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11/29/1969 (47 y, 2 m, 26 d)
$10M / 1 Years (2013)
Rivera said that he will not play this weekend, the NY Post's Joel Sherman reports. (9/28/2013)
Daniel Murphy and the Costliest Errors in World Se»
August Fagerstrom (FanGraphs)
Phil Coke on Mariano's Long-Toss Cutter
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Searching for a Comp for the Ultimate Signature Pi»
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
Video: Mariano Rivera on Charlie Rose
Carson Cistulli (NotGraphs)
NotGraphs Haiku: Mariano Rivera
Navin Vaswani (NotGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The ultimate ageless wonder, Rivera continued to defy the odds in 2009, posting an ERA of 1.76 and a WHIP of 0.90. He collected a five-year high save total of 44 and struck out batters at a rate we haven't seen from the right-hander since 1996. It's laughable how much success he's had since converting, essentially, to a one-pitch hurler. Rivera relied on his devastating cutter for 93% of his pitches last season, up from 82% in 2008, 73.2% in 2007, and 43.4% in 2006. Almost 92% of the batters that did manage to reach base on him failed to score. One pitch. And opposing batters don't stand a chance. It's a baseball anomaly that can hardly be understood, but must be appreciated.
The Year Ahead:
Only the Angels' Brian Fuentes and the Twins' Joe Nathan finished with more saves than the 40-year-old Rivera last season. There's always going to be that question of age, and whether it will creep up on Mo, but he's staved off regression thus far. He has off-the-charts control and is one of the more intelligent athletes in the game, which has allowed him to avoid major decline. His cutter has lost some of its velocity, but apparently none of its bite. Rivera also boasts a mentality that is tailor-made for the closing position, with a flair for the dramatic and a calmness during tight situations. He'll be a candidate for 40-plus save seasons until he decides to hang up the cleats or until the Yankees go in another direction. (Drew Silva)
Comparing Rivera to his 2009 self, Mo’s strikeout rate fell off a cliff, but his walk rate and ground-ball skills stayed exactly the same. On another good note, Mo’s velocity hovered around the same mark, so maybe age isn’t really catching up with him? On to the disappointing news: his cutter’s movement lessened in both the vertical and horizontal fronts. Rivera is 41 years old, but his bag of tricks still seems to be working. Since the Yankees still plan on being a powerhouse, 35 saves and an ERA around 2.00 is highly likely. However, the Yankees may decide to limit The Sandman’s innings, so he could lose a handful of save opportunities throughout the year. Because of his ability to keep the ball on the ground and limit home runs, even with declines in velocity and movement, Rivera is still a really safe bet in every league. Don’t be afraid to draft Rivera like he’s a top flight closer, because he still is. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
While Rivera's velocity and pitch movement have declined over the years, he's still been able to put up excellent numbers. Don’t be afraid to draft Rivera like he’s a top-flight closer, because he still is.
The greatest reliever in baseball history was superb yet again in 2011, as Rivera put together another sub-2.00 ERA, sub-1.00 WHIP, 35+ save season for the Yankees. He also got back to striking out a batter an inning (8.80 strikeouts per nine) following a one-year blip (6.75 strikeouts per nine in 2010), which is just icing on the cake. Relievers aren't supposed to be this effective at 41 years old, but apparently Father Time can't figure out Rivera. With his trademark cutter actually seeing an uptick in velocity as he gets further away from 2008 shoulder surgery, there is little reason to expect anything less than greatness from Mariano in 2012. He'll have his usual one bad week in April and one bad week in August, then continue to mow down hitters like no one else. The only thing to watch for it how the Yankees use him, as David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will allow them to reduce the number of back-to-back-to-back appearances he makes. Otherwise, Rivera should be one of the first three or fourth closers off the board come draft day. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
The greatest reliever ever was his usual masterful self in 2011, and there's little reason to expect Rivera to slow down in 2012 despite his advanced age (now 42). Expect a sub-2.00 ERA, a sub-1.00 WHIP, and 34+ saves for the fifth straight season and seventh time in eight years.
Rivera's season ended far too soon for us to glean any relevant statistical info from it. If you want to point to something, it would be the fact that in the 8.1 innings that he pitched, he didn't do anything to suggest that he will be anything other than the dominant reliever that he had been in the 15 previous seasons. A knee injury is no reason to shy away from drafting Rivera, especially since by the time the 2013 season starts he will have had a comparatively long time to recover from it. He was throwing off a mound in early November, and the Yankees were confident enough in his progress to bring him back for another season, so he should be all systems go for the start of the season. While he will likely be a top-five closer, you would be forgiven for conservatively ranking him towards the back end of the top ten. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
A torn ACL in his right knee suffered while shagging flies in batting practice ended Rivera's season far too early, but he should be back to challenge Craig Kimbrel for world closer domination again in 2013.
Mariano Rivera is the greatest reliever that ever played the game. I can see why you'd want him on your team. You can't though. He don't play no more, as my illiterate uncle would say. He could come out of retirement, but that would make that whole final-season hurrah seem disingenuous. (David Temple)
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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