New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is expected to announce this weekened that he will retire after the coming season, according to sources.
The announcement will come from the Yankees’ spring training camp in Tampa. Rivera, who is coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, then will pitch in a game for the first time this spring against the Atlanta Braves.
Considered the greatest closer in baseball history, Rivera, 43, will exit the game as its all-time saves leader. He enters the 2013 season with 608 saves, seven more than Trevor Hoffman’s career total.
Rivera’s 42 postseason saves are nine more than the combined total of the next two on the list, Brad Lidge and Dennis Eckersley. Rivera has won five World Series rings with the Yankees, his only big league employer.
Earlier this week, Rivera returned to his home in New York for “personal reasons,” but the team would not say why. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Rivera was due back in camp on Thursday.
“He is the greatest closer of all time,” said Girardi, who declined to detail the contents of this weekend’s news conference. “There is no question in my mind. I have had the thrill of catching him. I was really there when he burst on to the scene and he was a dominant setup man, and then to see what he did as a closer was a thrill for me. I know there is a press conference on Saturday, and we’ll go from there.” Read more here.