Mariano Rivera inked a two-year, $30 million contract last week with the Yankees. It may be the last contract of his career.
Rivera, 41, posted a stellar 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 60 innings this past season, fanning 45 batters and walking only 11. He converted 33 of his 38 save chances and did not allow a run in six postseason appearances. Mo could probably pitch well into his mid-40s with that same cut fastball that seems to break every bat it touches, but he apparently won’t.
The closer and Yankees legend told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News on Saturday that he’s likely to hang up his cleats when his new deal with the Yankees runs out.
“I wanted two years,” Rivera said. “That will be fine. I think maybe that might be the last two years.”
Rivera boasts a 2.23 career ERA and a 1.00 career WHIP with 559 saves to his name. Closers don’t always have an easy road to the Hall of Fame, but he’s a no-doubter.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.