Rafael Soriano Opts Out Of Contract

12:29pm: Soriano has opted out of his contract and will hit free agency, Heyman reports (on Twitter).

7:45am: Rafael Soriano will opt out of his contract with the Yankees and elect free agency today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Soriano's contract includes a $14MM player option for 2013 with a $1.5MM buyout.

Assuming the right-hander opts out, the Yankees will counter by making him a one-year qualifying offer worth $13.3MM. This would link Soriano to draft pick compensation, setting the Yankees up for a potential pick in 2013. The Scott Boras client is believed to be seeking a four-year deal, Heyman reports. Soriano probably won't accept New York's qualifying offer, but the Yankees are likely willing to give him a two-year deal.

The 32-year-old posted a 2.26 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 with 42 saves this past season. “There is a strong chance that he would have tremendous value as a free agent,” Boras told Joel Sherman earlier in the month. It's hard to disagree following such a strong season.


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49 Comments on "Rafael Soriano Opts Out Of Contract"


Jake White
2 years 9 months ago

With the year to year inconsistency of relievers, the Yankees should be VERY grateful for this.

LazerTown
2 years 9 months ago

Especially since 2011 he didn’t have a very good year. Lets hope that he leaves and they get a decent draft pick.

2 years 9 months ago

I have to wonder what kind of contract Soriano could get on the open market as an elite closer who proved himself in New York. I see 3/40 as a minimum starting point.

dc21892
2 years 9 months ago

3/40 as probably the max. He’s 32, relievers fluctuate and with age can become even more of an issue. It only takes one team though, but from what he’s given 3/40 would be fair for him. Anything more would be overpay.

strikethree
2 years 9 months ago

He had a good year but he also started with a very mediocre year in NY. (bad in terms of what you want from your “closer/late inning” relievers)

It just goes to show how volatile relievers can be. They don’t contribute as much in terms of innings pitched compared to starters and there are so many more “decent” relievers than there are starters. It really doesn’t make much sense for a team to pay so much (in money and risk) for a reliever. (especially when practically every team in baseball has a more pressing hole in another area(s) that can help them better)

SpfldCynic
2 years 9 months ago

Ridiculous money for a closer. I really do think they are overpaid and overrated.

MB923
2 years 9 months ago

You think the closer role is overrated (and I agree) or do you think the pitchers who are the closers are overrated (Rivera, Kimbrel, Papelbon, Chapman, etc.)?

Shaun Newkirk
2 years 9 months ago

I think the consensus is that closer are overpaid but not overrated.

I’d have no problem paying a closer $5-6 million a year. Maybe even up to 8…but $13 million, $14-15 million? Just not worth. There are guys hitting 20+ homeruns and driving in 80+ RBI that don’t make $13,000,000 a year.

If you look at it on a WAR basis, Soriano accrued 1.2 fWAR this season. That’s $10,000,000 per win.

You’ve gotta find a balance between overpaid and overrated. While the Chapmans/Kimbrel/Riveras of the league are elite and quality players…they aren’t worth $10,000,000 a year when A) They make what 50? 60? appearances a year and B) As high pressure as the 9th is, a closer by committee plan works. (see San Fran, Padres, Red Sox, Twins)

MB923
2 years 9 months ago

Isn’t fWAR $5 million per 1.0 WAR? So a 1.2 WAR would be $5.2 mil, not $10 mil.

strikethree
2 years 9 months ago

I think he meant to say that they are getting paid (14 mil/1.2 WAR) = 11.7 mil per win. (to show how much above average teams are paying per WAR for closers)

Shaun Newkirk
2 years 9 months ago

fWAR this season was something like $7 per win I believe.

But I was speaking just specifically about Soriano this year.

His contract this year was $11,000,000. (in my original post I was thinking it was $13,000,000 so I was wrong there).
He was worth 1.2 fWAR.

$11,000,000 (contract) / 1.2 (fWAR) = $9,166,666.

$9,000,000 per win is WELL above the MLB average. There probably aren’t any players averaging higher than that outside of Wells/Bay/A-Rod albatross like players who just have high contracts and low output.

Shaun Newkirk
2 years 9 months ago

Gah another typo. Meant to say that yes it is $5ish per win but it is on pace the next few years to reaxch $7 per win.

MB923
2 years 9 months ago

Thanks, had no clue they were raising it. I also have no clue how they came up with that formula for it lol

SpfldCynic
2 years 9 months ago

I think the role more than the pitchers. When you have a lockdown 1-2 inning type pitcher, why are you letting lesser pitchers come in the game with runners on in the 7th? Use him when he’s most needed!

I say let the scorekeeper assign saves. No more pitcher A gets out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th and gets a “hold” while pitcher B gives up 2 runs with a 3 run lead in the 9th, but still gets a “save” because he was the last guy pitching (call it the Broxton Rule)

LazerTown
2 years 9 months ago

Agree. I also think setting a “close” spot is pointless in several situations. Find your best reliever and use him at the most important spot. if the 7th or 8th inning is the 1,2,3 hitters or 2,3,4 hitters then why are you saving your closer who is often your best pitcher for the 5,6,7 hitters?

The Data
2 years 9 months ago

Dodger logic puts his value at like 5/60.

vtadave
2 years 9 months ago

Sounds low.
– Ned

jjs91
2 years 9 months ago

Dont see him coming back unless Mo retires. AArdsma, Mo, and a full season of Joba should be able to replace his production. Still want them to sign someone though.

2 years 9 months ago

Mariano Rivera is a big if, and putting in Dave Robertson in does give me some jitters.

johnsilver
2 years 9 months ago

Forget Robertson. It’s why they picked up the option on Aardsma, who will be around 1 3/4 years post TJ surgery when ST opens

cano24
2 years 9 months ago

You have more confidence in Aardsma than Robertson, after Aardsma missed the entire season? Are you a Yankee fan? Have you been watching? Robertson did not get the nickname “Houdini” for nothing. He is good, definitely good enough to close. He is a better reliever than several pitchers that are already closers.

johnsilver
2 years 9 months ago

Have you ever watched Aardsma? Closer experience, 95-98, one of the nastiest splitters in the entire game that was ALL he was lacking (command of the splitter) when he went from Boston to Seattle.

Maybe you should watch some videos of Aardsma, as yes.. I have watched Aardsma at both Boston and at Seattle and the “fixed” Aardsma that went to Seattle was one of the better closers in the game.

He has been long enough returned from TJ to be 100% healthy, has CLOSING experience, which DOES make a difference and would be a viable backup if Rivera goes down.

NY isn’t going to give the closer role to someone with so few chances over their career like that.. Ain’t going to happen.

cano24
2 years 9 months ago

Aardsma was throwing 91 this year. He is coming off surgery. There is zero reason to have more faith in Aardsma than Robertson at this time. If Aardsma shows up in spring training with nasty 95+ stuff again, great, but you can’t bet on that now.

But glad to know Robertson can never close for the Yankees because he doesn’t have experience and never will get experience because he doesn’t have enough experience, lol. The 9th inning is not magical.

johnsilver
2 years 9 months ago

It takes time to get velocity back.. After TJ, the velocity doesn’t just magically appear.. Same with Tazawa in Boston.. Around 1 3/4 years after TJ and his velo is now hitting 95-7.

But.. You can believe what you want.. NY is going to have a 180m+ Payroll, sign Rivera and isn’t going to rely on someone unproven as a viable backup.. Isn’t about to happen and that is why the option was picked up on Aardsma.

cano24
2 years 9 months ago

“but the Yankees are likely willing ot give him a two-year deal”

They better not, unless Mo is retiring and it’s for much less money. You don’t have to pay a guy 10 mil to throw 60 good innings. Robertson would probably close fine for 3.

LazerTown
2 years 9 months ago

Especially with aardsma and Joba in the wings if they don’t want robertson to close. They also got mark montgomery to bring up for late innings if they get weak there.

rsg4
2 years 9 months ago

I wish MLB would get rid of Scott Boras. He is killing teams.

NYBravosFan10
2 years 9 months ago

As much as I’d love that, it would set off a chain reaction that would be disastrous. If Bud Selig decided to ban Boras from being affiliated with MLB players then that would cause an unholy uproar among his clients, which would end up in the hands of the MLB Players Association which would cause an almost insurmountable strike until Boras was allowed back. The only thing to do is to convince him to retire ASAP.

rsg4
2 years 9 months ago

yeah I know, just wishful thinking out loud.

LazerTown
2 years 9 months ago

Really no grounds to ban him. Nothing he is doing is really wrong, a agent is there to try and get his clients the best deal.

If you were a player you would probably want to be able to get the best contract you can.

TimotheusATL
2 years 9 months ago

that sound you hear is the popping my eyes made when they rolled too far into the back of my skull

TigerFan1968
2 years 9 months ago

Yankees are always saying they need to get under the salary cap. Well here is an easy way to drop 13 mill. If Rivera decides to give it a try the Yanks should offer say 6 million with incentives that could double that if all works out. If they do not well it is the same old Yanks, throwing money around like Ben Bernanke. A true test for Cashman, can he smarten up. I mean do you really think the Yanks could not get a good reliever fast from someone if all their cheap options did not work out.

Vmmercan
2 years 9 months ago

What is the market for Soriano? It needs to be a team willing to pay big money for a closer, who doesn’t have a solid closer and who thinks they will compete this year or next year at the latest.
AL East is out if the Rays pick up the option on Rodney, which they will. Central: Twins, Royals, Indians wouldn’t do it. White Sox have a great bullpen…Maybe the Tigers now that Valverde will walk?
West: A’s picked up option on Balfour, Angels seem to want to shed payroll, Rangers have enough arms, Mariners aren’t there yet.
NL East: Mets aren’t there yet, Phillies, Braves and Nationals have a closer, Marlins won’t want to spend big after Bell.

NL Central; Reds are set, Cardinals never spend big on closers, Astros (sorry, should be in al west, either way not there yet), Brewers don’t seem the right market, Cubs aren’t there yet. Pirates maybe but they have Hanrahan another year
NL West: Dodgers I don’t think are going to spend big there when they need starters, Giants are set, Padres aren’t there and don’t need one, maybe D backs?
So I have D Backs, Pirates, Tigers, maybe Blue Jays and that’s it?

vtadave
2 years 9 months ago

Dbacks are set with Putz/Hernandez. What about the Red Sox?

Vmmercan
2 years 9 months ago

I don’t know if they are there yet in 2013. They have the money but they have so many other needs to fill. Lester is no longer an ace, Buchholz needs to stay healthy and effective, Doubront needs to grow, and even if all that happens they look to Lackey and maybe Morales. The Sox will aggressively pursue a rotation and then will need to spend on Ortiz, Ross, and a first baseman. Plus they still have Bailey whom they gave up Redick for. It’s possible, I suppose, I just don’t know that that’s where the Sox concentrate as they rebuild their roster. Offense and Rotation are more important.

johnsilver
2 years 9 months ago

What in the world does Boston want with him? They let Papelbon go because he wanted to get overpaid, now they have Bailey, seem to have Tazawa in the wings, are not going to be competitive next year and no need to have a top notch closer beyond Bailey and Tazawa as the main 8th IP guy.

Their BP is exploding at the seems as it is, have people at AAA who never even got a chance to pitch in Boston last year, though they did a fine job like Alex Wilson and Josh Fields.

No offense, but dealing with Boras over Soriano, who figures to get massively over paid anyway is just not going to happen. Boston will be dealing relievers (Aceves) this winter, not adding them am pretty sure.

2 years 9 months ago

Too bad he is a Boras client as he would be a nice addition to the Angels bullpen as an 8th inning guy or even a closer. Boras and the Angels don’t play well together

2 years 9 months ago

If Rivera does retire this year, Soriano will be missed. If Rivera comes back as promised, no big deal. He filled in nicely in the 9th inning but gave up some key home runs in the 9th late in the season, which could signal his run was over. I would like to see Michael Pineda out of the pen in ’13 as I don’t feel his shoulder will hold up as a starter. He collapsed at he end of ’11 with Seattle and finally it blew out in Spring Training. I could see this 23 year old as an heir to Rivera in the closer roll and he may just have more value to the Yankees out of the pen.

MB923
2 years 9 months ago

“He filled in nicely in the 9th inning but gave up some key home runs in the 9th late in the season”

Well that does happen time to time. The saves stat is very overrated but nonetheless, 42 out of 46 isn’t bad at all. His HR/9 wasn’t terrible (0.80, better than what it was last year at 0.92)

LazerTown
2 years 9 months ago

Don’t see Pineda going to the pen. Yankees had faith in montero, and they didn’t give him up so they can get a reliever. They view him as a frontline starter.

jlasovage
2 years 9 months ago

Ha 4 yrs. No way. Who would pay that. He is looking for a raise too? So he thinks what 4-60 ish. Ha ha no way.

Dodgerzz
2 years 9 months ago

Closing is terribly overrated. We need an innovative manager to manage a team without a closer, remind the leagues how closers are not needed, and reverse the trend of establishing bullpen hierarchies, a trend that has unfortunately now become as common as anything else in baseball.

dc21892
2 years 9 months ago

So would NY have as many championships in Riveras tenure had he not been closing? It’s a valid argument. Rivera is virtually perfect in the postseason. Papelbon was dominating for Boston for a while. Trevor Hoffman and more i dont care to name. These guys had the mentality to go out in the 9th and get it done. There are plenty of guys who get mentally destroyed and physically cannot close out the 9th inning.

Dodgerzz
2 years 9 months ago

I’m not saying that teams shouldn’t have a certain ace reliever, but the team’s ace out of the pen should be the “fireman” that comes in to put out rallies by the opposition in ANY of the late innings, not just in the ninth. It makes zero sense that a team would use someone that is not the ace pitcher out of the pen in a pressure situation where their best reliever is available, and then they either lose the lead entirely (thereby depriving the closer of an opportunity to pitch) or gain the lead in the later innings and give their ace an opportunity to pitch with no threat (a situation in which any reliever could enter the game). Just because not everyone has the “mentality” to pitch the ninth doesn’t mean you need a closer. If someone can’t pitch effectively in the ninth, don’t put them there. Put someone who can. But there’s no point to reserving your ace pitcher exclusively for the ninth inning when he would be of better use in earlier innings.

2 years 9 months ago

Soriano opts out for 1.5MM buyout.
Yankees offer $13.3MM Qualifying offer.
Soriano accepts.
Soriano is paid $14.8MM for his services in 2013.

lefty177
2 years 9 months ago

Have you ever heard an agent say about his client “He’s not that good, I’d say he’ll get a minor league deal with an invite to spring training”?

Steelslayer
2 years 9 months ago

I am not sure that is compensation worthy because of the options on both sides

Steelslayer
2 years 9 months ago

oh right…if he does opt out they offer him the qualifying offer then…sorry my mistake

dc21892
2 years 9 months ago

Or they want a 1-2 punch of Soriano and Rivera. I agree with your original comment, though.