Update: Rafael Soriano officially opts out of contract


3:45pm: Soriano has officially opted out of his contract, the Yankees announced. He’ll receive a $1.5M buyout on his way out the door. Heyman says that Randy Levine asked Scott Boras what it would take to keep Soriano in pinstripes, but the agent said it was best for him to explore free agency first.

9:10am: As expected, Rafael Soriano will opt-out of the final year of his contract today according to Jon Heyman. Today is the deadline for option decisions, and the Yankees will make the right-hander a qualifying offer by Friday to ensure draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Click here for the full offseason schedule.

Soriano, 32, pitched to a 2.26 ERA (3.32 FIP) in 67.2 innings this year. He went 42-for-46 in save chances after Mariano Rivera went down with a knee injury in early-May. The Yankees signed him to a three-year, $35M contract prior to 2011, and he’ll be leaving $14M on the table in favor of a potential multi-year deal. Brandon League’s new three-year, $22.5M deal with the Dodgers is a good indication that someone will pay Soriano handsomely this winter, though it did take a potential suitor away. I think the only way the Yankees look to bring him back is if Rivera retires.

Categories : Asides, Transactions


  1. Austin Aunelowitzky says:

    Because of the way the team is constructed now, and all the moves they have to make this offseason, as well as the longet term eye on how moves this year could effect the payroll target for ’14 and ’15, I view this positively. Still going to take some magic from Cashman to figure out all the moving parts, but this gives more flexibility. Kudos to Soriano for a great year.

  2. Murderers' Row Boat says:

    If the Rays can keep finding top of the line closers in washed out relievers, the Yankees can do the same. I say let the bum walk.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      “Bum” is kinda strong. While I hated his contract, he was good for the Yankees. That said, I’m all for letting him walk as well. Don’t re-sign him, even if Mo retires. Time to move on and gain some payroll flexibility in ’14 and beyond. Of course, if he wants to come back at 13.3M for a year instead of 14M, that’s fine too. :-)

      • Murderers' Row Boat says:

        I’m not a fan of any pitcher who says “I can only pitch well in the closer’s role.” That’s just a cop-out for a pitcher who wants to be paid closer money when he has focus issues.

  3. Blake says:

    Offer the qualifying offer

  4. Eddard says:

    He was an unsung hero last season but he’s going to be too expensive to keep. Let’s just hope Levine or Hank doesn’t offer him a 10 year deal. We’ve got a good enough pen if Mo returns. Joba, DRob, and Mo.

  5. Dela G says:

    offer the qualifying offer and let him go

  6. Jack says:

    draft pick>>>paying reliever 14m

  7. The DonSlaught says:

    We’ve been spoiled because we’ve had the best closer (maybe ever) on our team for years.

    But objectively, it’s a pretty overvalued spot.

  8. LarryM., Fl. says:

    I thank Soriano for his performances and ability to help us win. This game is a business. You can’t fault him for trying to do the best for himself. If he comes back to the Yankees looking for a contract. I suggestthe conversaion be guided by Mariano’s situation. Maybe just maybe if the Yankees gave Robertson another oppt. or Joba and Ardsma. They may find a needle in the haystack. But I would not offer anywhere near 3@45 million. I would be league average or slightly higher because of tax and living costs in NYC and the burbs.

  9. Mark in VT says:

    Assuming that he goes elsewhere and the Yanks get the draft pick, would the contract now look like it was worth it? He saved the Yanks’ butts when Mo went down.
    I don’t necessarily think this way, I’m just throwing it out there…

  10. For one last time’s sake:


  11. Greg says:

    Boras is a master, but it will be interesting to see where he lands Soriano. If NYY is out, and BOS is definitely out, where do you find a landing spot for a guy who wants 3/$36M or so? Didn’t the Giants (Romo) vs. Tigers (Valverde) series just show that paying big bucks for relievers is a fools game?

  12. kevin w. says:

    If Mo retires and they re-sign Soriano that basically scraps the $189 plan huh? Then they have to resign Robbie, replace Granderson, re-sign/replace Hughes, est. I’m starting to wonder how they are going to approach this whole budget thing.

  13. Gotta let him walk. Offer the qualifying minimum and pick up a draft pick. As valuable as he was this year, it’s time Yankees spend smart, not hard. Don’t pay for closers unless their name is Mariano Rivera.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      it’s time Yankees spend smart, not hard

      Provided they truely intend to stay under the self-imposed $189M salary limit.

  14. Kosmo says:

    the Yanks would be foolish to re-sign Soriano. His health is always been an issue, he´s never been able to put more than 2 good years together.

  15. Andrew Brotherton says:

    Hopefully the Brewers or Phillys sign him so we can get a high pick in the draft, if the Rangers sign Swisher which we expect then we’d also get the 27th I believe, so we could be looking at the 16th and the 27th along with our 29th pick come draft time.

  16. 0-fur is murder says:

    Good thing it was Randy Levine and not Hank Steinbrenner who asked what it would take to keep him after he opted out. Last time that happened was with A-Rod. Someone remind me how that went???

  17. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    Good riddance, thanks for 1 good year this year and the comp pick we’ll get when you sign elsewhere. Also it shows how classy BorASS is when he doesn’t even reply to Levine when asked what it would take to keep him in pinstripes even though I for one don’t want him here.

    • 0-fur is murder says:

      It’s a business. Soriano wants the best deal possible. No use in opting out just to resign right away. He wants to test the open market, his right. It would be kind of funny if he couldn’t find something close to the money he would have made on 2013 with the Yankees :)

  18. Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

    Thanks for a wonderful year in 2012 MFIKY. For whatever reason, as seen above, a lot of the fanbase hated you but I couldn’t be more grateful for what you did for us this season. Honestly without Levine’s stupidity combined with Raul Ibanez’s incredible clutchness we wouldn’t have made the playoffs this year.

  19. Joe says:

    Levine has a huge man crush on Soriano. When have you ever heard a team president beg an agent to make a player stay. Something smells fishy.

  20. Fernando says:

    Well, he did have a solid year filling in for Mo. I suspect that he’ll sign with Detroit, as the Dodgers already went berserk signing Brandon League for $22M for 3 years. At worst, he comes back and at best the team will net a draft pick and free up money for other spots. Hoping for the later and a return from Mo.

  21. Eddard says:

    Stupid Boras. When Levine asked what it would take to keep Soriano in pinstripes Boras should have replied 10 years, $200 million because Levine would have snap accepted. Something tells me we’re gonna be stuck with Soriano for a while.

  22. RkyMtnYank says:

    Management just never learns

  23. LitFig says:

    I figured that Sori would opt out. Good business move on his part.

    Offer him the QO, you win either way. Even if Sori and Mo came back, you’d have a sick bullpen for 2013. If he signs elsewhere, you get the comp pick.

    Part of me kinda hopes Sori signs elsewhere AND Mo retires. Most fans shit their pants at the idea of not having an established closer, but I’m not afraid of uncertainty.

    Yank fans crave certainty in an enterprise where none exists.

    • TomH says:

      I think the only way the Yankees look to bring him back is if Rivera retires. Perhaps he ought to step on the gas re this decision.

  24. Chuck says:

    How about haren? Not as a closer just in general.. Made us look bad a few times

  25. JonS says:

    Ugh i hate when Levine gets involved. You may be president of baseball operation but thats y you hire a GM to do. All Levines moves have been terrible. Hes one guy i cant stand in the yankee organization, wish he was gone, give Cash his role cuz hes more respected around the league and get a GM to do the dirty work

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