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Tigers unlikely to be talked into signing Rafael Soriano

Dec 16, 2012, 10:12 AM EDT

rafael soriano getty Getty Images

Scott Boras has been trying to set up the Tigers and reliever Rafael Soriano since the Winter Meetings began. And perhaps even before. But it does not sound like the Detroit decision-makers are enticed.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports heard from sources inside the Tigers front office on Saturday that owner Mike Ilitch “won’t be talked into Soriano.” Perhaps that’ll change if the asking price drops. Or maybe there’s truly a strong belief within the organization that Bruce Rondon is ready for a shot at closer.

The Tigers just committed a five-year, $80 million contract to right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez and don’t seem inclined to turn around and throw big money at a ninth-inning man.

Soriano registered a superb 2.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 69/24 K/BB ratio across 67 2/3 frames this past season for the American League East-champion Yankees while converting 42 saves in 46 opportunities.

The 32-year-old free agent is believed to seeking a multi-year contract worth $10 million annually.

  1. tigers182 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    He’s a 32 year old reliever, with little closing experience and will cost $10 million/year and a first round draft pick. Yah wonder why no one has made an offer yet?

    • raysfan1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      He has 116 saves in the last 4 years, so I have to disagree with “little closing experience.” However, relievers are not worth as much as starters; so to be worth 8 figures, I feel that closer would have to be truly elite. Rafael Soriano is not, in my opinion, at that level.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Closers can be made. When their price reaches a certain amount, then unless they’re a great like Mariano, it’s not very wise to throw a lot of money at them.

      The Pirates are looking to get something for Hanrahan while he’s at his peak and due for a salary around $7M, while the Indians are looking to do the same with Chris Perez who’s at about he same salary level. Reportedly no one is returning calls offering very much.

      I like Scott and his MO in cases like this is to hold on to the guy and hope for either: 1) a panicked owner or GM, or 2) an injury to a contending teams closer in spring training or early in the season – and if/when those things happen, the Pirates and Indians will be on the phone immediately to the impacted parties.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    I have this wonderful image of Scott Boras with his knee planted on a prone Mike Illitch’s back, bending one of Illich’s arms behind him painfully, digging a knuckle into the base of Illitch’s skull with his free hand and gently whispering in his ear about all of Soriano’s upside.

    • missthemexpos - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Interesting image, myself I picture a small room, Boras and Ilitch each on an uncomfortable fold up chair, steel desk in between, with a lone 60 watt light bulb dangling overhead. On the desk a thick binder extolling the pitching abilities of Soriano, and Boras whispering to Ilitch to look closely at all the information compiled in the binder before coming to the correct decision.

      • Old Gator - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        That would be an excellent moment for Illitch to ask Dave Dombrowski to lower the cone of silence.

  3. historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    So, the Tigers are NOT kicking Soriano’s tires….wait, how many days has it been since we’ve had a post about who the Red Sox are hot on today? What?!

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      We need an update on Napoli and what is holding up his contract signing.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        Well, you better start a rumor on that.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        Why? It is obvious that Napoli flunked his physical.

  4. pisano - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    I’ll bet that 13+mil one year contract the Yankees offered is looking pretty good right about now.

  5. legacybroken - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Haha OG, though I imagine that Boras would get Jon Heyman to do the dirty work for him.

  6. lumpyf - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Ilitch is 83. Boras knows he’ll eventually catch him in one of his forgetful moments and get the deal done. “

    • beelza - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      Nah, Ilitch is old but still lucid enough to realize he can’t be alone in a room with a slithering snake like Boras. Enter Mike’s son Chris and a gaggle of lawyers from Ilitch Holdings.

  7. American of African Descent - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I don’t begrudge the athletes one dime of their incredible salaries. However, I do like seeing a player opt out of his contract and then wind up with a lower salary. (I sincerely wish that had happened to A-Rod.)

  8. beelza - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Aunt Esther, on behalf of Mike Ilitch, responds to Boras regarding Soriano contract demand.
    Esther say: N*gg* Puhleeez!” “You must be out yo’ damn mutha f****n’ mind.” 2 years, 16 million and a great chance to play in the ALCS. Ilitch has bailed Boras’ ass out, now it’s time for it to go the other way. These agents are just as slimy as a politicians.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Mike Ilitch has a black Aunt Esther who’s gangsta?

  9. chacochicken - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    But Scott Boras says the Tigers need(!) Soriano. That has to count for something. He showed up at my house once in a truck full of meat and said he had a few boxes left and he just really needed to get rid of them and it would be a real deal. He explained that I needed the meat and he could get his bonus. I ended up paying 38 million over 3 years. Sadly most of the meat spoiled half way through the second season.

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