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Rafael Soriano is going to opt out of his contract today

Oct 31, 2012, 9:41 AM EDT

rafael-soriano-yankees Getty Images

Rafael Soriano has until tonight to opt out of his contract. We’ve known for a while that he’s likely to do so, but Jon Heyman says that, yes, it will happen today.

It’s a no-brainer for him, even if he didn’t want to test the free agent market. He’s slated to make $14 million in 2013. If he opts out he gets $1.5 million. If the Yankees make him a qualifying offer — which they would be silly not to given what they’d pay him otherwise and because doing so gets them a draft pick if he leaves — it’s another $13.3 million. $13.3 million + 1.5 million = more than $14 million (Maths, I haz them).

That said, Soriano and his man Scott Boras are expected to shop his services for a multi-year deal. Closers, as a rule, are bad long term bets, although Soriano seems like a better bet than a lot of them. And given how here-today-gone-tomorrow that gig can be, even if Soriano gets a modest multi-year deal that pays him less in 2013 than he’d stand to get if he didn’t opt-out — something silly-low like two-years, $20 million — it’s more guaranteed money than he can count on otherwise.

Just ask Ryan Madson and Jose Valverde about what it’s like to plan for next year when you’re a closer.

  1. stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Very logical, as you present it. I don’t always pay that much attention to the exact monetary consequences of these CBA agreements, so it’s worthwhile to see it laid out. Thanks. It does look win-win for Soriano. That’s not even factoring in the new information that Rivera is reconsidering coming back. That should be worth a few million more for him.

    • indaburg - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Yes, thanks for laying out the monetary consequences of the new CBA. Last weekend, I read in the TBT that Upton was going to be offered $13.3 million without explanation, and I thought, wow, that’s a random number.

      True, the fact that Mariano is supposedly wavering only gives the Yankees more incentive to sweeten the pot. They do not share the same agent–I just checked. Another thing to consider is that Soriano may not want to revert to playing second fiddle again if Mariano returns now that he proved he could be a successful closer in The City. Tampa Bay doesn’t count. If you’re a great closer but no one is there to see it, did you really save the game?

      There are also a number of teams looking for closers. I wonder if the Tigers will jump into this mix.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        True, the fact that Mariano is supposedly wavering only gives the Yankees more incentive to sweeten the pot.

        I’d look at it in the complete opposite direction. Look no further than Tampa Bay, or some of the other relievers the Yanks have picked up off the scrap heap. If Rivera retires and Soriano opts out, the Yanks save almost $30M in next year’s payroll. They could slide Robertson into the closer role, move Joba into the “vaunted” 8th inning slot and keep Logan as the LOOGY. Eppley/Rapada can pick up the 6th innings. Let Swisher leave and pick up Ichiro on a 1 year deal, and now they’ve probably saved about $35M. Raises to Pettitte and Kuroda to keep them, and the Yanks have $25M to play in FA to work on a bench.

      • indaburg - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Interesting take on it, COPO. You think Robertson is ready for that responsibility? I know his 2011 was very good, but last year, he looked shaky at times.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Yeah, Tigers are in the market, but I’m kinda hoping for another upset maneuver by DD (a la Fielder) this off-season. In my dreams, it’s a switcheroo where we end up with Kimbrel (don’t you want to play for a team that wins its division?) or Chapman. Or, a little poetic justice where we end up with Romo or Wilson — whichever we can convince the Giants to shed because they don’t need both. Yeah, yeah. What? Drooling? Sorry. Okay, back to realism: who you got, Marlins?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Yes I think Robertson’s ready, as long as he can keep his walk rate down. He was only given one opportunity to close, and I think Girardi was forced to give him that one. No one is perfect, even Rivera. Yanks fans will just have to learn to live with the angst of not having the greatest be there closer.

  2. cackalackyank - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    SHOCKING! And so begins the epic saga- MLB 2013 The Quest for More Money Starring Scott Boras and a cast of (well) several.

    • Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Mike Illitch up for another best supporting oscar, no doubt…..

      • historiophiliac - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        He totally gets the honorary one for being around so long and needing a consolation prize.

  3. Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    It’s easy to be impressed with Craig’s ciphering skills – until you realize that he has more than enough fingers and toes to calculate up to 15.

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