The great Mariano Rivera is getting set to close his career.
The New York Yankees’ reliever plans to announce this weekend that he will retire after the 2013 season, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because there was no official statement. A news conference was called for Saturday at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Fla.
The 43-year-old closer is baseball’s saves leader with 608. He is regarded as one of the best clutch pitchers in history, posting a record 42 postseason saves with an 0.70 ERA while helping the Yankees win five World Series championships.
Rivera returned home to Panama this week for a personal matter, and was expected to rejoin the team Saturday.
CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal will undergo ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and expects to miss the 2013 season.
Furcal made the decision after visiting Dr. James Andrews’ clinic in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday.
“It’s very disappointing,” Furcal said. “I worked so hard in the off-season to get everything straight, working hard with the doctors the training team we did anything we could do to get ready for spring training, ready for the season.”
WHITE SOX: The team says they have agreed on a five-year, $32.5 million contract with left-handed starter Chris Sale.
The 23-year-old went 17-8 with a 3.05 EA and 192 strikeouts in his first season a starter. He was on the American League All-Star team and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting.
Sale will receive $850,000 in 2013.
PADRES: Donavan Tate’s athletic career has taken another pit stop. The outfielder, taken No. 3 overall in 2009, will not report to minor-league spring training today for “personal reasons.”
That’s as much as Padres vice president of player development Randy Smith would divulge during Thursday’s announcement. Smith did not give a timetable for when Tate would arrive.
Smith says Tate needs to improve himself as a person before he can work on improving as a ballplayer.
In 2011, Tate was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy after testing positive for synthetic cannabis, which the league terms a drug of abuse. It was his second such positive test since receiving a $6.25 million signing bonus after being drafted.