Yankees open to two year deal with Soriano?

Since the offseason began, one thing that’s been taken as a given more than any other expected outcome was that, should Rafael Soriano opt out of the final year of the contract he signed after the 2010 season, the Yankees would be unwilling to give him a multi-year contract as they try to get under the luxury tax threshold before 2014. And for the most part that’s exactly what all reports have said to date, but now Jon Heyman dishes that the Yankees would be “amenable” to a two year contract after all. There’s not a lot of detail there, just that they don’t feel inclined to put two years on the table just yet, but apparently might if they feel like they need to/can get a good deal on bringing Soriano back.

On the other hand, Joel Sherman reports that teams are finally wising up to how fungible closers are, and speculates that the market for them could be pretty dry in comparison to recent years. That hasn’t stopped Scott Boras from seeking a four year, $60 million contract for Soriano, however, at least if Randy Levine is to be believed.

All in all, I think there’s a little bit of truth to both reports. I do suspect that teams are realizing you don’t have to spend big money on free agents to build a strong bullpen, and that the value of an “established closer” is wildly overrated, but at the same times there are enough deep pocket contenders in need of relief help that Soriano should probably be able to find a job pretty easily, so long as he doesn’t price himself out of the market. Then again, that’s what Boras did with Ryan Madson last year, and Soriano before that, so that’s certainly not a given.

As for the Yankees, I just can’t see them handing out more than one year to a reliever of Soriano’s caliber right now. The 2014 austerity mandate means that sacrifices will have to be made somewhere, and a bullpen that’s already strong on paper with the players under control is a good place to start. Soriano makes plenty of sense as an insurance policy/heir apparent to Mariano Rivera if he’s willing to continue playing that role for at least one more season, but that’s a luxury the Yankees can’t afford under current plans. It would certainly be curious, to put it mildly, for the Yankees to bring back Soriano while Nick Swisher and (possibly) Russell Martin leave, given the quality of the Yankees’ bullpen at the moment.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

6 thoughts on “Yankees open to two year deal with Soriano?

  1. uyf1950

    The Giants signed Affeldt for about $18MM over 3 years. The Dodgers re-signed League for 3 years at $22MM. Anyone see the common denominator here? It’s 3 year deals. No way Soriano signs for less then 3 years and at least $30MM. And there will be at least one team willing to go that high and probably a little more. You can scratch the Yankees of any list, he’s not going to be a Yankee in 2013.

    • That’s not a ton of money, though, in relation to the salary that Soriano walked away from. I sort of feel like the Tigers may make another splurge this winter, especially if they can find someone to unload V-Mart on, but it’s still hard to say how much Soriano can realistically expect to come away with. Especially if Boras’ initial demands scare people off.

  2. Shawn

    Isn’t this the same Jon Heyman that is essentially a mouth piece for Scott Boras? If so anything he says about a Boras client should be taken as a huge grain of salt. Remember the the articles on Damon?

  3. jay robertson

    I could see the Yankees giving him 3 years at $21 mil. Not saying he’d take it – but I don’t see him getting three at 42 million again either.

  4. uyf1950

    Sorry but I’m against the Yankees re-signing Soriano for any more then 1 year. Personally I want to see a Yankees bullpen for the 2014 with either Robertson or Joba as the closer and Mark Montgomery as the set up guy assuming he gets a shot at showing his stuff in Spring Training in 2013 and as a late season call up for 2013. Then if he performs the way I think we all hope, turn over the closing reins to him in 2015 for the next 10 years. The time is quickly approaching for the Yankees to give some of their highly touted prospects a chance both on the mound and in the field over the next 2 years. Use them or lose (trade) them. Just my opinion.

  5. Jacques

    I would just go with low-risk, high reward Joakim Soria

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