Big news out of New York today, as Yankees GM Brian Cashman stated that Mariano Rivera wants to come back for the 2013 season, according to Erik Boland of Newsday. Rivera tore his ACL last May, and missed the rest of the season after throwing just 8 1/3 innings.
The all-time save king and career Yankee has been the pinnacle of consistency for New York up until the 2012 season. Coming into 2012, Rivera had just one season since 2003 with an ERA above 2.00, and had at least 30 saves in 14 of 15 seasons since becoming closer in 1997.
Rivera's return actually isn't set in stone, as his contract expired after the season and he'll need to agree to terms with the Yankees on a new deal. He made $15 million last season, the final year of a two year extension that he signed after the 2010 season.
His expected return also likely means that Rafael Soriano won't be returning to New York. Soriano opted out of his contract after the season, and is apparently searching for a four year, $60 million deal. The Yankees aren't going to throw that kind of money at him with Rivera returning as closer in 2013, and it looks like Soriano will need to find a new home. The Yankees did give him a $13.3 million qualifying offer, so whichever team ends up signing him will lose a draft pick, and the Yankees will gain a compensatory pick (assuming Soriano declines the offer, which he has until next week to decide upon).
While this is fantastic news for Yankees fans, it's pretty terrible news for Soriano. His team in 2012, with some of the deepest pockets in the league, is now set at closer, and won't be offering him anything close to what he's after. It's a huge blow for him and agent Scott Boras, and they'll need to search for another team that may be willing to dish out the money Soriano is after. However, if preliminary negotiations indicate that no teams would be willing to give him that money, Soriano could accept the qualifying offer in the the next couple of days, throwing the Yankees into an undesirable situation.