MLB notebook: Rivera to retire after 2013

| Thursday, March 7, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

NEW YORK — 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.

“Greatest closer of all time. No question in my mind,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Rivera missed most of last season after he tore a ligament in his right knee while catching fly balls during batting practice. The right-hander was hurt May 3 and had surgery the next month.

Rivera returned home to Panama this week for a personal matter and was expected to rejoin the team Saturday.

Cards SS Furcal to have season-ending surgery

St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal will undergo ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and expects to miss the 2013 season.

“It's very disappointing,” Furcal said.

Furcal strained the elbow ligament near the end of last season, keeping him out of the final few weeks and the Cardinals' playoff run.

Without Furcal, the Cardinals will likely turn to either Pete Kozma or veteran Ronny Cedeno at shortstop.

Brewers GM Melvin stung by scorpion

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spent three hours in the emergency room Wednesday night after he was stung by an Arizona bark scorpion inside his spring training condominium.

Melvin said he was eating dinner with his wife when they saw a bug walking across the floor. He reached down with a tissue to pick up what he thought was a spider and was stung on his left middle finger. He said his hand started swelling almost immediately and he decided to head for a hospital.

Melvin was back at the team complex Thursday.

ChiSox lock up Sale for 5 years, $32.5 million

The White Sox 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 ERA and 192 strikeouts in his first season a starter. He was an AL All-Star and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting.

Crawford hopes to beat odds, return for opener

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford expects to be playing on Opening Day, but his return remains unlikely, according to multiple reports.

“I want to be there bad,” Crawford said in a report. “There are obvious reasons I want to be there.”

The Dodgers were hopeful Crawford (left elbow) would be ready by April 1, but the team regards that date as a long shot after he missed a week of camp.

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