SAN FRANCISCO -- Brian Cashman said Thursday that he's spoken to Mariano Rivera in recent days but still isn't sure of the closer's plans for 2013.
"He said he's still thinking through some things," Cashman said. "He hasn't said he's retiring, hasn't said he's not retiring."
Rivera, who turns 43 Nov. 29, tore his right ACL while shagging flies during batting practice May 3 in Kansas City. Emotional after that game, he said he wasn't sure what he would do in 2013. But when he met with reporters the next day, he was resolute. "I'm coming back," he said. "Put it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this."
He healed faster than many expected and actually played catch in his backyard by early August and threw a flat-ground session at the Stadium Aug. 13.
Cashman said "of course" the Yankees want Rivera to return, though a contract would have to be worked out. The two-year deal he signed before the 2011 season has expired. And although he has proved to be a fast healer, it still is a leap from playing catch to getting his body in shape for the grind of a 162-game regular season.
Leaving his family, particularly in the last decade, also has gotten increasingly more difficult for Rivera. "He's going through all that stuff," Cashman said.
Did Rivera provide a time frame for when he might make a decision? Said Cashman, "He said, 'Soon.' "