Tag:Rafael Soriano
Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 8:06 pm

Brewers offer Hoffman arbitration

Hoffman The Milwaukee Brewers offered Trevor Hoffman arbitration, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hoffman has agreed to decline arbitration.

Hoffman is a Type B free agent, so Milwaukee will net a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere. The career leader in saves has indicated he will only play in 2011 if he is the closer, which he be in Milwaukee if he chose to return.

In other arbitration news:
  • Cliff Lee has unsurprisingly been offered arbitration along with fellow Type-A free agent Frank Francisco, which could chill Francisco's market. Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina both saw their market increase with no offers of arbitration as MLB.com reports.
  • The Orioles have declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, who may be among the most coveted relievers since he is extremely productive, is stingy with walks and will come on a one-year pact most likely. It's unlikely that Kevin Millwood is offered arbitration as the Baltimore Sun outlines, and if the Sun is to be believed, Millwood won't have a problem finding a job. The Rockies and Royals appear to be the farthest along in contract discussions.
  • Derrek Lee won't be back in Atlanta as the club will not offer arbitration to the Type-A free agent. Offering arbitration would have near guaranteed Lee's return, and the first-base job belongs to Freddie Freeman as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.
  • The Diamondbacks will offer arbitration to Aaron Heilman and Adam LaRoche (both Type B free agents). It is possible LaRoche could accept and return as first baseman.
  • The Rays cut ties with Dan Wheeler (Type A) and Carlos Pena (Type B) as the St. Petersburg Times says, but did tender offers to Type A's in Carl Crawford, Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano. They also offered to Type B's in Joaquin Benoit, Randy Choate, Brad Hawpe and Chad Qualls. Some of these Type B offers certainly have gentleman's agreements to decline, while Benoit is a Tiger and is already assured of giving Tampa a draft pick.
  • The Angels have announced DH Hideki Matsui won't be offered arbitration. The A's are thought to be contenders for Matsui's services.
  • The Denver Post has arbitration offers from Colorado out to Jorge de la Rosa (Type A) and Octavio Dotel (Type B).

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 5:14 pm

Hot Stove league profile: Rafael Soriano

Hot Stove League Through Nov. 26, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today: free agent Rafael Soriano.

While the Tigers struck early for reliever Joaquin Benoit, they did not grab the best reliever on the market.

No, that honor belongs to Rafael Soriano, who turned in a sublime season for the Rays in saving 45 games. Already 30, Soriano only began saving games as a full-time closer in 2010 after notching 27 in 2009 for the Braves alongside Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez was the one to receive the bulk of saves for the Braves in seasons past, so Soriano had spent two years as an elite setup man for Atlanta after coming over from Seattle in one of Bill Bavasi's last dumb trades in which the Mariners acquired Horacio Ramirez.

Soriano accepted an arbitration offer from Atlanta prior to the 2010 season, which was not in Atlanta's plans. As a result, they dumped Soriano on Tampa -- much to the Rays' glee -- for a middling middle reliever (Jesse Chavez). With an excellent season behind him that ranked him eighth in Cy Young voting and 12th in MVP voting, Soriano now looks to capitalize on a lucrative long-term contract.


2010: 3-2, 56 G, 45 SV, 62 1/3 IP, 1.73 ERA, 3.81 xFIP, 14 BB, 57 K

Career: 11-20, 342 G, 88 SV, 395 IP, 2.73 ERA, 3.68 xFIP, 118 BB, 422 K


Soriano The market for closers has been chillier than in seasons past as too many teams got burned by the volatility of being a relief pitcher. The days of a B.J. Ryan-type contract are gone. Closers tend to just get two- to three-year pacts these days, and Soriano will be no exception given he is on the wrong side of 30.

Given how well Soriano has played in recent years, he should be able to get three years easily enough. Double-digit millions? That's another story.


The Angels seem to be the favorite for his services, which is no surprise. Los Angeles, who has had a tremendous bullpen in previous years, broke down completely in 2010 with an under-.500 season and less than impressive seasons from their relief corps.

When L.A. traded Brian Fuentes to the Twins, the public sentiment the team put out there was that Fernando Rodney would take over the reins as closer through the 2011 season.

One problem: Rodney is not a terrific option at closer. With Soriano on the market, it would be a surprise if the Angels didn't at least inquire. But are they really the favorites?

Other teams that could be interested include the White Sox, who figure to non-tender Bobby Jenks. While Chicago has internal options in Matt Thornton and Sergei Santos and could bring back J.J. Putz as well, Soriano has to be appealing to GM Kenny Williams.

Other teams who could both use and afford Soriano's services could include the Mariners, Yankees (if Mariano Rivera does not return), Blue Jays, Orioles (don't count them out -- they have money burning a hole in a pocket and may be growing tired of free agents spurning them), Dodgers and you can't rule out the Diamondbacks.


Soriano lands with one of the teams above, but in a surprise, it won't be the Angels. Hold a gun to my head, and I say the White Sox.

Jason Bartlett | Adrian Beltre | Carl Crawford | Adam Dunn | Prince FielderCliff Lee | Victor Martinez (SIGNED) | Dan Uggla (TRADED) | Rafael Soriano | Justin Upton | Jayson Werth

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm

Predicting where free agents will land

Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Posted on: October 3, 2010 7:25 pm

Your 2010 AL & NL leaders

OK, it may not have been the most important thing about the Giants' 3-0 victory over the Padres, but Brian Wilson picked up his 48th save of the season, the most in baseball. He, oddly enough, broke a tie with the Padres' Heath Bell.

Wilson's strikeout of Will Venable ended the regular season and here are the rest of your season leaders in the batting and pitching triple crown categories, as well as the save leaders.

• AL batting average: Josh Hamilton .359
• NL batting average: Carlos Gonzalez .336

• AL home runs: Jose Bautista 54
• NL home runs: Albert Pujols 42

• AL RBI: Miguel Cabrera 126
• NL RBI: Albert Pujols 118

• AL wins: CC Sabathia 21
• NL wins: Roy Halladay 21

• AL ERA: Felix Hernandez 2.27
• NL ERA: Josh Johnson 2.30

• AL strikeouts; Jeff Weaver 233
• NL strikeouts: Tim Lincecum 231

• AL saves: Rafael Soriano 45
• NL saves: Brian Wilson 48

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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