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

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


Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:57 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

And the rich get richer...  Enjoy your team, Yanks fans.  It would be great if all the other teams (besides Boston and the Angels) could compete on a level playing field...  I don't disparage those who love the Yankees - it would be great to live in NY.  But the inequity between the "haves" and "have nots" is getting ridiculous. 

Since: Jan 25, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:55 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Interesting deal.  Yanks now have significant depth in bullpen with Robinson as middle innings and Soriano as setup man for Riviera this coming year. Loved Woods but this is actually an upgrade in short term. My guess is that this might be Riviera's last year even though he has a 2 year contract.  Soriano will be closer in 2012 is my bet.  Interesting to see what Yanks do with Joba.  I think he will be gone for another middle innings guy.  Just not getting there.

With Petite probably gone Yanks have big problem in starting 5.  Have a starting 2 1/2.  Sabatha/Hughes are top line starters and Burnett is woth 1/2 point.  They will have to dig very deep to get the other starters.  Sure not on major league roster now.  This is discriminator of them with others in division. 

They are in big trouble for starters and for left side of infield.  A-Rod and Jeter are falling rapidly both in field and at bat.  No replacements on major league roster either.  Need two big trades; feel Cashman is setting them up.  Just gut feeling.  Not in free agency.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:55 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Wow thats a lot of money for a someone that is gonna be a set up man for a couple years. 

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:55 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Yankees tring to BUY them another Championship or what ?????

No, the Yankees aren't like the Red Sox or Rangers, they have lots of home grown talent.

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:51 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Sure, Rivera is great -- but has had many more blown saves the last three years or so.  I mean, he's OLD.  Look at him - he's .... OLD!  Having Soriano is a good insurance policy for this particular MLB team.  We can't go to lunch on the Rivera of 1998-2003 much longer.  Actually, not anymore. The yanks looked old and tired while losing that ALCS.  The cameras showed that; so millions saw that.  Live.  In person.  

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:39 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Yankees tring to BUY them another Championship or what ?????

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:36 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

This is a bad contract overall and throw money simply to throw money is a big issue.  Who in the world can justify over 10 million for a guy that could be a situational type pitcher depending on matchup?

Good luck getting value out of that deal and to think I thought the Nationals make the dummest move, this goes toe to toe.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:27 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Great Signing for the Yanks. Should keep them in solid competition for third place in the AL East
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.

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:43 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

My mistake.  At first glance, I thought the headline was "Sparano signs $35 million dollar deal", and I thought perhaps he and the Dolphins' owner had decided to mend fences with a friendly game of Monopoly.

Since: Jul 9, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:27 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

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