This is my third consecutive post about Mariano Rivera and I hope it's the last for a long while. I don't want Rivera's departure to turn into a soap opera or worse.
The latest news is that Rivera announced that he intends to come back from his torn ACL and pitch in 2013 ... at the age of 43.
Rivera was born November 29, 1969. He will reach 43 this year. After the 2012 MLB season Rivera will be a free agent. Even though injured Rivera will receive $15,000,000 for the 2012 season. Do you think the Yankees will offer Rivera another $15,000,000 to attempt his comeback in 2013? They'd be nuts to make that offer and I'm guessing that Yankee GM Brian Cashman is already squirming at the prospect.
At the time of Rivera's injury the Yankees were 13-11. Do you think that they will do worse without him? My guess is that the Yankees will not miss Rivera at all. Not that he doesn't do his job well but his job, as stated multiple times here, is not that significant.
Rivera's Yankee teammates, especially Alex Rodriguez, have already expressed their feelings that they will miss Rivera but I think that is based more on emotion than analysis. In addition to Rivera's closer role being vastly overrated the Yankees have two other relief pitchers who can capably fill that silly role: David Robertson and Rafael Soriano.
For some perspective: in 2011 Yankee pitchers threw 1,458 innings. Rivera threw 61. That's 4.2%. Come on, how much impact can possibly be exerted in 4.2% of innings? CC Sabathia led the team with 237 innings, 16.3%.
Mariano Rivera was paid $245,901.64 per inning in 2011. There is no justification for that expense. Mariano Rivera has led a charmed baseball life earning that kind of money for so long and he should enjoy the fruits of his labor but the Yankees should spend that $15,000,000 in 2013 on a player who can have much more of an impact.
Mariano Rivera was paid $10,000,000 each season from 2003 through 2007 and $15,000,000 each season from 2008 through 2012. Career to date for 18 seasons: $144,441,825. For 1,220 innings. Enough already.