When Mariano Rivera took the closer’s role for the New York Yankees over 15 years ago, there was really no way of knowing how good he would truly be. Rivera will retire at the end of the season for the Yankees and with that will also take away one of the best relievers in fantasy baseball along the way.
Rivera was about as solid as they come, and he will definitely be missed in the fantasy world. However, Rivera is going to pitch one final season so it’s time to look at what he can do in 2013.
Rivera only pitched in nine games last season after tearing his ACL, but has 608 saves in his career. The Yankees are down to start this season, which is going to diminish the value of Rivera for the first month or two of the season. That should be no reason why you wouldn’t want to draft Rivera as your top relief pitcher for the 2013 season, though. When Rivera does get in, it is very unlikely that teams are going to score.
If I was drafting right now, Rivera would land around the 12th round for me. Rivera is the second closer off the board in my opinion behind Craig Kimbrel, and will likely finish his career with 40-45 saves in 2013. Those are quality numbers especially if Rivera can have an ERA around 1.85.
There is no doubt that I would want a pitcher that has a career 2.21 ERA on my fantasy team. It is the final ride for Rivera and one final chance for fantasy owners to get a great year from him.