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The Yankees are not really interested in Rafael Soriano

Jan 7, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 4 Getty Images

Rafael Soriano says he’d be willing to be a setup man for the Yankees. It takes two to tango, however, and Buster Olney says that the Yankees aren’t particularly interested in dancing:

Heard this: As of 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Yankees are not interested in Rafael Soriano. They’ve seen a lot of $ squandered on set-up men … Soriano would have to make himself absurdly cheap — on a very short-term (1-year or 2-year deal) — before NYY would even consider him

So there’s that.

Tough market for Soriano. I guess 45 saves and a 1.73 don’t go as far as they used to.

  1. randomdigits - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    Its the compensation system, he should have done the same thing he did last year and accept arbitration, same with Balfour. Most teams are not interested in giving up draft picks for a commodity as volatile as relief pitching.

  2. Panda Claus - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Does this mean Soriano ends back up in Tampa? I certainly didnt’ even consider that possibility back before the winter meetings began.

  3. Ari Collins - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    As a Sox fan, I sincerely hope the Yankees change their mind and sign Soriano. Long term reliever deals almost never work out, plus the Yankees would be giving up their first rounder to the Rays in the most loaded draft since at least 2005.

    • phukyouk - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      as a Yankees fan i too hope they change their mind. of course he will work out.. what makes you think otherwise? Stanton? Mendoza?

      • Ari Collins - Jan 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        This recent article sums it up nicely (and shows once again that Rivera is a cyborg): http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/relievers-are-not-worth-multi-year-deals/

  4. BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Why wouldn’t the Twins sign him? You don’t know what you’re going to get out of Nathan.

    • randomdigits - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM

      We can start with the fact that the Twins look to be pretty tapped out on payroll, the Hardy trade for two minor league relief pitchers shows that. They would also have to give up a first round draft pick in a very, very deep draft. Would you trade a first round draft pick for the right to give Soriano a hefty payday?

      • BC - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        Yeah, fair enough. And they won the division without Nathan last year. I was just thinking out loud…

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I hear posters comment about long term deals generally don’t work out for relievers and for the most part they are right. But I don’t think the Yankees if they are interested are looking at 4 or 5 years. Probably at most 3 years. And as I’ve said previously even if they only get 2 good years out of him and have to eat the 3rd year at say $8M it’s no big deal. It’s a cost of doing business. I also understand posters and “so called experts” calling this the deepest draft in a long time. But generally speaking players drafted in 2011 are not going to make their major league debut until 2014 or 2015 at the earliest. Yes the Yankees are successful because they have revenue stream that is probably unmatched in baseball. But they are successful for another reason as well. That is because they have NEVER adopted under the Steinbrenners ownership a wait till next year attitude. Even during the lean years 1982 to 1993 the teams had a winning % of .528 or higher in 7 out of 12 years. They are successful because next year is always this year. From my perspective I hope that never changes.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      Soriano will only take 3 years most likely, MAYBE even two, but very few reliever deals longer than two years are ever worth it.

      More importantly, you don’t give up a draft pick for the right to overpay for a long-term reliever deal. Sure, the Yankees won’t see those draft picks in the majors until 2014 or so, but New York wouldn’t have the excellent near-ready pitching prospects they have now if they’d taken that attitude years ago. Nor would they have gotten Cano, Gardner, or Hughes. Not to mention going back to Rivera, Pettitte, Jeter, Bernie, and Posada.

      Even the Yankees are helped by homegrown stars.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        I guess we will have to differ on what qualifies as “long term” and what qualifies as “overpaying”. Like the saying goes if you have to ask how much you probably can’t afford it.
        Of course teams benefit from home grown talent, but not to the exclusion of talent from outside the organization and not when that talent can fill a hole in the roster. That applies to teams other than the Yankees as well. Including the Red Sox where in 2011 4 of the 8 starting position players were picked up from other teams and 3 of the 5 starting pitchers started their careers in other cities.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:46 AM

        Of course it’s tough to field a team entirely from prospects. But there has to be a point at which giving up a draft pick AND paying market price isn’t worth it. Relievers have been proven time and time again to give the worst return on investment because their performance is almost entirely unpredictable. You can’t fill your ENTIRE bullpen from within, and maybe overpaying for a reliever is what you have to do sometimes to get the ‘pen innings you need, but overpaying for them plus mortgaging your future by giving up a draft pick for 60 innings of relief is just not a good idea.

        Most teams have realized this, including your Yankees. Cashman said just today that “I will not lose out No. 1 draft pick. I would have for Cliff Lee. I will not lose our No. 1 draft choice for anyone else.”

        Maybe you would give the draft pick up for players beneath Lee. I certainly don’t begrudge my Sox giving up a draft pick for Crawford. But most people who study the impacts of relievers and draft picks agree that giving up a pick for the right to overpay a reliever is just a bad bad idea.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:44 AM

        Like I said Ari we are going to have to disagree about what qualifies as long term and what qualifies as overpaying. Perhaps Cashman is right about the pick, perhaps he isn’t. If this were the Pirates I’d probably agree with you. But the Yankees or even the Red Sox paying $8M for a “proven player” that can help the team now and for the next 2 years is like one of those teams paying him $1M. Would Soriano be worth a $1M or $2M per year for 3 years to a team like the Pirates, Indians or some some other mid/small market club where he could fill a hole in their roster? You bet he would.
        As for the comment about giving up a draft pick. I’ve read all to many times on these board comments like most draft picks never make it to the majors. Most draft picks are never going to be impact players, etc…. Since no one can assure me the Yankees can draft a “Stephen Strasburg” type player or something close to a “Stephen Strasburg” with their 31st pick. I’m all for trading it for a player that can immediately help the Yankees. Since no one “who as you say studies the impact of relievers” can see into a specific players future or tell me the 31st pick by the Yankees in the upcoming draft will be a standout for years to come I’m reminded of the old adage “A Bird In the Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush”. The Yankees have never been a team that says wait till next year and I hope they never become that type of team. You know unless Soriano retires which isn’t going to happen or he goes back to the Rays after May 1st which is extremely unlikely some team will eventually give up that prized “draft choice”. In my opinion giving up the 31st pick in the draft that there are no guarantees in should not be the impediment for the Yankees signing Soriano or any player that can help the team.

  6. Panda Claus - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    So between the Yankees and the White Sox, Soriano is today’s version of chopped liver.

    Any chance the Rays do a sign-and-trade deal since nobody seems to want to give up the Type A first-round pick for him?

    It’s about time for the Nats to spend some money again after finally getting LaRoche on-board.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      Unless I’m mistaken since Soriano is a FA and he refused arbitration once Jan. 7th comes neither the Rays nor Soriano can negotiate a new contract until May 1st.
      Soriano’s options are becoming more and more limited as time goes by. There is the outside possibility (very outside) that a team who wouldn’t lose a draft choice until the 2nd round sign him and then trade him to another team like the Yankees. But I think that possibility is so remote as to be completely discounted.
      Bottom line, it looks like Soriano and Boras are going to have to adjust their demands to be more in line with reality. Maybe even going for just a one year deal in hopes of hitting the market at a better time in 2012.

  7. baseballstars - Jan 8, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Of course the Yankees don’t want to sign him. Cashman is too busy looking at aging, over the hill players to sign (Colon and Andruw Jones). It’s what he’s done throughout his tenure. God forbid he actually considers getting possibly the best relief pitcher not named Mariano Rivera. Hitters haven’t hit over .200 against Soriano since 2006. Why would the Yankees want to spend money on a proven commodity with many great years left. Cashman would rather sign Chan Ho Park and Randy Winn.

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