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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: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:22 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

And how do the Yanks go toe to toe with the Red Sox in the late innings with pitchers like Burnett Nova and Mitre. It wont matter in the late innings. Good signing, but Bartolo Colon or Rafael Soriano won't help that rotation.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:11 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

total panick move!  Say goodbye to ANOTHER number 1 draft pick!

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:02 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Those making posts about what a disaster the Yankees pitching staff will be in 2011 are missing the mark. The Yanks signing of Rafael Soriano is huge. It gives them two big-time star closers to finish out the last two innings of Yankees games.The Yanks aren't likely to let  many games they lead after 8 innings get away this season.So,the bullpen should be stronger in 2011 than it was in 2010. And the starting pitching (which many are calling a disaster now) is hardly that.A rotation with Sabathia & Hughes at the top of it starts out strong.These two pitchers won a combined 39 games last season.A. J. Burnett has certainly been an effective pitcher over the years, and there's no real reason to expect he can't bounce back from a sub-par 2010. If he can win 10-15 games this season, he'll have done what the Yankees need him to do. Right now the Yankees only have young pitchers to fill out the 4th & 5th slots in the rotation, but some of these pitchers are star prospects & could produce in The Show this season.If not, Brian Cashman has (as he's said) until the end of July to pick up more help.Tampa Bay's fire sale likely means that (barring a horrible rash of injuries) the Yankees will make the playoffs .They do have the bait to trade for major pitching help late if a good oportunity arises.And, lest we forget, Andy Pettitte hasn't said he's hanging it up yet. If he does pitch this season (and is anything like he was last year) the Yankees have the stuff to field a much better than average starting staff.Combine all that with the POWERHOUSE offense the Yankees WILL CERTAINLY HAVE & you have a very formitable team.One that could very well make a strong run at World Championship 28 this season.Pundits,write this team off at your own peril.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:58 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Let me start the Joba to the rotation rumours right now!

Since: Jan 25, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:29 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

He better go 10-0 with an ERA of 0.65 and pick up at least 5-6 saves on days Mo cant pitch for this deal to be worth it.
If this is the best the Yankees can do, they're in deeper trouble than I ever thought.

Since: Aug 14, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:24 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

what the F*ck, what happened to all the talk from cashman about not giving up a draft pick... i hate this, theres absolutely no precedent for this kind of money for a setup man.. stupid stupid stupid stupid...

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:52 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Wow, 25 million dollar starting pitchers, 30 million dollars hitters, and now 12 million dollar set-up man. Lmao what a joke smh.

Since: Apr 30, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:52 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

  Love this sign were going to need fire power coming out the bullpen in the  7th an 8th inn especilly when we face the sox or any opponent ...Big SIGNNNN !!!!

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:42 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

To bad they don't have more than 2 starters at this point that can actually get the ball to Soriano in the 8th and then Mo in the 9th....They need to condition these two guys to pitch two innnings each or something...

Since: Aug 13, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:41 pm

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Cashman should've offered Pettitte $17 mil to pitch this yr before signing a setup guy to such a ridiculous deal.

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