Blog Entry

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 9:35 pm

SorianoIn a season wrought with more frustrations than answers, the Yankees have agreed to terms with closer (now setup man) Rafael Soriano, as's Scott Miller confirms. The deal is thought to be for three years and $35 million according to Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown.

Both the Yankees and Soriano found the free-agent market chilly, so the two have hooked up on a deal that will put Soriano on track to succeed Mariano Rivera as closer when Rivera's two-year deal runs out.

Soriano posted the best ERA of his career for the Rays in 2010 after coming over in a deal with the Braves. His 1.73 ERA and league-leading 45 saves led Tampa Bay to the playoffs and he was supposed to cash in with a lucrative contract over the winter. While he certainly ended up with a lucrative deal, it was far less than he was reported to be seeking, and he'll be receiving the deal as a setup man, not closer. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay receives a third first-round pick and will have nine prior to the start of the second round thanks to compensation picks. They could yet earn one more pick with Grant Balfour still out on the market.

For those wondering why Soriano would commit to three years when the soonest he can close is 2013, the player retains the right to opt out of the deal after the first and second year, as's Jon Heyman reports. Don't bank on that happening, as Soriano would be hard-pressed to find a deal dishing out roughly $12 million annually, especially without save numbers to bolster his case. 

Although GM Brian Cashman declared the club was going to retain its first-round pick, clearly netting Soriano has changed things. The Yankees had ample dollars in their budget, but had nowhere to spend it other than Soriano. So hey, might as well. Plus, the lack of a first-round pick is not a major issue in an environment where New York can just pluck players later in the draft with high bonus demands that slip.

Soriano and Mariano Rivera will combine to earn just over $26 million as the eighth and ninth-inning pitchers of choice.

Does it make up for missing out on Cliff Lee? Not at all, but it does help soften the blow as the Yankees will now be able to go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox in the later innings.

-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 5:49 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Came in expecting Alfonso.

*leaves disappointed*

Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:07 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Look, the Yankees will find a way to win, but, Mo... He'll continue to do his thing. 
A player with the potiential & practically fulfilled future, like Soriano's, will contine forever to take his place, and, will be just fine. 
These guys are professionals.  
Peace Out Today!

Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:10 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Was this move really necessary? Was their bullpen that big of a question mark last season?

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 1:11 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:38 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

It's clearly a good move imo, especially w/ rivera getting older. Rivera is the best closer ever, period, but if hoffman (the all time saves leader) wore down a lot over his last few years, one has to wonder when Mo is gonna start slowing down; and if something happens to Mo in the middle of the season the yanks would have been screwed if the didn't pick up a potential closer, if for nothing else than for closer insurance now or for next year. Soriano will be a great edition for the yanks during the 8th inning and Mo for the 9th. If the yanks starters can go 7 innings a few times a week, they are going to be a very difficult team to beat. But besides CC, I don't think the yanks starting pitchers are going to be able to pull 7 innings off that much. Burnett had an extremely erratic 2010 season and never pitches well vs Boston and Hughes is ok but needs to step up big this year, but when the backend of the rotation is Nova and Mitre, possibly Joba if they haven't already messed his head up enough, that makes me uneasy if I'm a yankee fan. Boston was supposed to have an amazing year for their starting pitchers in 2010 and look what happened, their starters underperformed except for Lester and Buchholtz, so who knows what can happen as the season goes on. Even if the experts say that Boston and the Yankee's have similar starting pitchers and relievers when looked at as a whole, no one can argue that the Sox have a more dangerous batting lineup which is a perfect mix of speed (ellsbury, Crawford, pedroia)and power w/ Youk, Papi, and Gonzo. there's going to be an unbelievable amount of pressure on the yanks starters (especially Mitre and Nova) to mature right out of the gates, but at least w/ Tampa's fire sale, the yanks will have a great chance at a wild card if they don't win the division. 

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:05 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

btw i know bell wasnt home grown in san diego but was picked up for a 5th outfielder from the mets.  so in a sense hes home grown enough. 

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:04 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

I think this is a solid signing, god knows the Yankees need someone who can eventually "replace" Mo

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:03 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

yankees panicked,  soriano coming off a career year gets 35 for 3,  its gonna be interesting to see how he handles the booing that will eventually come.  relievers are like kickers,  good one year bad the next, this guy was less then an ace in atlanta and will probably revert back to his normal level, and most likely  end up becoming the whipping boy for the greedy yankee fans who think its there birth right to win big every year.  cashman didnt want to make this move but he did, and generally these big deals for relivers dont work out.  look around the league the best closers, wilson, bell, mo, etc   home grown guys .  seems like when you sign or trade for a big closer they usually end up underwhelming.  as a met fan i was expecting way more from krod but its no different watching him suffer through a 9th then it waa watching wagner.  ny is a rough place to pitch poorly, i hope soriano for his sake didnt just have a big year or hes going to have to just keep saying to himself  35million dollars, 35 million dollars......

Since: Sep 1, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:43 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Sabathia's an ace without question, but Phil Hughes was hardly that-he was a slightly above-average pitcher who won numerous games because his team scored a ton of runs in his starts. If Burnett loses a run on his bloated ERA, that will make him 'good' enough to be considered a massively overpaid, mediocre hurler. Yankees were more or less forced into this move because they can't, won't or don't promote youngsters-the only thing they understand is shoving 'proven veterans' in there, even when there's little to no evidence that the vet might have anything left in the tank.

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:38 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

whats the big deal the yanks never give the kids a shot to play anyway ,so giving up the picks is not the end of the world .....they have lots of prospects if they whant to meak a deal anyway ....good move ,bullpen is key ...they will find a starter off the scrap heap that will be ok ..just like the mets found r a dickey and white sox found freddy garcia

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