Panamanian relief pitcher Mariano Rivera said he decided to return to the New York Yankees not to quench his desire to play but because "we have a great team and I know we can compete for a title."

Rivera, the all-time Major League saves leader, signed a one-year contract on Friday worth $10 million with the Bronx Bombers.

The reliever, who missed most of last season due to a knee injury, agreed to a pay cut to return to the Yankees.

"I didn't want to leave like that," Rivera said in a statement, referring to the way his season ended.

The 43-year-old Rivera's contract has a number of incentive clauses that can pump up its value.

Rivera, who has 608 regular-season saves and 42 post-season saves in his career, has played in 12 All-Star Games. EFE