Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera writes in a new book released Tuesday that Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox would be his ultimate choice as a second baseman, saying he doesn't think former teammate Robinson Cano "burns to be the best."

Rivera played with Cano for the first nine seasons of the second baseman's career -- before Rivera retired after last season and Cano left as a free agent to sign a blockbuster contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Rivera's thoughts were revealed in excerpts of "The Closer" published in advance by the New York Daily News.

"This guy has so much talent I don't know where to start," Rivera writes of Cano. "... There is no doubt that he is a Hall of Fame caliber [player]. It's just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don't think Robby burns to be the best ... You don't see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players."

It's former longtime rival Pedroia to whom Rivera pays the ultimate compliments.

"Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It's a special thing to see," Rivera writes of Pedroia, according to the Daily News.

He added: "If I have to win one game, I'd have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman."

Rivera also says he advised Derek Jeter in spring training last year to be cautious in his return from a broken ankle.

"I know how much you want to start the season, but you need to be careful and not rush back ... because if you push it too much too soon, it could backfire," Rivera writes.