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Yankees really, really don’t want Rafael Soriano back

Jan 7, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT

Rafael Soriano is still looking for work, with the draft pick compensation attached to signing him no doubt crushing the reliever’s potential market, but just in case anyone thought he might end up back with the Yankees …

Soriano, by the way, stepped in for Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer and saved 42 games with a 2.26 ERA. He should start some sort of support group with Kyle Lohse.

  1. pisano - Jan 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    If he had half a brain and half the greed, he wouldn’t have opted out of that contract, if I’m correct it was between 12 and 13 mil. I’ll bet that money looks real good right about now. Too bad, so sad, lets see if Boras will compensate him for the money he’ll probably lose signing for less.

    • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Well, no, he had to opt out of the contract. he should have taken the qualifying offer as that would have resulted in more money that his contract was worth. Hindsight is easy though. Also, Soriano signed his original deal with the Yankees on January 18 — so it’s not unprecedented for someone to get a solid deal this late in the offseason….

      To sum up, you’re wrong and kind of mean.

      • jonrox - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        I’ve been under the impression the last year of his contract was worth about 14m and the qualifying offer was 13.33m or so.

      • hopsbarley - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        The Yankees paid him $1.5 million when he exercised his opt-out clause. So even if Soriano wanted to remain a Yankee, it made sense to opt out and sign the qualifying offer. Then he makes $14.8 and not $14 million.

    • richbis - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Don’t know why the yanks don’t just low ball him, sign him as cheap as they can and trade him for someone or a couple of someones.

  2. stex52 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Soriano probably made a bad business decision. Too early to be sure, but probably. But why does everyone jump on a player for trying to maximize his earnings? You like to protect the interests of all those billionaire owners? Because if you think they are going to cut ticket prices when they short the players, you are kidding yourself.

    And you wouldn’t take a reasonable shot at 60 MM$ over a sure 13 MM$? We say we wouldn’t, but only because either amount is so far over our heads.

    • indaburg - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      I agree with you, stex. I think most of the schadenfreude has to do with Boras being his agent.

    • fmlondon - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      I agree. Further, the chances of Mo continuing past 2013 do not look good. My preference would be for the great one to continue, as 2014 would make him (and Derek Jeter) the first men ever to play 20 years for the Yankees. But, I doubt that Mo will do this. In considering this, allowing perhaps the second best closer in baseball to slip away is a mistake. Soriano would be very important once Mo walks into history.

      • bigharold - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        “..allowing perhaps the second best closer in baseball to slip away is a mistake…”

        I think if Rivera has a good 2013 he’ll stay around a bit longer but who knows. On the other hand, by 2014 Soriano will be 34 years old and it’s difficult to predict that he’ll maintain his game. Besides between Robertson, Chamberlain and perhaps even Hughes the Yankee can get a closer from their own roster. Paying exorbitantly for Soriano to wait for Rivera to retire would be a waste. He never looked comfortable in the set up role.

    • tuberippin - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:15 AM

      I don’t think it’s a hindsight claim to say that Rafael Soriano would have been better served taking the $14 million he had on the books for 2013 and pitch one more season behind the greatest closer in baseball history. He could have easily used that as leverage to get a fat contract from the Yankees in 2014, and not many teams pay more than the Yankees. After all, what other teams had a $13 million setup man?

      • stex52 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM

        Pretty obviously true what you say. I thought at the time he was taking a chance. But who knew that everyone in the league was going to be so protective of their draft choices? He had a great 2012. Downside looked pretty small.

        And not to interpret any of this as a fondness for Boras. Not from me.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Not one of the smartest moves that Boras could have made. Boras will probably try a sign and trade deal using a team that would only lose a second or third round pick.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      If Soriano and Boras had taken the $14 million, he could have become a free agent in 2014. There is no way that the Yankees would have made him a qualifying offer in 2014 as they are trying to reduce their payroll in that season.

      • jwbiii - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        True, but he would have hit the market a a set up man (assuming Rivera is healthy and effective) rather than a Proven Closer® coming off a 42 save season.

    • geoknows - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      The new CBA is set up so that the type of sign and trade you refer to is no longer allowed.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    At what point does signing this guy no longer involve draft pick considerations? Does he have to sit out the whole year? Past the date of the draft? Anyone know the answer?

    • geoknows - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      If I remember correctly it is either May 1 or June 1.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        Excellent. I tried looking it up and couldn’t find an answer. Thank you Geo.

      • jwbiii - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        It’s the day of the Rule 4 draft, usually in the first week of June. June 4 last year.

  5. husky2score - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    First time in awhile I have heard someone say the Yankees DON’T want somebody.

  6. onbucky96 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Anything that makes Boras look like an ass I’m all for.

  7. blzr409 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    The union was more than happy to sell out the non-union amateurs in the draft during the last CBA. Turns out the deal they agreed to ended up placing more value on first round picks than ever before.

    Gone are the days where the Tigers can not have a pick until 44th overall and still end up signing Nick Castellanos for $3.45 million. High picks have become more important as they make up the bulk of the bonus pool. If you don’t have a first rounder your whole draft class can be ruined. If you have two first rounders you have a ton of extra freedom.

    In the past the thought may have been, “Well we lost a first rounder, but we can take some chances on ‘signability’ picks later on.” Now teams have to ask, “Is he really worth that much money PLUS wasting an entire draft class?”

    • paint771 - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      Agreed. This draft pick rule is turning out to be one of the worst in baseball. All it means is that good players are getting screwed out of their market value, and teams that could really use those players are getting screwed out of being able to go for potentially difference-making guys. Because the kind of teams the need a Lohse or Soriano are the sort of teams that can’t get your Grienkes or whoever, but are still willing to pay to bring in a solid, proven guy to try to add that one or two pieces that can really make a difference – i.e. exactly the teams (not rebuilding but not spend-anything) that can least afford to give up a draft pick.

      What the hell is this solving for, and cui bono? I know purists like to bitch about money, and I suspect this rule was instantiated so teams like the Pirates or Rays actually get a return on the free agents they can’t afford to keep. But ultimately it seems to me that the teams that would need protection from the Yankees poaching their free agents are also the teams least able to gamble on a $13 million qualifying offer (which to the Yankees is nothing, but, if accepted, would cripple the Rays or Pirates). And the teams that can take that risk are, well, teams like the Yankees. And the people that are getting screwed are the players who put in their time to earn that paycheck.

      It’s f*cked, basically.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    I guess if someone loses a closer in Spring Training, it might pay off for him. But yeah, he badly misjudged his market and has to at least be losing some sleep about passing up that money from the Yanks. Is this guy misliked by his teammates? It seems like the Yankees are going out of the way to tell people how they will not resign him.

  9. chucklewis13 - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    It appear that Boris, The Avenging Agent may have over played his hand. It appears that Boris will not be able to sucker owners like the Lerners in Washington; Llitch in Detroit and formerly Tom Hicks of the Texas Rangers. MLB owners are tired of being outwitted and looking stupid in the process by the Avenging Agent. Also, most team cherish their draft picks and no team it appears, and the operative words is “appears” is willing to give Soriano a 3-4 years-14 or 15 million dollar payday and lose a No.1 draft pick in the process. There is only on Mariana Rivera and even he is working on a reduced contract this year.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      There is only on Mariana Rivera and even he is working on a reduced contract this year.

      I can forgive the multiple Boris mistakes, but Mariana, really? Did the Yanks sign Rivera’s long lost sister to pitch this year too?

  10. randygnyc - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Soriano really helped the Yankees throughout the season. This of course makes the Yankees public rebuke all that much more curious. I’m speculating that soriano really pissed off someone in the front office. Seems personal to me.

    • djpostl - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      I think it’s a mixture of things.

      A. Mo is back, Aardsma is in the pen now, Joba looked really strong the last month of season etc… The pen is deep with arms.

      B. It’s Boras. And a player opting out. They still have a bad taste in their mouth from the last time he did it to them.

      C. Part of the whole “get under the luxury tax threshold in 2014” plan has always relied on going cheap in the ‘pen. It was likely always assumed Mo would be retired by then AND Soriano would opt out.

      Those two moves alone save you somewhere in range of 22-25M just for those expired deals.

  11. djpostl - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    No matter what they say the Tigers are still out there….


    ….waiting to pounce…

    …and bail Boras out yet again.

  12. stevincinci - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Wish Lohse would be a Red again. Beats Mike Leake as an option.

  13. legacybroken - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Tigers will not sign him, they want to keep their draft pick and are happy to give Rondon every opportunity to be the closer.

  14. jetsfan79 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    The Yankees are just doing what they SHOULD have done when A-Rod opted out. That is the worst mistake besides irabu. That’s also why hank Steinbrenner isn’t even allowed in the front office, We don’t need soriano this year.

  15. jolink653 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    I love watching Boras squirm…Probably should have thought a little harder about opting out of his deal in a weak closers market…I hope Soriano fires Boras once he realizes how much money that idiot cost him

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