NEW YORK — Mariano Rivera told the New York Yankees he is accepting their $45 million, three-year offer and will remain with the only major league team he's ever pitched for.

The closer, who turns 38 on Nov. 29, gets an average salary more than $4 million above what any other reliever currently makes.

Rivera's agreement is pending a physical. The Yankees also have a preliminary agreement on a $52.4 million, four-year contract with catcher Jorge Posada and are trying to finish off a record-setting $275 million, 10-year deal with Alex Rodriguez, who won his third AL MVP award.

"We've got everybody back," Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Monday. "It's good to have both Jorgie and him back."

Rivera was coming off a three-year contract that paid him $31.5 million. He had hoped for an extension before the start of this season, but the Yankees decided not to discuss contract extensions with any of their players until after the 2007 season was over.

"Mariano is obviously someone that we can't live without because he's one of a kind and he's so unique in what he does for us," Rodriguez said. "He's such an unbelievable force in our clubhouse. In many ways he's kind of the voice for a lot of people in there."

New York next hopes Andy Pettitte will decide to pitch for the Yankees again next year. Pettitte turned down a $16 million player option, saying he needed more time to decide whether he wanted to play or retire.

"If we get Andy, there's no question that we'll have better pitching than last year. We may have better pitching, anyway, but certainly with Andy back we will," Steinbrenner said. "And of course, we've got the same lineup, which was a killer lineup, everybody knows that."

New York has not yet announced its agreement with Posada or a $4 million, two-year contract with backup catcher Jose Molina.

"We'll keep doing whatever we're going to do to improve," Steinbrenner said. "The offseason isn't over yet."

CASTILLO, METS CUT DEAL: The Mets completed their deal with Luis Castillo on Monday, securing an everyday second baseman. Castillo passed his physical and finalized a $25 million, four-year contract with the Mets, who acquired him from Minnesota on July 30.

ANGELS-CHISOX TRADE: Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera was traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Jon Garland on Monday in a surprising swap of dependable players.

The deal came 12 days after the White Sox re-signed shortstop Juan Uribe to a $4.5 million, one-year contract. Now, he could wind up on the bench or with another team.

"We saw an opportunity to acquire one of the best shortstops in the game and one of the smartest in the game. Somebody who can fit into the No. 2 spot in our lineup for 155 games," Chicago general manager Ken Williams said, adding the trade frees up money that could help the White Sox pull off another deal.

"We're not done yet. We're still trying to land a big fish," he said.

LOWELL STAYS WITH BOSOX: World Series MVP Mike Lowell is staying with the Boston Red Sox, meaning the reigning champions will try to repeat with all their key players from 2007.

The Red Sox and their popular third baseman reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a three-year, $37.5 million contract, according to two people familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.

GLAVINE RETURNS TO BRAVES: Tom Glavine won his 300th game with the New York Mets. He plans to get his final win for the Atlanta Braves.

Glavine returned to Turner Field as a member of the home team Monday after agreeing to an $8 million, one-year contract with the Braves, his team for 16 seasons until a bitter split led him to sign with the New York Mets in 2002.