Brian Cashman unsure of Mariano Rivera's plans

Brian Cashman talks with the media during batting Brian Cashman talks with the media during batting practice before Game 4 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. (Oct. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday that he has yet to have a conversation about the future with all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, who hits free agency this winter after suffering a season-ending knee injury in May.

"I'll certainly talk to him and find out what he wants to do," said Cashman, who told WFAN that he doesn't have a feel for what the soon-to-be 43-year-old has planned.

Rivera hinted in spring training that he was ready to retire following the season, though after tearing his ACL, the longtime Yankees closer declared his intention to pitch again. Rivera signed a two-year, $30-million deal before the 2011 season.

Cashman acknowledged that Rivera's contract situation likely will have an impact on the fate of Rafael Soriano, who saved 42 games and posted a 2.26 ERA while stepping in as the fill-in closer. But Soriano has an opt-out clause in his contract, allowing him to test free agency if he believes he can fetch a better deal than the $14 million he has guaranteed from the Yankees in 2013.

Said Cashman: "It feels like he's going to opt out."

Soriano, 32, has until three days after the World Series to notify the Yankees of his decision to stay or test the free-agent waters.

As Cashman waits for the closer situation to shake out, he must also brace for news on CC Sabathia. Cashman said the ace lefthander is "likely" to have elbow surgery to clean up damage from a bone spur.

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