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.