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.