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March 9 (The Sports Xchange) - New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera announced Saturday that he is retiring after this season, and will leave baseball as the game's greatest closer of all-time.
A likely first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, the 43-year-old Rivera is a 12-time All-Star and played on five World Series championship teams. The career saves leader with 608, Rivera has only blown 39 saves in his career, and posted a 2.21 ERA with 1,119 strikeouts in 1,219 2/3 innings.
"It's not too easy when you come to a decision like this," he said. "After this year, I will be retired. ... Now you're hearing it from me. It's official now."
Rivera said he would have retired after the 2012 season, but sustained a season-ending torn ACL in May, and wanted to exit on his own terms.
"He is irreplaceable," general manager Brian Cashman said. "He is the greatest of all-time."
The right-hander has also logged 141 postseason innings, and posted 42 saves in 47 chances with a 0.70 ERA.
Rivera hopes to add to his playoff credentials.
"The last game I hope will be throwing the last pitch in the World Series," he said. "Winning the World Series, that would be my ambition."
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The Chicago Cubs told relief pitcher Carlos Marmol's agent that they expect to trade him sometime this summer, the Chicago-Sun Times reported Saturday.
While the team does not plan to deal the closer right away, it wants Marmol to build up trade value first. Marmol has reportedly given the Cubs a list of five teams to which he is willing to be dealt.
The 30-year-old Marmol said he is not concerned about the trade rumors.
"I don't worry about that," he said. "I just keep working here. I can't make the decision. The boss guy makes that decision."
Marmol saved 20 games last year and had a 3.42 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 45 walks in 55 1/3 inning. (Editing by Julian Linden)