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Rafael Soriano expected to opt out of contract with Yankees

Oct 20, 2012, 9:31 AM EDT

Rafael Soriano Getty Getty Images

Hardly shocking news here, but Rafael Soriano is expected to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the Yankees and test free agency.

Soriano has until three days after the World Series to decide whether to accept his $14 million option for next season or reject it and receive a $1.5 million buyout. Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with Soriano’s agent, Scott Boras, and while he wouldn’t definitively say his client will opt out, he did say “there is a strong chance that he would have tremendous value as a free agent.” Not difficult to read between the lines there.

Soriano, who turns 33 in December, figures to do very well in free agency after posting a 2.26 ERA, 42 saves and a 69/24 K/BB ratio over 67 2/3 innings this season while filling in for Mariano Rivera in the closer role.

The Yankees will likely make Soriano a qualifying offer if he opts for free agency in order to set themselves up for draft pick compensation. The qualifying offer is determined by the average of the top 125 salaries in the game, so it will likely be an offer in the range of $13.3-13.6 million. There’s always the chance that Soriano could accept and once again be a very expensive set-up man, but the thought is that he’ll be on the lookout for a multi-year deal on the open market.

UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that qualifying offers for free agents need to be worth $13.3 million.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Show him the money or the rat will leave the sinking ship.

    • thebadguyswon - Oct 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      As if you wouldn’t.

    • protius - Oct 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

      The sinking ship? That would be the Blue Jays….oh wait; that’s right, they’ve already sunk. They’ll be at the bottom of the sea, sucking whale shit for the next 10 or 20 years.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Good, $12M saved on a position that can be easily replaced for 1/10th the price.

    • marinersnate - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Rivera is going to sign next year for only $1.2M? Wow, that is a bargain.

  3. capone2510 - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Why would he accept the 13.3-13.6M qualifier when he can just not opt out and het paid $14 million. Makes no sense, just say he’s leaving

    • D.J. Short - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      He gets a $1.5 million buyout if he opts out. If he then accepts the qualifying offer, he would ultimately get paid more than the $14 million he would have made if he accepted his part of the option ($1.5 million + 13.3-$13.6 million = $14.8-15.1 million). Doesn’t matter much anyway, as he’s expected to try to get that multi-year deal somewhere.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Boras couldn’t get Ryan Madson a multi-year deal, coming off a very good season. Madson got $8.5M for 2012 and a mutual $11M option for 2013 ($2.5M buyout). Has Boras learned his lesson? Nah, of course not. He will rely on his mystical powers to talk some team into overpaying Soriano for 2 seasons. And it only takes one GM to say yes.

  4. philswfc08 - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Well if he declines the option and gets $1.5m buyout, then takes the qualifying offer of $13.3 – $13.6, that adds up to more than the $14m option.

  5. edelmanfanclub - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    He isn’t going to get anywhere near 14 million anywhere else, but last time someone opted out of a contract in new york they got a 10 year deal, Im guessing thats what Soriano is thinking. But seriously, relievers are not worth over 10 million even if they’re closers.

  6. pisano - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    It’s been nice Soriano, but the Yankees will make an offer to get a draft pick and let him walk if he can do better elsewhere.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      It is time for the Yankees to begin stocking draft picks.

  7. itsallgood8989 - Oct 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    he will sign a two year 6m with the Tigers……. he wants to play for a winner!

  8. theskinsman - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Anyone who thinks Mo can come back and be at his previously high level is asking a lot. What available closer looks better?

  9. cdeangelus - Oct 20, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Dropping this contract and Swisher’s contract will get the Yankees to their goal of a sub $190 million payroll. I don’t think either will come back, and I think the Yankees will gladly take the draft picks. They’ll continue to try to make Robertson the heir to Rivera.

  10. bigjimatch - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Boras knows what he is doing, just threatening to opt out will cause the Yankees to give him a multiyear exchange. I think Soriano would eather be a set up guy to Rivera, assuming he comes back.

  11. ericellers - Oct 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    If you think for minute the yanks are going to offer a ” multi year” deal let alone one year for over what the current contract states.. Then you are 100% unequivocally wrong! To prove this point all you need to do is wait and see.

  12. j0esixpack - Oct 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    The Yankees need to take care of their top priorities … Like signing A-rod to another $275 million 10 year extension so he’s in pin stripes til age 52

  13. seahawks80 - Oct 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    They should trade A-Rod and Soriano to Houston and see if thats make the happy

    • protius - Oct 21, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      Drinking and surfing the net don’t mix.

      • pisano - Oct 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        protlus…. Good one, one other thing about Soriano, any money he would have gotten would go to Mo, if he is 100%, also the Yankees have David Robertson, and he’d be fine as a closer. The reason he was dropped from closing last year was he was just coming back from an injury and didn’t look like he had much at that point, and to be honest I think Joe panicked and went immediately to Soriano, and after all they were paying him 12 mil, who wouldn’t use him. I think this will back fire on Boras, meaning the Yankees will let him opt out. as my friend says, “just my opinion”

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