Rafael Soriano Signing Reactions

The Yankees agreed to sign Rafael Soriano to a three-year deal that guarantees the right-hander $35MM. The Bronx Bombers don't get much of a guarantee from Soriano, who can opt out after year one or year two. The deal sends a first round pick from the Yankees to the Rays and gives the Yankees a pair of shutdown relievers in closer Mariano Rivera and Soriano. Here are some reactions to the deal between the Yanks and the Scott Boras client with the latest reactions up top:

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law points out that the Yankees gave Soriano tons of leverage. It's "a baffling scenario" from the Yankees' perspective, Law writes.
  • The Soriano deal was more ownership-driven than from baseball operations, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The team's front office was split on the prospect of signing Soriano.  WEEI.com's Alex Speier notes that the Soriano signing seems to contradict Cashman's year-old opinion about relief contracts.
  • The Yankees had talked about signing Grant Balfour in a possible sign-and-trade before Soriano and Balfour agreed to their respective deals, according to Olney.
  • Olney suggests there’s a “major divide of opinion on Soriano within the organization, and that [GM Brian] Cashman's autonomy in matters of baseball operations may have eroded.” Olney points out that the Yankees now have two of the six relievers in baseball who earn $10MM or more.
  • Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal feels it's hard to properly judge the Soriano contract since "the Yankees operate on a completely different economic scale from the rest of baseball and can't be used as a comparison point for anything."
  • Tom Verducci of SI.com calls the deal a "smart" one for the Yankees and points out that it doesn't change the way they do business.
  • As Ben Shpigel of the New York Times points out, the Yankees expect the signing to take pressure off of their thin rotation.
  • Kevin Kernan of the New York Post argues that the deal saved the offseason for Cashman.
  • Chad Jennings of the Journal News explains that the deal makes the Yankees better short-term, but not necessarily a lot better. 
  • Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald explores what the deal means for the Red Sox. They will be tough to beat late in games, they'll definitely obtain the Rangers' first rounder for the loss of Adrian Beltre and Jonathan Papelbon could have trouble finding a massive deal in free agency after the season. 
  • FanGraphs' Chris Cwik says "it’s tough to defend any team that gives out such a large contract to a relief pitcher and this instance is no different."
  • My reaction has less to do with the Yankees and Soriano and more to do with Boras. How did Boras get a $35MM guarantee plus two opt-outs for his client in a market that was, by all accounts, pretty dry? It's been a standout offseason for baseball's best-known agent.