After stepping in as Mariano Rivera's replacement in May and closing 42 games for the New York Yankees, Rafael Soriano decided to opt out of the final year of his contract with New York to look for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. However, things have not gone as planned for Soriano and his agent Scott Boras, as the 33 year-old closer is drawing little interest from around the league.
Soriano was scheduled to make $14 million next season with the Yankees before opting out. Once Soriano was officially a free agent, the Yankees also made a $13.3 million qualifying offer, which along with his $1.5 million buyout would have allowed him to earn $14.8 million in New York next season.
Since Soriano was given a qualifying offer from the Yankees, any team that agrees to sign him this offseason will now lose their first round draft pick, or second round pick if their first pick falls in the top ten selections of the draft. Losing a draft pick along with handing out a big contract to a player in his mid-30's has discouraged many teams from seriously pursuing Soriano.
Despite the lack of interest shown in Soriano this offseason, the veteran right-hander is still an All-Star caliber closer. In addition to his 42 saves last season, Soriano posted a 2.26 ERA and recorded 69 strikeouts in 67.2 innings. He is one of three relievers to save 40 or more games twice in the past three seasons.
If Soriano can not find a multi-year deal on the free agent market, returning to the Yankees with a one-year deal could become an option. However, Soriano would have to accept less than what he could have originally made with the Yankees and would need to return to sharing the set-up role with David Robertson, lowering the odds of a comeback to the Bronx.
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