Yankees Sign Rafael Soriano

The Yankees have signed Rafael Soriano to a three-year contract, the team announced today. The deal is believed to be worth $35MM over three years, and will allow the player to opt out after either of the first two years.The Scott Boras client will make $11.5MM if he opts out after year one and $21.5MM if he opts out after year two. The contract does not include a no-trade clause.

The deal comes just days after GM Brian Cashman said that he would not surrender his first round pick to sign a free agent. The Rays will receive New York's first round pick (31st overall) as well as a supplemental first round pick as compensation for their loss. 

The 31-year-old Soriano was the top closer on the market, but he's going to have to serve as Mariano Rivera's setup man with the Yankees. He pitched to a 1.73 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and just 2.0 BB/9 in 62.1 innings last year, the second straight season he's avoided the disabled list. He's battled elbow trouble in the past, including Tommy John surgery back in 2004. Over the last four seasons, Soriano has struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings while walking 2.7 per nine. Although his home run rate has improved in recent years (0.7 HR/9 since 2008), he's an extreme fly ball pitcher (just 31% ground balls in his career). That could give him some problems in hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. 

At an $11.67MM average annual value, Soriano will be the fifth highest paid reliever in baseball, trailing only Rivera, Brad Lidge, Francisco Rodriguez, and Joe Nathan. Jonathan Papelbon's eventual 2011 salary could also factor into that equation soon enough. It's a healthy raise from the $7.5MM Soriano earned in 2010, which came after he accepted the Braves offer of arbitration last offseason. With Billy Wagner already on board, it pushed Atlanta to trade him to Tampa.

SI.com's Jon Heyman adds that the Yankees still have about $20MM to spend before they hit their 2011 payroll limit (Twitter link). That's plenty for a right-handed outfield bat and starting pitching, even if they wait for a salary dump situation to arise during the season.

Heyman originally reported the agreement (all Twitter links). ESPN's Buster Olney and Tyler Kepner of The New York Times added details (Twitter links).


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519 Comments on "Yankees Sign Rafael Soriano"


dizzle4
4 years 7 months ago

Woah, didn’t expect this one after Cashman’s comments about the draft pick.

qbass187
4 years 7 months ago

I like your sarcasm…cleary there isn’t a sane person on the planet that believes a word that comes out of that weasels mouth.

jb226
4 years 7 months ago

I agree completely. A lot of GMs refuse to comment, a lot play things coy, but I have never seen a GM just out and out lie as much as Brian Cashman. Why anybody even bothers to talk to him anymore is puzzling; the only explanation that they don’t give a crap what he says as long as they have a quote.

He is the Scott Boras of GMs.

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

For Cashmans standpoint its better for the media to backoff anyway and he can still go about his business

guydavis
4 years 7 months ago

Good call from Heyman couple of days ago. Where is everyone who said he was full of ish?

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

You’re forgetting that Soriano priviously stated that he would not close for anyone. Boras also said that Soriano was willing to be a Bullpun catcher.
That didn’t happen either. So Cashman’s not the only one to lie.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Since when is it a GMs job to be honest? Agents, Gms, lawyers…..part of the job.

jb226
4 years 7 months ago

Dealing with the press is part of a GM’s job, just like post-game press conferences are part of a manager’s job. So is acting like a professional, and that includes conducting yourself with integrity. And if you think lying is part of being a lawyer, then you have absolutely no idea how much trouble they can get in if anybody so much as sniffs the possibility that they lied. Losing the ability to practice law would be the appetizer to an extremely long and damaging meal.

But yes, sometimes absolute honesty is not in a GM’s interest. How about “we’re continuing to evaluate options to improve our team” or “we discussed him internally” or “we’re not sure if it is worth the draft pick to make this signing” or even “no comment” instead “ZOMG WHY WOULD YO EVEN SUGGEST THAT OF COURSE WE’LL NEVER SIGN HIM WE WUB OUR DRAFT PICK TOO MUCH?” There’s no reason he needs to flat out lie, particularly about something so trivial. You think, what, the Angels were going to pony up and become competition? Have you been watching their last few offseasons at all?

After Cashman lying through his teeth all last offseason, nobody but the most naive people believe a word he says anyway. All it does is further erode his credibility, and god forbid a situation ever arises where there actually IS a value to a lie because who the hell is going to believe him anyway?

But you know what, I can sum it up far more simply than that: It’s not the way a professional acts. For an organization that claims to value professionalism so much it’s patently absurd. It reflects poorly on him AND his organization and in this case, it is utterly without justification. Almost as much as defending it as “part of the job.”

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

You are completely and utterly wrong. Lawyers knowingly lie all the time. When a defense lawyer KNOWS factually, that his client is guilty but then goes on to argue otherwise, and then flips his stance in the middle of a trial from innocent to self-defense, or innocent due to mental defect then he has just admitted to being a liar.

If a reporter asks if Cashman is interested in signing Mark Teixeira and he says he’s tapped out and Swisher is his 1B it’s called not showing his hands, not driving up the market place and keeping team plans in-house. Get over yourself. A GM doesn’t owe you, me, MLBTR or any reporter the inside truth on any player he’s in on.

You don’t think every other GM hasn’t done that whether it was to the press, a player’s agent or even to a player just to save face, avoid confrontation or simply to divert attention towards a move they haven’t made yet?

diabl0312
4 years 7 months ago

Apparently the concept of negotiation escapes you all. It’s not usually a good idea to broadcast your interest in getting a deal done before going into the negotiating table. It’s called giving the other side leverage.

Who am I kidding though, anything related to the Yankees will never be right in the eyes of anti-Yankee trolls.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

Ive got a secret for you! Cashman Lies!

zach_puke
4 years 7 months ago

isn’t lying and/or denying interest a common negotiation tactic? If boras is aware of a strong interest, it allows a huge price tag to become much, much larger.
pardon my lack of values, but Id very likely “lie” if it wasnt going to hurt anyone and if it could save me millions of dollars.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

Ive got a secret for you! Cashman Lies!

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

Ive got a secret for you! Cashman Lies!

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

Man, I don’t know if I like this move or not. Was really looking forward to that draft pick in the deep class… but Soriano is a beast!

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

Man, I don’t know if I like this move or not. Was really looking forward to that draft pick in the deep class… but Soriano is a beast!

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

Man, I don’t know if I like this move or not. Was really looking forward to that draft pick in the deep class… but Soriano is a beast!

tiger313
4 years 7 months ago

let me guess… A three year deal with an option for a fourth with soriano taking over the closer role after mo retires.

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

Damnit now I have to apologize to Jon Heyman.

mwagner26
4 years 7 months ago

Don’t ever apologize to Heyman.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees pen is pretty decent looking on paper…Pinstriped paper more likely.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

We call that…. notebook paper

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

College ruled represent!

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

Wide ruled son, since me and my fellow lefties right larger than most

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

College ruled represent!

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

We call that…. notebook paper

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

Jon Rauch should be next to join the Bombers

ea19
4 years 7 months ago

Another flyball pitcher in a hitter friendly park???? Not a good idea!!! Remember Target Field was pitcher friendly

4 years 7 months ago

the angels seriously suck

ryankrol
4 years 7 months ago

Just because some writers said they’d sign players they never intended on signing? LOL

quintjs
4 years 7 months ago

probably because their owner said they were going to be agressive and they haven’t done a thing?

4 years 7 months ago

the best offense is defense

Rob NY
4 years 7 months ago

The 2010 Seattle Mariners totally agree with you.

Rob NY
4 years 7 months ago

The 2010 Seattle Mariners totally agree with you.

Sixto_Lezcano
4 years 7 months ago

The Angels missed out on Crawford, but not overpaying for Soriano is a smart move. You don’t throw a bunch of money at a guy just because you haven’t thrown a bunch of money at anyone this offseason.

4 years 7 months ago

See: Texas Rangers.

4 years 7 months ago

See: Texas Rangers.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Well yeah, I say you do. I’m sure Angels fans are excited that the owner is being “fiscally responsible” and “saving” budget for the great 2011 free agent class that won’t look nearly as great once guys like Pujols and co. sign extensions.

alxn
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldnt want you anywhere near a business I owned

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

…and do you own a lot of businesses? I’m talking about this from a fan perspective, and when you have an owner who comes out and says he’s going to spend and the net result is Scott Downs and an agreement with Alberto Callaspo, I’d be upset.

Of course $35 million is a lot of money, but Moreno intimated that he was going to be playing with the “big boys” and instead, the Angles have done nothing to fill the void at 3B, leadoff, and DH, though I anticipate it won’t be too difficult to fill the latter given the guys still out there.

alxn
4 years 7 months ago

I havent read any of Moreno’s comments, so I’m not going to respond to any specifics, but the Angels did play with the big boys. They were in on both Beltre and Crawford. If every team just kept bidding on players that they wanted because they wanted to play with the big boys then the league would not even be able to function. Both players got huge deals and the Angels had to draw the line somewhere.

Soriano is not anywhere near an elite free agent. He will provide his team with 60-70 innings of good pitching, and that is it. Just because the Yankees payed him like a “big boy” doesn’t make him one. The Angels can likely find very similar production for 1/15 of the commitment. They showed extremely good judgment by not getting caught up in this.

brachialplexus
4 years 7 months ago

you just said their voids are at 3B, leadoff and DH but you wanted them to throw 35 mil at soriano? how does that make sense. am i the only one who thinks 12 mil/year for a set up man is absolutely ridiculous? i know he was a very good closer last year but the yankees must really be itching to spend some money to give that much to the 8th inning guy. maybe its just bc im a met fan and we cant go above 2 mil for any sort of free agent, lol

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

There is a line between being fiscally responsible and being counter productive though. When being fiscally responsible turns into “let’s just keep using these computers from 1985″ you start losing money and need to actually spend money to keep making money. It’s not a great analogy but I think you get the idea.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

I am very happy.

Having extra money brought us Danny Haren last mid-season. Not signing Teixeira opened a spot up for Kendry Morales. Passing on Lackey allowed us to sign Pineiro.

Not every move is great but given that the Angels DO have a budget (unlike the Yankees/Red Sox/Phillies) I am glad that management is being responsible with their resources.

I just don’t get this mentality. If you believe that a player is worth “x” dollars, how does it make any sense to spend $10-20 and maybe even $30m more? Just to appease the moron fans who only care about big names.

I want my team to win today and in the future. I support all moves that further that agenda. If anything I would continue to encourage the team to use restraint so that they can be flexible when an opportunity presents itself. Any Torii Hunter takers out there?

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Well yeah, I say you do. I’m sure Angels fans are excited that the owner is being “fiscally responsible” and “saving” budget for the great 2011 free agent class that won’t look nearly as great once guys like Pujols and co. sign extensions.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Well yeah, I say you do. I’m sure Angels fans are excited that the owner is being “fiscally responsible” and “saving” budget for the great 2011 free agent class that won’t look nearly as great once guys like Pujols and co. sign extensions.

heybatter
4 years 7 months ago

sixto……saw you play in sacramento before you and gorman became part of the brew crew………..great arm man…

FirstNameGreatest
4 years 7 months ago

WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

METfan201
4 years 7 months ago

I wonder how much?

BenNicholsonSmith
4 years 7 months ago

Wow – I predict $33MM over three years.

4 years 7 months ago

Could they have done it any faster?

4 years 7 months ago

WHat happened to not wanting to lose the 1st rounder??

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Smoke-screen. All Yankees have to do is sign a couple international free agents and pay over-slot for a couple guys in this year’s draft and presto, the “lost” first-rounder is forgotten.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Smoke-screen. All Yankees have to do is sign a couple international free agents and pay over-slot for a couple guys in this year’s draft and presto, the “lost” first-rounder is forgotten.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Smoke-screen. All Yankees have to do is sign a couple international free agents and pay over-slot for a couple guys in this year’s draft and presto, the “lost” first-rounder is forgotten.

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 7 months ago

Color me surprised….

Yanksfan2010
4 years 7 months ago

Great. The best Set up and Closer in Baseball.

Sixto_Lezcano
4 years 7 months ago

Kuo/Broxton > Soriano/Rivera

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

lol no way

Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

lolwut?

4 years 7 months ago

Rivera can handle the Phillies. I like the sarcasm though.

4 years 7 months ago

Too bad Soriano can’t.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 7 months ago

I was at that game near the end of 09. Almost blew a 6-run lead.

4 years 7 months ago

your math teacher taught you inequalies wrong.

4 years 7 months ago

Lol. You spent a little more time in Math class than you did in Spelling, apparently.

4 years 7 months ago

You had an entire class just for spelling?

4 years 7 months ago

Spelling is where all the ‘special’ people go. And I don’t mean high honors special, either.

4 years 7 months ago

Spelling is where all the ‘special’ people go. And I don’t mean high honors special, either.

4 years 7 months ago

You had an entire class just for spelling?

4 years 7 months ago

You had an entire class just for spelling?

KeithLawSucksInStl
4 years 7 months ago

It’s obviously Motte/Franklin. Duh.

vinnieg
4 years 7 months ago

what are you crazy? broxton gets lit up by good teams. i wanna see more from kuo first non closer ive ever had on my fantasy team

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

That’s where Kuo/Broxton is better than Soriano/Rivera in FantasyLand.

vinnieg
4 years 7 months ago

what are you crazy? broxton gets lit up by good teams. i wanna see more from kuo first non closer ive ever had on my fantasy team

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

umm….no.

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

umm….no.

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

umm….no.

4 years 7 months ago

haha, u lick the flavored windows on the bus dont u

4 years 7 months ago

haha, u lick the flavored windows on the bus dont u

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

I wish…

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

I wish…

4 years 7 months ago

Did you even see Broxton pitch this year?

23553
4 years 7 months ago

Broxton who was terrible in 2010?

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

I’ll take Bard over any set up man but Soriano and Kuo are just as good and if Paps and Broxton rebound to their dominating selves this is a wash with all 3 teams. Can’t wait for the season to start!

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

Dreamer!!

markjsunz
4 years 7 months ago

The yankees will have the best set up and closer combo in Baseball. Great move Soriano has wicked stuff.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

I’ll take Bard over any set up man but Soriano and Kuo are just as good and if Paps and Broxton rebound to their dominating selves this is a wash with all 3 teams. Can’t wait for the season to start!

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

I’ll take Bard over any set up man but Soriano and Kuo are just as good and if Paps and Broxton rebound to their dominating selves this is a wash with all 3 teams. Can’t wait for the season to start!

4 years 7 months ago

I guess that depends on if you believe that a 41 year old will not regress. Eventually, Rivera is going to fall off a cliff. This year? Next year? Who knows, but it’s going to happen.

4 years 7 months ago

Too bad this has been said going on 5 years now.

4 years 7 months ago

Too bad this has been said going on 5 years now.

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

Question is – Will you live long enough to see it?

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

I gave up believing that. Some guys just know how to pitch and that dude knows how to freaking pitch. At this point I fully expect him to be the best closer in the game until he hangs up his spikes.

Yanksfan2010
4 years 7 months ago

Your just a Yankee hater. Rivera is the best closer in the game. Just cause you hate a team does not mean you can’t deny a talented player on it.

4 years 7 months ago

I think you just went all double negative on us and didn’t make your point.

Yanksfan2010
4 years 7 months ago

How did I not make my point? Maybe you should learn to understand what you read before you make a comment. I responded to the comment that Eric left and made my point perfectly clear.

Yankees420
4 years 7 months ago

Google “double negative definition” and then reread the sentence “Just cause you hate a team does not mean you can’t deny a talented player on it.” That’s what Matthew T was referring to.

z3rogs
4 years 7 months ago

The definition of oblivious.

0bsessions
4 years 7 months ago

There’s no hate in his remark. The laws of physics dictate that Rivera will EVENTUALLY regress. He’s surprised a lot of people by maintaining elite status through the end of his latest contract, but he will eventually have to either retire on top or show some regression. He’s in his forties for crying out loud. I respect the heck out of him and will admit he’s the greatest reliever of all time, but everything ends eventually. If you want an example of how fast one of the best can fall apart, I suggest you watch some Vikings games from this past season.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

If Maiano starts to slip thus year(very likely at his Age) Yankees fans will jump right Iff his bandwagon and onto Soriano’s! Papelbon and Broxton could easily rebound to dominating form as free agency approaches as Mariano finally loses it! This is a very real possibility! On paper, right now, Yankees! After season, not so likely!

4 years 7 months ago

I guess that depends on if you believe that a 41 year old will not regress. Eventually, Rivera is going to fall off a cliff. This year? Next year? Who knows, but it’s going to happen.

4 years 7 months ago

I guess that depends on if you believe that a 41 year old will not regress. Eventually, Rivera is going to fall off a cliff. This year? Next year? Who knows, but it’s going to happen.

ea19
4 years 7 months ago

you better have the best set-up guy for almost 12 mil/year!!!!! That is absolutely outrageous…..5 mil/year is a lot for a set-up man

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

At some point they will switch rolls, probably 2012. But that still pays MO ridiculous money to be a setup man….

0bsessions
4 years 7 months ago

Switch roles? No chance. Rivera is their closer until he retires.

Diehard Philsphan
4 years 7 months ago

Everyone knows its gonna be bosox and phils in world seeies

4 years 7 months ago

Yes because World Series opponents are determined in January

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

They are in Boston. Didn’t you know they had 25 world championships before the month of February?

mwagner26
4 years 7 months ago

You give Philadelphia a bad name when you misspell “series”.

LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Never heard of world seeies is that something new guys?

4 years 7 months ago

I hope the Red Sox and Yankees both LOSE the ALCS -_-

Slopeboy
4 years 7 months ago

I’m surprised you even remember what the ALCS is!!

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

you misspelled A’s and Giants there buddy.

4 years 7 months ago

The Giants don’t compete for the ALCS, buddy.

4 years 7 months ago

He was replying to the OP, not you.

4 years 7 months ago

He was replying to the OP, not you.

4 years 7 months ago

The Giants don’t compete for the ALCS, buddy.

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

just like it was gonna be Phils/Yanks last year, right?

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

just like it was gonna be Phils/Yanks last year, right?

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

just like it was gonna be Phils/Yanks last year, right?

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

You meant Indians Pirates. Poor fool…

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

I thought Orioles Pirates

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

You meant Indians Pirates. Poor fool…

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

You meant Indians Pirates. Poor fool…

dizzle4
4 years 7 months ago

Holy crap that’s a huge deal for a reliever.

Fangaffes
4 years 7 months ago

Pocket change for the Yankees.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

Not really. That’s money they won’t have when they need it. The Yankees themselves do have a limit, you know. And it was spent on a reliever… not a closer, just a reliever.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

I have a really hard time believing that if they found a guy to sign and he would really help the team that they wouldn’t extend the payroll. Can you imagine Hal telling Cashman “Nope, sorry, you spent all your money on a reliever”? I can’t.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

You misread what I wrote. I’m simply stating eventually the Yankees can’t spend anymore just like any other team. Spending 11.6M on a non closer surely is a waste of space in payroll. Yes, he’s worth it and all but I think it’s safe to say every team has a budget. I know they haven’t exceeded it yet and can add a lot more but sooner or later they’re going to have to add a big name pitcher to that rotation along with Sabathia and Hughes.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

No I got what you were saying I just don’t agree. Most teams have a limit whereas the Yankees have a “limit”.

If their payroll was identical to last year and a Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay (or any other theoretical pitcher who is really good but would cost a ton of money) became available they would up their payroll, at least I believe they would.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I believe they would too, but in this economy who’s gonna buy the tickets? They had trouble selling the expensive ones already. Now up all the ticket prices. I see it being a problem. We will have to see. The way the Yankees spend it’ll be a decision that has to be made in the next couple years.

bjsguess
4 years 7 months ago

If they have a limit I would like to know what it is. So far we haven’t seen it.

Sure Cashman has commented on having limits but that’s just a pretense for not wanting to overpay for guys.

ea19
4 years 7 months ago

How do the Yankees not win the World Series every year????? They can go out and get any guy that they want……..but they have overpaid a lot of their free agents that they have signed

ryankrol
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees finally have somewhat of a bullpen again. lol

4 years 7 months ago

When didn’t they?

MB923
4 years 7 months ago

It was actaully a very good one last year and one of the best in the 2nd half.

oefvet
4 years 7 months ago

Angels seriously have done nothing this off-season. Did not see that coming.

ryankrol
4 years 7 months ago

Neither have the Yankees. This pretty much evens the score between the 2 this winter.

tiger313
4 years 7 months ago

The difference is, the Angels are a team with huge holes, the Yankees just need starting pitching now.

4 years 7 months ago

Id guess 3 yr/27M. mutual option 4th yr 10M

bomberj11
4 years 7 months ago

That back end of the bullpen is scary now.

(Shudders)

BaseballFanatic0707
4 years 7 months ago

For efficiency sake, it should be a 3-year deal. I just hope the money isn’t too obscene. Interesting to see that he did not value having an immediate closing job (or one at all-who knows if Mo’s truly done after his new deal? Not likely he keeps going, but you never know!), but I think that’s what the word was out of his camp anyway.

4 years 7 months ago

The Rays now get the Yanks first round pick. They’ll have a dozen picks before the Tigers make their first selection in the second round (assuming Balfour signs elsewhere).

jphenix2002
4 years 7 months ago

that’s hilarious. Kudos to Friedman

jphenix2002
4 years 7 months ago

that’s hilarious. Kudos to Friedman

jphenix2002
4 years 7 months ago

that’s hilarious. Kudos to Friedman