Rafael Soriano Likely To Opt Out

There’s a good chance Rafael Soriano will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the Yankees after the season and hit free agency early, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Soriano must choose between another year in New York with a salary of $14MM and opting out for a $1.5MM buyout and the uncertainty of the open market.

Yankees people believe they have a very solid relationship with Soriano, who’s a client of the Boras Corporation. Team executives aren’t convinced he’d opt out and pass up $14MM, according to Heyman. If Soriano opts out, the Yankees can still make him a qualifying offer valued at $13MM-plus and link him to draft pick compensation.

Mariano Rivera will hit free agency this offseason, but if he re-signs with the Yankees he’d presumably have the closer’s job and push Soriano into a setup role. The sides could also work out a multiyear deal with the idea that Soriano could set up in 2013 and close after that, Heyman writes.

Soriano, 32, signed a three-year, $35MM contract with New York following the 2010 season. He has a 2.17 ERA with 9.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 37 saves in 58 innings so far in 2012.

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