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 15, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:23 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

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

Since: Jul 9, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:01 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:59 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

As a Yankee fan I love when people don't expect much out of them. Go ahead and and say the Sox are the team to beat.  They will choke like they do 98 out of 100 times.

Personally, i would like to see Yanks work the farm system back up and build another Jeter,Posada, Pettitte,Mo, Bernie Williams type of group.  Wont happen if we keep trading picks though... Nova showed some signs last year and beyond that we gotta hope Pettitte comes back or Burnett pulls his head out..

Since: May 14, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:40 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Isn't baseball awesome in the fact that a great young team in Tampa is watching all of its players leave via free agency?      
; Baseball needs to fix this... all other sports with a cap do surprisingly well for themselves... you never would have guessed it

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:12 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

To continue my last post... I am a Yankees fan but the RedSox do have a better team overall now. Getting Crawford and Gonzo with a healthy Pedoria and Ellsbury is ridiculous. Yes they lost Victor Martinez and Beltre but in my opinion both Gonzo n Crawford are a better duo then the other 2 by alot. Lester Bucholz are on the way up but Beckett Lackey are headin down. The Yankees are definitely playing for a wildcard this season without a doubt. Tampa's a very sad story and a sell off like that shouldnt have to happen to any team. Thats why in my opinion baseball will always be on the heels of the NFL for at least another decade. The league NEEDS to enforce a restricted salary cap MININUM AND MAXIMUM. All major league teams should have a forced budget of between 50-100 million. If a team/owner cannot field a team of 50 million let him lose his ownership rights, have the mlb take it over and immediately start prospecting for a city that wants a baseball team which will put 40,000 people in the seats. Or in my opinion the best idea of all is simply just dissolve these terrible franchises (Unprofitable) IE Tampa Bay Rays and feed these now free players into a draft. Worst teams from the previous season draft 1st and so on. Guarantee a team like the Pirates or Royal unless they get dissolved would surely get better with a Longoria or BJ Upton added. If having these teams simply dont work... then just dissolve the team. Shrink the number of teams in the majors and disperse the talent to the lower tier teams. Whatever lower tier teams out there that cant afford a ball team... then dissolve them too. Have a smaller league with better talent, a more equal balance of competition and every game you see will have a sold out crowd. There is no reason any team should be around if the fans dont want to come and watch. Also how great would they be if you can get 6 or 7 games on a night  that would feature the talent of a Yankees-Redsox matchup?

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:04 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Agree with the Joba thing, now you have to at least try to convert him into a starter, and I think thats what the Yankees are thinking now that innings 8 and 9 are set.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 8:01 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

I agree with the Joba thing, now you have to at least try to make him a starter again. And I think that's what the Yanks are thinking now that they've got innings 8 and 9 covered.

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:48 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

I now fully expect the Yankees to package Joba in a deal probably along with either Montero and/or Gardner for a stud ace somewhere out there. The only one I can think of worth all these players is King Felix and if thats the case I trade all these guys in a heartbeat.
Hopefully they do something because right now the rotation looks weak past the 2 slot. Im more of a traditionalist, I believe this is the season to groom 2 starters from the minors into the rotation IE Phil Hughes. Stop trading names we all know and love. Yes please no more Javy Vasquez experiments

Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:27 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

This is a nice signing by the New York Yankees and is one to make up for the loss of Kerry Wood to the Chicago Cubs. Joba Chamberlin can now stay in his seventh inning role where he seems more comfortable than the role of the set up man for Mariano Rivera. This deal also allows the Yankees to in essence have two closers for days in which Mo can't go (e.g. health, having gone three days in row, etc.). Now if the Yankees can get Andy Pettitte back that would be great but if not then it is time to start giving Ivan Nova and some of the other kids a long hard look. They are not going to know what they have until the kids get out there and get into game situations. If the Yankees still feel the need to get a free agent starter then they need to step up their efforts of Justin Duchscherer and/or pursue Chris Young (formerly of the San Diego Padres) because pitchers and catchers do report in just a few short weeks and they need to be in camp to start grasping the way the Yankees do things.

Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 6:57 am

Yankees sign Rafael Soriano

Not a huge fan of this move, but I guess it's better than nothing.  35 million dollars and a 1st round pick is a bit pricey for a setup guy though.  I just hope Soriano doesn't end up like Kyle Farnsworth did during his New York tenure.  

The Yanks still obviously need another starting pitcher.  Not sure if the Soriano signing paves the way for Joba to get another chance at starting again.  Who knows, Joba could eventually be a DECENT starter without all those dopey inning limits and pitch counts.  He probably wouldn't be much worse than Mitre would be as a starter anyway.   

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