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The Yankees are apparently still in on Rafael Soriano

Jan 8, 2011, 3:06 PM EDT

Rafael Soriano Rays

According to Jon Heyman of, the Yankees are still in on free agent reliever Rafael Soriano.

This seems curious given that just yesterday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Chad Jennings of the Journal News that he is not willing to surrender the team’s first-round draft pick. If the Yankees were to sign Soriano, a Type A free agent, the 31st pick in next year’s First Year Player Draft would go to the division rival Rays.

Soriano’s agent Scott Boras said just the other day that his client would be willing to be a set-up man for Mariano Rivera. And why wouldn’t he say that, really? Just having the Yankees in the conversation could help breathe some life into what has become a pretty limited market for the free-agent reliever.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Maybe Brian is finally starting his head-fakes. Would welcome this addition.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      Cross your fingers and your toes. Would love to see the bullpen made up of: Feliciano, Logan, Robertson, Soriano and Riveria. Get Pettitte back for one more year and the pitching staff looks pretty darn good with CC, Pettitte, Hughes, AJ (has to be better than in 2010) and Nova with Mitre as the long relief guy now.
      One name I left off the list was Joba. Because if Soriano is signed, Joba and one of the catching prospect (Romine or maybe ever Cervelli) might be attractive to a mid or low revenue team as a trade for a pitcher like Cleveland’s Carmona (who progressively becomes more expensive in 2011 & 2012) . Maybe even see if the Astro’s might be interested in trading Meyers who is scheduled to make $11M in 2012. Just thinking out loud.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        As usual, I agree with you on most matters concerning the Universe. The biggest difference is that you keep trying to keep the payroll at $200M, where I would have no problem bumping it up to $230M if and when the right people are available. Guess that why I take heat about my disappointment in not getting Crawford and using Gardner as fourth outfielder.

        Get the best-pay the most-maintain a dynasty.If it’s overkill, it’s to keep the brand on top.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        To yankeesfanlen – The only reason why I keep referencing their 2010 opening day payroll is because every time I read anything from the Yankees management or Cashman they seem intent on keeping payroll at that level. I try and point out in my comments they can still do that and sign who they need to to improve.
        About Gardner. I think his future is very, very bright with the Yankees. Also I think the last thing the Yankees needed was another position player Crawford) with a very long term contract that would go out to 2018. If the Yankees ever had it in their mind to sign Crawford I would have much preferred they sit Granderson and move Gardner over to center. Besides if they moved Gardner to the 4th outfielder that would mean that Jeter would lead off all season because Crawford primarily likes to bat second and we all know how Jeter looked the 2nd half of last season in the lead off spot. If need be at some point in the season they could have traded Granderson. But that’s all moot at this point.
        Getting back to Gardner for a minute. I would hate for the Yankees to have done something with him after the year he had in 2010. I don’t want the same thing to happen to him that happened to Joba. That’s just my opinion.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 9, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        Uh-oh, we’re not on the same page on the Granderson thing. I was beginning to think that all the talk from Detroit was right, then he had that miraculous recovery after the brief sit-down vs. Texas in August when Kevin Long did some kind of magic act with him. He’s also just about the most articulate player in the MLB.
        I supported Gardner all along and still do, and you’re right about Beep-beep, Gardner would bat 9th and get on and then have the Captain DP the whole thing.
        Lastly, would love to see the bullpen mentioned- then if whoever as starter can get through 5 innings without giving away the farm we can sail from there (minus THE FAT TOAD of course) and score our runs in the 7th-9th, which we do anyway.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        To yankeesfanlen – I agree with you about Granderson and his late season surge. But I need to be convinced with a little more then 45 days improvement. If it continues this season I will be the first to admit it. I’m not from Missouri, but I believe in “show me”. I hope you’re right about him, it sure would help the already explosive offense. If he does improve I would love to see the batting order with Gardner, Granderson, Cano, ARod, Tex, Swisher, Posada (DH), Martin/Montero, Jeter. I know that’s never going to happen Jeter will never, never bat 9th. Just thinking out loud.

  2. thinman61 - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Jon Heyman… Scott Boras… you do the math.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:21 PM


      • D.J. Short - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

  3. pisano - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    In the words of the Beatles:” Let it be “

  4. scottp9 - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    The Yankees could avoid losing the draft pick if they worked out the baseball equivalent of a “sign and trade” with the Rays – there is a mechanism for such introduced in recent years to deal with the problem of burdensome Type A compensation, especially for relief pitchers.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      I was under the impression there was no sign-and-trade in baseball. What’s the mechanism? Is there precedent for using it?

      • Kevin S. - Jan 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Yeah – Rafael Soriano, last year. A player signing a free-agent contract can’t be traded until April 15th without his consent… but Soriano gave his consent, and the Rays sent the Braves Jesse Chavez.

      • scottp9 - Jan 11, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        I don’t think it has been done yet – Soriano last year doesn’t count, as he took himself out of the free agent market by accepting arbitration – but it’s possible. The player and prospective new club would agree to contract terms, the player would actually sign with his old club, and the old club would trade him to the new club. Would need the union’s and Commissioner’s blessing for the two teams to talk, though, or else it would be collusion.

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    The CBA in MLB prohibits the players previous team from bargaining with him once he declined arbitration and Jan. 7th deadline has passed. The Rays can not negotiate with Soriano until May1st.
    As I previously mentioned the only way for the Yankees to get him without giving up Cashman’s coveted 31st selection in the upcoming draft for another team that wouldn’t be giving up a draft choice until the 2nd round to sign and trade him to the Yankees.
    I still say Cashman and the Yankees should do it. Give up the choice take the bird in the hand forget the one in the bush. The future is now.

    • scottp9 - Jan 9, 2011 at 12:18 AM

      Those are the old rules. There is no January 7 deadline anymore, and free agents are free to negotiate with their former clubs with no restrictions. Also, it is now permissible for the Yankees and Soriano to negotiate a contract and separately for the Yankees and the Rays to negotiate compensation – the mechanism to avoid draft-choice compensation would be that the Rays would agree to sign Soriano to the contract and then trade him to the Yankees for the agreed-upon compensation.

  6. uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    I’ve said for several weeks now the Yankees have committed about $180M in their opening day payroll tha’st accounting for arbitration awards to Hughes, Joba and the rest of the crew and including the contracts to Rivera, Jeter, Martin and Feliciano. That leaves them approximately $25M in the kiddie so to speak for additional signings without exceeding their 2010 opening day payroll.
    The way I see it they can sign Soriano and Pettitte (if he come back) and have money for Jones if that’s they way they want to go. Then at the end of the 2011 season Posada’s, Marte’s and Pettitte’s salary (if he comes back in 2011) will come off the books. That’s approximately $30M+, more then enough to sign a front line starter and someone else if necessary for the 2012 season.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

      Dude. The Sox have no issues with their rotation. Only Lester and Buchholz are great pitchers, but that’s one more than the Yankees have. Pretty sure they can find a better #3 than Burnett out of Beckett, Lackey, and Matsuzaka. Heck, two of those three were better than Burnett last year.

      Problem is there aren’t any frontline starters next year. Best one is Sabathia if he opts out and Oswalt if he doesn’t. Then you’ve got some good-but-not-great starters in Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Wandy Rodriguez, and C.J. Wilson. After 2012 there’s an amazing crop of starters (although of course many won’t reach FA).

      Not a lot of hitters, either. Bautista’s probably the best one (and I’m a believer he can be a 35-HR guy), but he’s also gonna be over 30. Then you’ve got some OFs with question marks, like Beltran and Crisp and DeJesus. No good catchers (assuming you even wanna upgrade over Martin/Montero), and obviously the IF would be tough to upgrade.

      Yankees could really reload after 2012, though. Again, half of these guys could be re-signed by then, but: Cain, Hamels, Greinke, Liriano, Weaver, Billingsley, Marcum, Danks. Even if only two or three of those guys reach FA, the Yankees could have their pick of another frontline guy.

      Plus, they have some nice SP prospects coming up.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 8, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        Ugh, accidentally pasted a reply to another comment at the beginning. Umm. Pretend my comment started with the second paragraph. I didn’t mean to get into an argument about Sox/Yanks rotations with YOU, uyf. Was staying on-topic. I meant to argue rotations with someone else. : )

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2011 at 10:35 PM

        First when I said “front line starter I meant a #2. Second, I doubt Sabathia will “opt out” he already said he had no intention of doing that. Third, I actually do believe that one or the other Oswalt or the Phillies will NOT exercise their option in 2012. Fourth, I believe Carpenter has a club option for 2012 that may or may not get exercised if the Cardinals need to cut payroll to sign Pujols. Fourth, C.J. Wilson might be available for the 2012 season if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Rangers he wouldn’t be a bad signing as a #2. Fifth, there is always a trade option come 2012 and possibly even at the 2011 trade deadline. Remember 2 pretty decent pitchers that were still under contract just got traded, (Greinke & Garza). Then you are correct their is a very good crop that will be available come 2013.
        About the Yankees offense. I’m not concerned in the slightest about the Yankees offense. I really think that Jeter is the only weak link in the offense. Every one of the other 8 position players (except ARod) is or will only be in their late 20’s or 31 or 32 years old come 2012. Like I’ve said numerous times already ARod is an offensive machine hitting 30+HR’s and 100+ RBI’s consistently. While he may have lost a little there are plenty of teams that would love to have those numbers in their line up. When his time is up in the field he can easily switch to DH. If Thome can DH at 40+ their is no reason why ARod can’t in say 3 years if necessary. Again, I hate to repeat myself but if the Yankees can either get Pettitte to come back or sign a #2 or #3 by the trade dealine the Yankees are set. Add on top of that if they do manage to sign Soriano they will have a lights out pitching staff. Even if they don’t in 2011, I can’t see any team displacing them for the wild card if that what it come to they are still a 90 to 95 game winning team I believe closer to 95 then 90, but that’s just my opinion. The 2011 MLB season should be a lot of fun.

  7. ambercase - Jan 9, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Test post.

  8. ambercase - Jan 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Test post

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