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.

36 Responses to Rafael Soriano Likely To Opt Out Leave a Reply

  1. Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

    I just hope he can keep his shirt on…

  2. UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

    I’d make him a qualifying offer when he turns it down let him walk.

  3. Me 3 years ago

    He won’t make that much anywhere else.

  4. aaron b 3 years ago

    I’d be shocked if he turned down 14 million to test the market.

  5. If he opts out what will type of contract will he be looking for? Something like 3/36 mil. How many teams are out there who dont have a closer and can afford to pay one 12mil+ a season. He should stay with New York and be the closer in waiting and start scooping up the money New York is giving Rivera when he retires.

    • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

      I’m not saying they would, but the Tigers could be in on him. Valverde’s a free agent at the end of the year.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      I’m not convinced that NYY will want to pay him closer’s money. If you remember Cashman didn’t want soriano to begin with, he was signed by the owners. He seems to be getting more control now, and I think that he sees that it is prohibative to pay the closer $15M when you have a 189M cap. They are more likely to spend it on starting pitching and putting someone like Drob or Joba in that role.

  6. MrTorrance 3 years ago

    Good riddance I say!

  7. bglaszcz 3 years ago

    So if he opts out he gets 1.5M, Yanks offer qualifying offer for 13M+. Combined he’d make more than 14M. Why wouldn’t he do this?

    • UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

      IF he opts out he’s in all likelihood looking for a multi-year deal. Not just re-signing with the Yankees for 1 year.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        but another team would have to give up a pick..and give him a contract that makes sense enough to turn down 13 million for 1 year..

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      He would be taking a gamble that the Yankees make him a qualifying offer.

  8. wait…so if the yankees “aren’t convinced he’d opt out” then who’s suggesting that he’s likely to opt out? i’m confused.

  9. Jose Borrero 3 years ago

    if he make a decision to test free agency he will first see what other closer will be free agent and if he think he is the best closer available and see which teams are going to need one ..and you need to think from he stand point he might able to sign with another team lets say for 36 millions for 3 year right! so he actually lost 500,000 only and gain 24 millions me as a yankees fan i appreciated what he did for the yankees and he is a good player but i think the yankees can do without him let younger player get a chance

  10. Mike1L 3 years ago

    It would be a good result for both sides. Soriano opts out, and the Yankee’s pay him the 1.5M. They can make the qualifying offer, and he can take it (meaning, as Benjamin points out) he gets a 500K raise for a “pillow year”) or he can search the market. If he goes free agent, the Yankees would be better off letting him go, collect the pick, and save the money. There are cheaper alternatives out there. Of course, they could also take a bigger chance, and not make the qualifying offer. They wouldn’t get the pick, but they wouldn’t be bound by the original contract. Then they could watch how the market develops. They really don’t need a 14.5 M set up man if Rivera comes back.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      The yankees have plenty of money to bring him back. For one more year it won’t affect the 189M for 2014 so I think they will most likely bring him back, they will at least offer the qualifying offer.

  11. Joseph Jonathan Herrera 3 years ago

    The more I think about it and read some of the comments here, it really makes perfect sense. His value next year might plummet (especially if Rivera returns next season), so he’s more likely to get another three year deal now than after another year as a setup guy. He’s more likely getting the 3/32 that someone here mentioned after this season than rolling the dice as a setup guy for another year when his numbers might not be as strong and he will be a year older. For the Yankees, they might not offer him a qualifier. They could instead opt to use the $14 million and get a few relievers they may need and groom Robertson as the next closer. I’m not a Yankees fan, but that seems to be a good option for them especially if they intend to get under the luxury tax.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      If he can still get 18/2 after this next year that would make it even. He has shown to be a quality closer so far in his career, I think he would be able to at least get a 22/2 deal.

  12. With $14M compensation due, I would be surprised if Rafael Soriano passed on that to test the open market; what teams could offer that much per year, especially with the upcoming luxury tax. Unless he really wants to close and would take less money, he’d be crazy to opt out; the Yankees will likely let him walk if he does.

    • Crucisnh 3 years ago

      That’s sort of my thinking too, Adam. $14M/yr salaries are hard to come by even for relievers. IIRC, even Papelbon didn’t get that much per year. It seems crazy to me to turn down that kind of money. Sure, he probably wants a long term deal, but he may find that he won’t come close to $14m/yr. Were I in his shoes, I’d take the $14M for next year then worry about the long term deal after that. Besides, after another year, perhaps Riveria will have retired and the Yanks might pony up big bucks for a closer.

  13. Mike1L 3 years ago

    There’s also another possibility, which is that the Yankees make 2013 their 2014. Soriano opts out and they just let him go. They pick up Cano’s option, re-sign Riveria if he want so come back, and get cheaper outfield options. If they are close but still over the threshold, they can even extend Jeter from his present 17M with 3M option to a two year $22 M deal.

    • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      This is a VERY good point. If you remove Soriano’s 14m and Swisher’s 10m, the Yankees are below the 189m mark. We’ll have to make some decisions on Kuroda and Martin, which can both be palatable given the 8m coming off the books from Feliciano (remember him?) this year also.

      EDIT: Nevermind, I forgot the lux tax for 2013 is 178m, not 189m. It goes up to 189m starting 2014.

  14. Slopeboy 3 years ago

    As Micheal Kay often says-‘ See Ya!’

  15. Robert Eichhorn 3 years ago

    It’s not Soriano’s decision. It’s Boras’ decision. The only player I know of who went against Boras’ recommendation is Jered Weaver.

  16. ed27 3 years ago

    There still are very important games to be played–if he pitches well down the stretch and helps New York pull it out he ups his value. If he plays a role in blowing some games he may not be welcome in NY. As for Mariano, he may not be back–just because he says he will doesn’t mean it happens. Two things to consider–a) the $$ the Yankees are willing to commit to him (remember the Jeter talks) and b) coming back from an ACL at his age–he’s an immortal but everyone, even the great Mariano has an expiration date..

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      That had no effect on Papelbon. For two years he blew crucial games. Granted, they all weren’t on him, but it played no role one way or the other in his contract.

  17. Invaderbro 3 years ago

    Dodgers signing everyone

  18. ThisGuyRocks 3 years ago

    I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity at $14 million. He would be a good set up man for Mariano I would believe. Maybe he just wants a closer job somewhere?

  19. TigerFan1968 3 years ago

    Which would be dumber the Yankees offering him a qualifying offer or him walking away from a sure 14 million ? As far as Rivera I predict another colossal blunder by the Yankees giving him a ton of money and Mariano gets hurt again or is ineffective and that puts them over the cap.

    • At his age, I think that Mo will get at most a one-year contract…it will be Yankees or retirement. If Soriano opts in, he could then be the closer after Rivera is finished.

  20. dc21892 3 years ago

    Kind of strange here. If he turns it down, he’ll get the security of years, but won’t be making 14M next year. Maybe he opts out and gets a 2 year deal with a vesting option from NY. They need someone there like Soriano incase Mo is still recovering or gets off to a rocky start. Could be a win win for both sides.

  21. Soriano opt-ing out is no-brainer, unless the Yankees offer him a restructured deal that goes 2013-2015 or so. From Soriano’s point of view, he’s coming off a great season as closer in the AL East, so this could be his last chance for a 3-4 year deal for some serious money. You can bet he’ll give up $14 mill to get, let’s say… $35-40 mill or so. And ps- Soriano didn’t like setting up for Mo last season and it showed in his performance. I doubt he wants to go back to that.

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