Update: Soriano excercised his $1.5 million opt-out clause, the Yankees announced Wednesday.
Assuming Soriano does opt out, as has been expected for several weeks, the Yankees will counter by making him the $13.3-million qualifying offer by Friday's deadline, setting the stage for what could be an interesting multiyear negotiation.
Soriano's current three-year, $35-million contract calls for him to make $14 million in 2013, but if he opts out, he gets $1.5 million, which combined with the $13.3-million qualifying offer would guarantee him at least $14.8 million. So that would be an $800,000 raise.
However, Soriano is believed to be seeking a four-year deal after saving 42 of 45 games and going 2-1 with a 2.26 ERA, so the likelihood of him accepting the qualifying offer also seems slim. With Mariano Rivera mulling retirement, the Yankees are likely willing to give him a two-year deal.
Of course, there's a big gap between two and four years. However, there's reason for both sides to want to find a way to work it it out, somehow.
Soriano fit better with the Yankees this year after he took over the closer role following Rivera's season-ending knee surgery. Rivera is said to have been a positive influence on Soriano, who's been seen as aloof in previous stops.