Now, let’s discuss the dollars, because as we also discussed the other day, Soriano was signing for the most money regardless of role. Tyler Kepner has the details, via Twitter:
If Soriano opts out after 1 yr, he gets $11.5M. If he opts out after yr 2, he gets $21.5M total. If he stays all 3, he gets $35M.
Thirty-five million [UPDATE: $10m in 2011, $11m in 2012, $14m in 2013]. In a vacuum, I like Soriano and adding him to the bullpen will undoubtedly help shorten games and give Girardi the ability to rest Mo as needed. However, that’s a metric crap-ton of cash for a set-up guy. Of course, this shouldn’t impact the Yanks’ ability to do whatever else they need to do, either before the season or during.
On the flip side, the opt-outs are also fine by me. If Soriano wants to skedaddle after 2011 and look for more cash, fine.
RAB wizard and contributor to MLBTR, Mike Axisa, compresses the good and bad here:
The 31-year-old Soriano was the top closer on the market, but he’s going to have to serve as Mariano Rivera’s setup man with the Yankees. He pitched to a 1.73 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and just 2.0 BB/9 in 62.1 innings last year, the second straight season he’s avoided the disabled list. He’s battled elbow trouble in the past, including Tommy John surgery back in 2004. Over the last four seasons, Soriano has struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings while walking 2.7 per nine. Although his home run rate has improved in recent years (0.7 HR/9 since 2008), he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher (just 31% ground balls in his career). That could give him some problems in hitter friendly Yankee Stadium.
So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
The other problem that I have is not that we lose the draft pick, but it’s that we’re gift wrapping it to the Rays, who are already stockpiling picks in what is acknowledged to be a very deep draft:
@SPTimesRays: With #Yanks No. 31 pick, #Rays now will have 3 picks in 1st round of draft, nine before start of second
That bums me out but it’s the cost of doing business, right or wrong. But who really pulled the trigger here?
Soriano’s stats, and they are impressive:
|162 Game Avg.||2.73||66||17||77||156||1.000||6.3||0.9||3.58|
Low WHIP, low HR rate, very strong K:BB ratio. All good stuff. Injury history is there, though. Here’s what Mark Simon from ESPN Stats & Info has to say:
“Soriano’s specific strength is getting right-handed hitters out. Among active pitchers, no one has a better opponents batting average (.162), on-base percentage (.225), or OPS (.506) against right-handers than Soriano. Over the last three seasons, he’s been even better, holding right-handed batters to a .132 batting average.
Soriano throws a fastball that averages around 93 miles-per-hour. His breaking ball is very tough. He threw it for a strike 73 percent of the time in 2010, the best rate in the majors according to our Inside Edge video tracking. Hitters chased 41 percent of the breaking balls Soriano threw out of the strike zone, well above the major league average of 29 percent.”
So how do you view this signing? Love it, hate it?