After getting swept by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, the Yankees head into the winter with many questions. One of those questions pertains to closer Rafael Soriano. Will he opt out? If so, will the Yankees re-sign him? Though it’d be great to have Soriano for at least one more year (2013 is the final year of his contract he signed with New York prior to 2011), the Yankees may have to move on without him.
Mariano Rivera in the
closer’s role. He recorded 42 saves, filling in for number 42, which was
good for third most in the American League, with his first coming on
May 10. He also posted strong strikeout and walk rates, 9.2 K/9 and 3.2
BB/9, respectively, in 69 games and 67.2 innings while pitching to a
2.26 ERA. To say he was a rock is an understatement, and because of this
it would not be a surprise if he opts-out.
According to Joel Sherman, HERE,
it’s almost a certainty that Soriano will in fact opt-out. His agent,
Scott Boras, strongly suggested that his client will do so saying,
“There is a strong chance he (Soriano) would have tremendous value as a
According to Jon Heyman, HERE,
the Yankees will give Soriano a qualifying offer if he opts-out. This
is basically a 1-year $13.3 million offer sheet that players can accept
or decline. If a player accepts it, they’ll of course earn $13.3M the
next year before hitting the free-agent market again. If they decline
it, however, they are free to sign elsewhere, but once they sign that
team’s first round pick disappears and the team that lost the player
gets a compensation-round draft pick.
The final question,
though it won’t involve the Yankees directly, is where will Soriano land
if he hits the open market? In Sherman’s column, he suggests the Red
Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Nationals, and Giants as suitors. The one team he
left off that should at least consider him is the Detroit Tigers. I see
Soriano signing a deal similar to what he signed with the Yankees in
2011, this time with Detroit. The teams that Sherman mentioned all have
decent options at closer, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe Detroit’s
running on a tight budget, considering they signed Prince Fielder to a
huge deal, but we saw first-hand how undependable Jose Valverde is.
We’ll see how it plays out.
We'll never forget the Untuck!
--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse
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