already announced he will be returning for another season recently, so all that’s left is for he and the only organization he’s ever played for to work out a contract.
Rivera, 42, pitched very well in the few appearances he made in 2012 before tearing the ACL in his right knee. While there’s no reason to expect a rapid decline barring continued physical ailments, the Yankees are reportedly hoping for their long-time closer to take something of a pay cut from the $15 million he earned a season ago.
It seems unlikely that Rivera, who’s earned nearly $160 million in his career per Baseball Reference, is motivated to return in 2013 for financial reasons, so no one should expect the contract negotiations to be a sticking point for either side. With Rafael Soriano recently opting out of his contract, the Yankees want a closer in place, and Rivera wants to end his career on a positive note. The fit is mutual, and unless the rehab process stalls, it’s a certainty Rivera will be adding on to his impressive saves total while wearing pinstripes in 2013.