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Yankees probably won’t welcome back Rafael Soriano

Jan 6, 2013, 5:23 PM EDT

rafael soriano yankees getty Getty Images

Rafael Soriano had a 2.26 ERA in 67 2/3 innings last year for the Yankees while converting 42 saves in 46 opportunities. But he has struggled to attract offers on the open market this offseason because of the draft pick (and draft pool money) that a team would have to forfeit in order to ink a deal with him.

Some have suggested that he should simply return to the Yankees on a one-year contract and try again to hit it big in free agency next winter. But the New York front office apparently wants no part of that.

Anthony Rieber of Newsday brings the goods:

Closer Rafael Soriano still is a free agent, but a return to the Yankees seems unlikely. Soriano opted out of the final year of his Yankees deal after saving 42 games in place of the injured Mariano Rivera.

“I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” [Yankees general manager] Brian Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.”

Soriano would have made $14 million in 2013 had he not exercised that opt-out clause. He also declined a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees back in November. His agent is Scott Boras.

  1. cackalackyank - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    “His agent is Scott Boras”

    Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?

  2. pisano - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    cackalack….plus, they really don’t need him, I know the theory is you never have enough pitching, but their bullpen is pretty much filled up.

  3. number42is1 - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    this makes me very happy. does that make me a bad person?

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      No, it doesn’t make you a bad person, but the twinge of guilt is probably appropriate! There’s even a word for that emotion: schadenfreude

      • timasahh - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

        I love how in German when they needed a word to describe two words they just put the two words together.

      • vansloot - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        @timasahh: Whereas in English we just steal the word from another language.

  4. uyf1950 - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Serves both Soriano and Boras right. Greed it’s one of the seven deadly sins.

    • albertmn - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      Wrath and Pride are also two of the 7 deadly sins, and your snarky comment smacks of both. You Yankee fans may want to watch yourself when you start accusing others of committing any of the 7.

      • albertmn - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        I should clarify that I don’t have a problem with snarky comments. But, don’t call out someone else for something (one of the deadly sins) if you are doing the same thing.

      • bbil2012 - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:22 AM

        Don’t even bother with them.

    • bigharold - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      “Serves both Soriano and Boras right. Greed …”

      Why are the players only the ones that get accused of being greedy? It was a business decision pure and simple, .. it may turn out to be a bad one but it was neither poorly thought out or greed. After filling in for Rivera last season it was his best chance to get a 3-5 year deal he was trying to get. It might have been smarter to wait until the Yankee contract played out but that would have made him yet another year older and another year removed from his very strong 2012 performance. It was a calculated risk, .. not greed.

      • ditto65 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:24 AM

        Of course he did opt out of a $14,000,000 contract year and a $13,300,000 qualifying offer hoping to get more. I smell a hint of greed…

      • bigharold - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        Opting out and turning down the Yankee offer was a strategic business decision. I don’t agree that greed was the motivating factor.

        He wanted a long term deal, 3-*5 years. He had just proven that he was more than capable being a top flight closer with his impressive performance last season. Considering that and the fact that by delaying it another year he’s not only another year older but another year removed from showcasing his closer skills it was a calculated risk. One which might not work out for him but seemed to be worth taking.

        My real issue here is why is it the players are always called out for being greedy? Everybody involved in the game from the owner to the guy selling hot dogs does it for the money but the players are always the ones that are greedy. Not a single player is playing MLB for the love of the game so to that extent they’re all greedy. But neither is a single owner. What happens on the field and to a large extent in the clubhouse is baseball, .. the rest is business. He made a business decision that looks like it’s not working out for him, .. at the moment. I see no reason to inject a pejorative moral component to a rational strategic decision. If anything suggesting greed speaks to the under lying issue that MLB players are obscenely overpaid considering the value they bring to society. Which is why we take a certain amount of satisfaction when one ask for a salary and has to settle for less, .. or as in this case far less. Whether they are overpaid with relation to the economic value the provide is completely another issue. But, in the end I’d rather some player got overpaid occasionally than some owner, .. usually already a very wealthy individual, .. merely pocket more profit. Nobody ever paid a nickel to see an owner do anything.

  5. American of African Descent - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    I have no problem with players negotiating opt-out clauses, or exercising those clauses. But I also have no sympathy when a player who opts out winds up with a pay cut.

    (Why the Yankees didn’t show such testicular fortitude when A-Rod opted out of his contract, I still don’t understand.)

    • cackalackyank - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      To answer your parenthetical question in two words…Red Sox

      • number42is1 - Jan 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        I thought the two words were “no balls”

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        I gave you a thumbs up for “parenthetical”. Well done!

    • uyf1950 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      The reason(s) could be because A-Rod was coming off a career year (2007) and had just won his 2nd MVP Award in the last 3 years and he was still only 31 years old, and arguably the best player in MLB at the time. Those are 4 pretty good reasons to me.

    • lazlosother - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Cashman wanted to let him walk. The problem was with Hank. Notice t hat Hank has not had any real role for the Yanks since. I think they have him trussed up like Hannibal Lecter in a closet somewhere in the bowls of Yankee Stadium.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        That may be true about Hank now. But if you recall Hank was front and center after the 2009 World Series Win by the Yankees. A win that the Yankees probably would not have gotten had not Alex been with the Yankees.

      • lazlosother - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        UFY, this is true. The question is whether the Yanks might have won with someone else at third, as well as how much that WS is worth. The A-Rod contract was never one that looked good, and even NY can only spend so much.

    • djpostl - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      They did, in a sense.

      Cashman took a hard line stance and only after Aroid went around him and had Warren Buffett reach out to Hank Steinbrenner did anything happen.

      Arod, without Boras, brokered the deal with Hankenstein who then ordered Cashman to make to finalize it.

      This is why Hankenstein was then chased off by towns folk with pitchforks and torches, leaving Hal Steinbrenner running the show.

  6. dalucks - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    As a Mets fan, I would like to see the Mets sign him. If all else fails, he can sign with the Mets for 1 year on a minimum deal if he does not get any other offers.

    • albertmn - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      I doubt he will have to settle for a minimum deal. He may not get $13 million, but it will likely be closer to that than to the minimum.

  7. mdac1012 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Brian Cashman wanted no part of A-Rod after he opted out, that was a Hank “Fredo” Steinbrenner decision to bring him back. And if you notice, Hank is no longer the brother in charge, he now takes a backseat to little brother Hal.

    • djpostl - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      I like Hankenstein but Fredo works too

  8. raysfan1 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    So, Boras free agent clients are ultimately being hurt by a clause in the CBA the owners wanted (rookie $ pool) to keep a lid on bonus demands by Boras rookie clients. Delicious. Now Boras is desperately hunting for loopholes. Bet next year middling free agents given qualifying offers take them.

  9. jwbiii - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Nine players were given qualifying offers; all refused. Five of them have signed contracts. Two stayed with their previous teams, so no draft picks were gained or lost:
    Josh Hamilton/Tex/LAA/5/$125M/Michael Moye
    Hiroki Kuroda/NYY/NYY/1/$15M/Octagon – Steve Hilliard
    David Ortiz/Bos/Bos/2/$26M/SFX – Fernando Cuza
    Nick Swisher/NYY/Cle/4/$56M/MVP – Dan Lozano
    B.J. Upton/TBR/Atl/5/$75M/Larry Reynolds

    The four who are still free agents:
    Michael Bourne/Atl/Scott Boras
    Adam LaRoche/WsN/SFX – Mike Milchin
    Kyle Lohse/StL/Scott Boras
    Rafael Soriano/NYY/Scott Boras
    There’s been a lot of chatter about Bourne and LaRoche recently, so I expect them to sign fairly soon. About the only thing I’ve read about Lohse and Soriano is that teams are unwilling to give up a draft pick for them. It looks like Boras misread the market value of high round draft picks with the new draft bonus cap rules.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Prince Fielder signed around 1/24 last year, so there’s still plenty of time. And people should really go back and re-read those threads, see all the Boras bashing the days before because it sounds just like this drivel posted above.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/24/the-prince-fielder-contract-all-kinds-of-crazy/

      • djpostl - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        As long as Boras has the Tigers to reach out to in order to get bailed out he always has hope.

      • jwbiii - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        church, I’m anything but a Boras basher. He does an excellent job of getting his clients what they want. The only commentary in my comment is the last sentence; the rest are factual statements. If you think it is drivel, then I would prefer to agree to disagree until we see how this plays out.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:30 AM

        Sorry jw, the drivel comment wasn’t directed towards you to but to the “Borass” comments. The guy has made millions getting his client top dollar each year. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. Why people have such disdain for a guy doing his job is beyond me.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      Am I the only one that noticed that 3/4 of the ones unsigned have Boras as an agent, and the other one is probably the next to be signed?

  10. Detroit Michael - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    It’s kind of strange that Soriano opted out and (so far) that doesn’t look like a successful ploy. You would think he already would have felt schooled once before that the free agent market for expensive relievers can be thin sometimes.

    • jarathen - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      A serious misunderstanding of how the market is starting to revalue relievers, especially “closers.” As more and more sabermetric guys run their teams, so-called “closers” are gong to find that their services, while valued, aren’t worth $15 million-plus annually.

  11. louhudson23 - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    I know it is rather stupid on my part,but Soriano’s inane habit of jerking his shirt out of his pants while scowling causes me to dislike him. I have no idea why he does this,but it is a silly sight to be sure.Equally silly,I suppose is my reaction to it,but there it is.

  12. jonrox - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    The problem is that he wants to be paid like Mariano Riviera, but he’s in a different league. Over the last two seasons, Soriano has been a pretty great reliever, but great reliever contracts are 5-10m per, not 15.

    Jonathan Broxton got a 3 year, 7m per deal. Given the draft pick issue, I don’t think Soriano should get more than that. The problem is that he wants double that

  13. jfk69 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:19 AM

    Mark this post
    Soriano will sign with the Tigers. The problem is it won’t be for the amount he and Boras thinks he is worth.

  14. theskinsman - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    Why would the Yanks need him? Mo is back, and guys his age never get hurt or lose effectiveness. Besides, Soriano isn’t over 40. I understand not wanting to pay him what he wants, but not interested at all? Curious.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:44 AM

      Because the cost vs production is way too high. The production of Rivera>Soriano> Robertson>Joba from Rivera> Robertson>Joba>Eppley/whomever is marginal; however, it’d cost at least ten million more if not 13/14…

  15. hieronymous27 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    Given the Tigers inability to draft and develop players of major league caliber they should just go ahead and bite the bullet and sign Soriano. With the exception of Alex Avila their farm system has been a bust for the better part of ten years. The best they have done, other than Avila, in terms of every day players is Bosch, who they are trying to trade.

    • jonrox - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      Ever heard of Verlander? Him alone basically refutes your argument.

      But, nevertheless, Granderson, Matt Joyce, and Cameron Maybin were drafted by the Tigers before he was traded. Bonderman was looking very good until some bad luck happened and his arm fell off. For all of Porcello’s problems, he’s still been a very good pitcher considering his age. Jacob Turner could be a #1 starter next year, and was another draft pick.

      The Tigers can draft players. They’ve just been big movers in trades in the last five or so years, so they haven’t held onto a lot of their top guys (not to say they didn’t get anything in return). You also have to keep in mind that Nick Castellanos has been their only first rounder in like four years because of free agent signings, and he was a compensation pick (not to mention he looks like he’s going to be an All Star some day).

      I’d say the Tigers are doing just fine at drafting, developing, AND valuing talent

  16. banger60 - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Now he can walk around with his shirt tail out all the tme.

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