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 CBSSports.com'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 SI.com'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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:42 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Now they have the best lineup and best bullpen in the AL......Id say that makes them contenders to say the very least........
Maybe, maybe not.  Starting pitching is what wins.... it's the most important thing there is in baseball.  Now, if they were in any other division the Yankees could be the exception.. but they aren't.  They won't win their division with that starting pitching staff they have.  They don't have an excellent number 2 pitcher and numbers 3 and 4 are unproven.....  If Petitte comes back and doesn't crash due to his age and pitches as well as he has, it might change things a bit. But as of right now, no way that pitching staff even gets you to the 8th inning most games.  The hitting will overcome the bad starting pitching at times... but not often enough to beat out the redsox.

And in the playoffs starting pitching is all that matters.  Aside from 2 seasons ago, the Yankees starting pitching in the playoffs has been a horrific thing to watch... an era over 5 in all of those years combined except for one season..... thus the one championship in 10 years... Rivera was unbelievable in the games he pitched all along in the playoffs.. the best of all time.. but the starters killed your team....



Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:36 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Best line up on paper in the AL?  Are you kidding me?  What type of paper, toilet paper maybe.  Not even the best line up in the east



Since: Jan 14, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:36 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Uuuuuuuuuh Huh? I am pretty sure that California does not have a MLB Organization unless you wrote this circa 1986 and just figured out how to send it? Also, I'm pretty sure the only reason peole say the yankees "BUY" championships is to end the immediate conversation they are having with you about how awesome "YOUR" yankees are. Even with the yankees abundant and ridiculous spending, they still choke in the playoffs 8 out of 10 times, particularly to that pesky CALIFORNIA team.



Since: Jan 14, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:30 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

UUUUUUhhhhhhhhhh huh? Last i checked California was not a MLB organization, unless you wrote this in 1986 and just figured out how to send it. Honestly I believe the only reason people say that the yankees "BUY" championships is to end the immediate conversation they are having with you about how awesome "YOUR" yankees are. Even with the abundant spending they still choke 8 out of 10 times in the playoffs, particularly to that pesky CALIFORNIA team. 



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:24 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Last night I made a comment that this was a great signing, but that was before I saw the figures. $35 million for a guy who won't be slated to be a closer for at least two seasons, for a team that needs starting pitching, not bullpen help? Even Mets and Red Sox fans think that's too much...

_____________

You dont know the circumstances.........The Yankees are made to overpay because of just that....they are the NY Yankees......simple....Our bullpen is sured up for the next 2-3 years......Can you say that about Boston after their over spending??? Philly? Mets? Angels? Tigers? Who is close? Our lineup is STILL the best in the AL East on paper......Our rotation right now is much to be desired but internally this could mean a very healthy battle for that 4th and 5th spot in the rotation.......Guys like Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos could challenge for that spot........The Yankees had to do something.......Now they have the best lineup and best bullpen in the AL......Id say that makes them contenders to say the very least........

 




Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:14 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Last night I made a comment that this was a great signing, but that was before I saw the figures. $35 million for a guy who won't be slated to be a closer for at least two seasons, for a team that needs starting pitching, not bullpen help? Even Mets and Red Sox fans think that's too much...



Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:10 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

So tired of people saying Yankees buy titles!! Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Cano, Pettite, Hughes, Joba, Gardner are all huge parts of the team and are all home grown. Yes the Yankees spend money, and last I checked so does Philadelphia, Texas, Boston, California, and even the Nationals. At least we put the money into our team. Rest of the league gets money in luxury tax from us and puts it in their pockets. Yankees do everything to win every year. You wish your team did the same!!! 



Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:09 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Anyone that thinks this signing alone will give the Yankees another title, is wrong. Starting pitching is a question mark, as is the bench and middle relief. Soriano is a great addition to the ballclub and is insurance if Mo gets hurt or needs a day off. All other teams in baseball had a chance to make a deal with Soriano just like the Yankees did, so they did waht they had to and made a deal that is best for the club. It is possible that Rafael Soriano will be the next closer when Mariano retires, but we'll have to wait on that one. This move makes the Yankees better, but by no means gives them another World Series chamoionship.



Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:00 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

"I think the Yankees will be able to handle boh the Blue Jays and Tampa this year, so they will finish higher than third.  The aging Red Sox will be fourth probably as their club house chemistry implodes with all the new faces, but of course the Red Sox always have high turnover so who knows."

The aging Red Sox?  You mean the team that added Gonzalez, Crawford, a healthy Pedroia and Youkalis for an entire season?  What the heck are you smoking, dude?  It's one thing to be a homer, but know what you're talking about first...





Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:57 am
 

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

This is the kind of ridiculous news that makes it hard to be a baseball fan in a small market at times.  You love your team, and support them the best you can, but at a certain point hopelessness begins to settle in.  Here in Milwaukee, we have as legitimate a shot as anybody with the pitching additions made, but......
No matter what happens this year, it is just that, this year.  I am grateful to Doug Melvin for pushing his chips all-in.  When you mortgage your future in Milwaukee, or Pittsburg, or KC, etc., there is no way to just buy it back.  The Cubs make horrible decisions and overspend for the wrong guys every year.  They can afford to.  In a small market your baseball guys have to be near perfect with their choices, and you still wind up with no more than a puncher's chance.  Oh well, go Crew!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com