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Re-tuck: The quiet end to the Soriano era

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 01, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

There was no shock or outrage. Just a nine-word sentence in a four-sentence email.

RHP Rafael Soriano has opted out of his contract.

That was yesterday’s announcement from the Yankees, a quiet end to a deal that initially created so much buzz and controversy that general manager Brian Cashman announced publicly that he never wanted to sign it in the first place.

Rafael Soriano has opted out, and perhaps the most surprising thing is that it wasn’t surprising at all.

Two years ago he signed a massive contract to be the Yankees setup man. That contract seemed like a complete bust for the Yankees when Soriano battled injury and inconsistency in 2011, but this year was a perfect storm. Mariano Rivera was hurt, and Soriano thrived in his place. It was the only scenario that could possibly lead him to back out of the deal and pass up $14 million guaranteed.

How do you view the Soriano deal today?

Clearly the Yankees took on all the risk. If Soriano had flopped this year, the Yankees would still be on the hook for a drastic overpay. Because Soriano thrived, he gets a $1.5-million buyout and the chance to look elsewhere, leaving the Yankees high and dry. Of course, the Yankees certainly got their money’s worth this season, and if Rivera decided to play again, Soriano would have been back to being a wildly expensive setup man on a team that already has the eighth inning under control.

If you could do the Soriano deal again, would you?

Associated Press photo

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85 Responses to “Re-tuck: The quiet end to the Soriano era”

  1. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I view the deal as a bad idea at the time…..but one that actually turned out as a positive as Soriano really stepped up last year…..they probably don’t make te playoffs without him in 2012.

  2. AAA November 1st, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Not sure the ends justify the means here. Soriano sucked in 2011 and while obviously much better, albeit nowhere near elite level in 2012, the fact is that if Rivera and Robertson don’t suffer significant injuries, the Yankees are almost certainly stuck with a $14M set up man this year.

  3. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:13 am

    “Not sure the ends justify the means here. Soriano sucked in 2011 and while obviously much better, albeit nowhere near elite level in 2012, the fact is that if Rivera and Robertson don’t suffer significant injuries, the Yankees are almost certainly stuck with a $14M set up man this year.”

    But Rivera did get hurt and Robertson wasn’t as good as 2011……so in the words of Joey Tribiani…..the point is Moo

  4. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:14 am

    @mlbtraderumors: Red Sox, Ortiz Talking Two-Year Deal http://t.co/ayImm4Kb #mlb

    The biggest of hairy monsters probably staying in bean town it seems

  5. ron November 1st, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Still wouldn’t do the deal.

  6. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:16 am

    “Benny Blanco says:
    November 1, 2012 at 9:09 am
    Blake which is better?

    Gardner, grandy, hunter?

    Gardner, grandy, Ichiro?

    Ichiro, grandy, hamiton?”

    # 3 in a vacuum…..but it depends on what you signed Hamilton for and what you traded Gardner for

  7. AAA November 1st, 2012 at 9:16 am

    But Rivera did get hurt and Robertson wasn’t as good as 2011……so in the words of Joey Tribiani…..the point is Moo

    ======================

    LOL. Yeah, OK. Guess I was taking the long way around answering Chad’s question. It was a terrible deal at the time, and I would not do it again.

  8. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Bottom line I think the Soriano deal was dumb….but due to circumstances it turned out ok because he really helped them in 2012 and also because they are most likely going to get a good draft pick for his departure

  9. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:19 am

    And the Yankees absolutely shouldn’t get into another dumb deal with a reliever just because circumstances caused the Soriano deal to end up having some value…..

  10. 86w183 November 1st, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Bad contract at the time… bad idea to let PAY him to opt out.

    He was not worth $ 23 M for his two years in NYC

  11. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:20 am

    One year rebound deals with Madson or Soria would be cool if they are cheap

  12. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:22 am

    “He was not worth $ 23 M for his two years in NYC”

    They probably don’t make the playoffs in 2012 without him…..it was a dumb deal at the time but looking back on what actually happened he absolutely earned his money just on 2012 alone IMO

  13. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:25 am

    If everything falls right the Yanks should have their first round pick and then 2 sandwich picks in the 2013 draft (for swisher and Soriano)……the new CBA does allow the Yanks to perhaps exploit the qualifying offer to gain picks as a lot of teams couldn’t afford to take the risk of offering 13.3 million for one year of players……they need to do a good job of reading these situations and getting as many draft picks as they can in the future

  14. 86w183 November 1st, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I don’t agree they don’t make the playoffs without him. Who knows where that money might have been spent if not on Soriano? Who know who they might have traded for after Mariano’s injury.

    Even if you conclude he was worth Mariano money ($ 15 M) in 2012 he damn sure wasn’t worth $ 8.5 M in 2011.

  15. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:32 am

    “I don’t agree they don’t make the playoffs without him. Who knows where that money might have been spent if not on Soriano? Who know who they might have traded for after Mariano’s injury.”

    I think it’s pretty difficult to assume they could have traded for a closer in season that would hav performed as well as Soriano did…..

  16. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:36 am

    You can’t get bogged down in trying to figure out if players are worth every penny they were paid…..if Soriano was the difference in making the postseason and not making the postseason in 2012 then that alone was worth 23 million dollars…..again bad and dumb deal…..but it turned out ok in the end …..and hopefully we will draft Mike Trout 2.0 with the pick we get for him and make it even better!

  17. BD (Boston Dave) November 1st, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Blake – even better reason to sign Madsen and Soria.

    If they do well, you give the qualifying offer and get a draft pick out of it while they look for multi year deals in 2014.

  18. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:40 am

    “Blake – even better reason to sign Madsen and Soria.

    If they do well, you give the qualifying offer and get a draft pick out of it while they look for multi year deals in 2014.”

    Correct sir

  19. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Although as the rules change in 2014 ….the Yanks may have less budget room to make these 13.3 million dollar offers to guys…..

  20. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Soria was throwing absolute garbage before he had Tommy John. He might be a low risk, high upside sign, but his upside was no better than Cody Eppley’s before he went down.

  21. AAA November 1st, 2012 at 9:48 am

    if Soriano was the difference in making the postseason and not making the postseason in 2012 then that alone was worth 23 million dollars

    ================================================

    So Jim Johnson was worth $23 million dollars this year?

  22. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Yeah, Soriano was a surprisingly mixed bag, in the good sense. The Yanks really lucked out on that one.

  23. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 9:52 am

    MLB TradeRumors has their top 50 Free Agent list with predictions on where they will land. Among those going to the Yankees:

    Soriano
    Martin
    Hunter
    Andy
    Kuroda
    Rivera
    Chavez

    Swisher they have to the O’s and Ichiro to the Rays.

    Scariest thing in the entire list – that Eric Chavez is one of the top 50 Free Agents available

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....ons-1.html

  24. bruceb November 1st, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Four days without LoHud thanks to Sandy. Did we win the World Series?

  25. ron November 1st, 2012 at 9:54 am

    It was a good deal when you have almost unlimited cash resources like the yankees,but in the real world,where most teams do not,and even the yankees are straining the cap,so no,it was not a good deal.
    The only time that kind of money should be spent in the pen,is on a great closer.

  26. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Scariest thing in the entire list – that Eric Chavez is one of the top 50 Free Agents available
    ——–

    A list of 50 free agents is a pretty long list, no matter what year. Chavez was probably one of the better bench players in the league. He had a decent season.

  27. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:56 am

    “So Jim Johnson was worth $23 million dollars this year?”

    If you conclude that he was the difference in the orioles making the playoffs for the first time in forever and not…..then sure

  28. ron November 1st, 2012 at 9:56 am

    bruceb :

    Game 7 tonight.

    Sabathia vs cain.

  29. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I think Boston or Texas signs swisher

  30. blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Or the Phillies or braves

  31. 86w183 November 1st, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Love the idea of signing Soria…. he was pitching hurt which is why he stunk before surgery.

    He was tremendous 2008-10.

    Don’t want the Yanks to sign all those old farts

  32. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 9:58 am

    blake November 1st, 2012 at 9:57 am
    I think Boston or Texas signs swisher
    ———–

    Good bets, Blake. I’d hedge on Boston.

  33. ron November 1st, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Lineups have to change.
    You can’t keep running out the same,older,regressing lineups out,year,after year.

    I’d like to see a huge change with the yankees.

    A change that i don’t think cashman will make.

  34. ron November 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Swisher to the giants?

    Anyone?

  35. blake November 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Soria was hurt last year….he was one of te best in the business when he was healthy…..bad news is that most guys aren’t fully back from TJS for 2 years…..Id like to get him on a cheapie deal though as he could be rounding into form by the 2nd half

  36. bruceb November 1st, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Ron

    If only. Giants vs. Tigers was almost as big a blowout as Sandy herself. Thank the Lord we didn’t suffer to the extent of New Jersey but CT was hit hard nonetheless. Going to be some time yet I suspect before our power is restored. At least Metro North finally got me into the city today…albeit slowly.

  37. luis November 1st, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Good morning,

    That list sucks… Hunter?, Martin?.. Probably what they will do… Ugh

  38. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I think the deal with Soriano is the same deal that we’ve seen with other closers who are asked to do something other than close. They can’t get as amped up for a non-save relief role as they do when they’re closing out a game.

    I still think Raf winds up somewhere other than New York, if for no other reason than that he wants to close and won’t do that here. My best guesses would be Detroit or Miami.

    I don’t think Baltimore will pony up the cash that Swisher wants – the Mariners might.

  39. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 10:01 am

    86w183 November 1st, 2012 at 9:58 am
    Love the idea of signing Soria…. he was pitching hurt which is why he stunk before surgery.

    He was tremendous 2008-10.

    Don’t want the Yanks to sign all those old farts
    ———–

    Seems like a stretch. He pitched an entire season with a bad elbow? That would be pretty damn gutsy.

  40. 86w183 November 1st, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Didn’t say all year, but his velocity was down and his breaking stuff wasn’t as sharp… tells me he was hurting… yeah, it’s gutsy, but not real bright

  41. AAA November 1st, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Pascual Perez, once a short time Yankee, murdered last night in the course of a robbery.

    Sad.

  42. ron November 1st, 2012 at 10:24 am

    In the dr,they don’t play around.
    They know who has money,or who might.

  43. Tyler November 1st, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Was talking to a Cards fan yesterday about Beltran. He said he thought the only way that the Cards would listen would be if they got Cano. I was somewhere between wanting to cry and beat him with a baseball bat.

  44. RadioKev November 1st, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Tyler November 1st, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Was talking to a Cards fan yesterday about Beltran. He said he thought the only way that the Cards would listen would be if they got Cano. I was somewhere between wanting to cry and beat him with a baseball bat.
    ———

    Well Carlos Beltran is the greatest post season player ever, and Cano just had one of the worst post season performances ever. Makes sense to me.

    Afterall, the Yankees have to build teams for the playoffs, right? ;)

  45. blake November 1st, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Tyler says:
    November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Was talking to a Cards fan yesterday about Beltran. He said he thought the only way that the Cards would listen would be if they got Cano. I was somewhere between wanting to cry and beat him with a baseball bat.

    That’s funny….but I don’t see why they’d trade Beltran

  46. blake November 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am

    @mlbtraderumors: Red Sox Interested In Dan Haren http://t.co/8p2zDpYl #mlb

  47. blake November 1st, 2012 at 10:40 am

    @mlbtraderumors: LaRoche, Burnett Decline Options http://t.co/VwgOBGKU #mlb

  48. bkk November 1st, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Good riddens. Go far away and never come back.

  49. I Am Winning November 1st, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I would do a 2 year deal worth $13m. That is quite high, but in 2012 the bullpen was very inconsistent. Even Robertson was inconsistent. To have two guys capable of pitching the 8th inning is important in my opinion. That’s why signing Soriano makes sense, if not, the Yankees should go out and sign or trade for another set up man.

  50. ron November 1st, 2012 at 11:02 am

    13 a year,or total?

  51. DONNYBROOK November 1st, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Just Why is Levine talking with Boras about Soriano, and Why is Levine asking Boras for a specific $$$\figure necessary to retain Soriano??? This sounds like the pervue of a GM\Cashman. I understand Levine is the $$$ guy, but I thought Cashman was supposed to be the guy negotiating with agents\ players, and that Levine consulted with Cashman as to whether the money necessary to acquire any player(s), fit the Yankee Budget. Cashman was also outta-the-loop when Ichiro was acquired. Cashman was promised autonomy by George, and it looks like that promise died when George did likewise. Cashman’s job description continues to shrink.

  52. luis November 1st, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Soriano will get a 3 year deal for 10 mil AAV easily. He is as good as gone, or should be.

  53. Benny Blanco November 1st, 2012 at 11:17 am

    If the yankees don’t sign Soriano Levine will overrule cashman and go after hamilton because he wants to make a “splash.” He knows thats what the yankee fans expect. #teamgreedy

  54. jacksquat November 1st, 2012 at 11:18 am

    austinmac November 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am
    Boras said if the Yankees aren’t willing to give multi year contracts their brand will change. While he said it on behalf of Soriano, I believe that is true. Their brand makes a fortune. They best not blow it.

    Why am I not surprised Boras said this? lol

    The brand is winning and that is not best done by overpaying relief pitchers.

    Yet Levine inquired what it would take to sign him right after he opted out. :roll: Please, please shut that man up.

  55. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @Ken_Rosenthal: In other words, #Angels actively trying to move Wells. Has full no-trade, $42M left over next 2 yrs. Angels clearly would need to include $.

  56. jacksquat November 1st, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Benny Blanco November 1st, 2012 at 11:17 am
    If the yankees don’t sign Soriano Levine will overrule cashman and go after hamilton because he wants to make a “splash.” He knows thats what the yankee fans expect. #teamgreedy

    Yeah, that’s what we need, another long, expensive contract for a guy that is a risk to totally bomb out of the contract, disappears for months, doesn’t like to walk, etc. A lowered payroll is an even worse time to take those kinds of risks.

  57. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:29 am

    blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @Ken_Rosenthal: In other words, #Angels actively trying to move Wells. Has full no-trade, $42M left over next 2 yrs. Angels clearly would need to include $.
    ————————-

    Wells, Haren, Morales and Callaspo for Alex, Granderson and cash?

  58. luis November 1st, 2012 at 11:30 am

    With all respect to Boras and Levine… I find it hard to believe that fans will show up to see Soriano… A Hamilton could be a different story… JS, your Greinke strategy isn’t bad at all… I just don’t think they believe he can pitch in NY… Which is a mayor hurdle, but it is a good plan as well.

  59. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:31 am

    “Wells, Haren, Morales and Callaspo for Alex, Granderson and cash?”

    Why?

  60. luis November 1st, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Also, those comments from Boras could mean that Cano is as good as gone… Not good

  61. DONNYBROOK November 1st, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Yanks should look into paying over 1\2 of A-Rod’s remaing salary and deal him for Wells. Make it so the roughly $42 Mill Moreno is Already paying Wells for 2 years service, is Now going to A-Rod over a 5 yr period. Getting rid of A-Rod should be Priority 1.

  62. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Wells, Haren, Morales and Callaspo for Alex, Granderson and cash?

    Awful. Wells is terrible & expensive. Callaspo is terrible. Morales cannot play a position. Considering the Angels are looking to essentially dump 2 of those players, and would probably dump Callaspo as well, you’re essentially trading A-rod, Granderson, and Cash for Morales.

  63. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:36 am

    blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:31 am

    “Wells, Haren, Morales and Callaspo for Alex, Granderson and cash?”

    Why?
    ————–

    Because two years of poor production from Wells is, at this point, better than 5 years of slightly better production but more drama from Alex.

    Morales slots in at DH – a spot that can go back to being used by a full time DH once Alex is gone. Callaspo gives the Yankees an experienced major league option at 3b or for the bench and Haren is a lot better than he was last year.

  64. jacksquat November 1st, 2012 at 11:37 am

    luis November 1st, 2012 at 11:30 am
    With all respect to Boras and Levine… I find it hard to believe that fans will show up to see Soriano… A Hamilton could be a different story… JS, your Greinke strategy isn’t bad at all… I just don’t think they believe he can pitch in NY… Which is a mayor hurdle, but it is a good plan as well.

    Thanks, but I am not arguing against Hamilton because I want Greinke (I suspect he will go to the Angels or maybe Dodgers), I just don’t think they should sink that much money into one guy who isn’t exactly the model of reliability to say the least. If they want to go the hitting route I’m fine with it, just not like that.

  65. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Because two years of poor production from Wells is, at this point, better than 5 years of slightly better production but more drama from Alex.

    2 years of a wasted roster spot is not better than 5 years of a useful player.

  66. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Especially when you’re still paying for 3 of those years.

  67. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Chip,

    I’m not sure that makes the Yanks better…..they’d need to save a significant amt of money before Id do that I think

  68. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    And Haren, who I like a lot, is not the same guy he was when Arizona traded him. Fastball velocity down, he gave up 1.4 HR/9 in a pitchers park, so moving to NYS as a righty with an 88 mph fastball would not be a recipe for success.

  69. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I can already write the script if Alex is with the team next year:

    Spring Training – Alex says he worked all winter on conditioning and is in the best shape of his life and ready to prove people wrong

    Regular Season – if he’s productive the narrative will be that he started some new steroid over the winter; if he isn’t then it will be he’s done.

    Assuming the inevitable trip to the DL – team is better without him, blah blah blah.

    Playoffs – Alex is awful

    And then we’re here again next year.

    At this point, whatever you get for him – even if it is Vernon Wells, is addition by subtraction because you don’t have to go through that.

  70. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:41 am

    If Ibanez retires or whatever would Hafner be a decent option to fill the LH DH role…..or is he totally broken down

  71. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Especially when you’re still paying for 3 of those years.
    ——————

    I’m not suggesting paying for all of it. But some portion of it.

  72. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:44 am

    blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:41 am

    If Ibanez retires or whatever would Hafner be a decent option to fill the LH DH role…..or is he totally broken down
    ————————–

    Depends on what the Yankees want from the DH spot. If they are ok with a traditional DH (someone who doesn’t field) then I think Hafner is the kind of low cost option they would look at. If they’re looking for someone who can “play” the field, then no, he’s not.

  73. Chip November 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Blake -

    It wouldn’t shock me if they took a look at one of Pronk’s teammates – after the success they’ve had with Chavez playing limited duty, could they bring in Grady Sizemore as a 4th OF/DH option?

    If they can limit him enough to keep him healthy he could still be a productive hitter.

  74. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Depends on what the Yankees want from the DH spot. If they are ok with a traditional DH (someone who doesn’t field) then I think Hafner is the kind of low cost option they would look at. If they’re looking for someone who can “play” the field, then no, he’s not.”

    Hafner can’t stay healthy either

  75. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    At this point, whatever you get for him – even if it is Vernon Wells, is addition by subtraction because you don’t have to go through that.

    Nah this is entirely too simplistic a view, and vernon wells is literally the worst. And expensive.

  76. blake November 1st, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Sizemore could still have a 2nd act to his career… But the yanks need more sure options I think to actually play

  77. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:47 am

    A-rod was hitting .276 .358 .449 .806, he had a .900 OPS at DH. He is worth more than Vernon Wells who is literally worth nothing.

  78. Jerkface November 1st, 2012 at 11:47 am

    He was hitting that before he got HBP. That wasn’t a ‘breaking down’ injury. Anyone can get hit on the hand and have it broken.

  79. DONNYBROOK November 1st, 2012 at 11:49 am

    As I said yesterday, Haren’s numbers last season were basically Hughes numbers. Difference being Hughes is trending Up, Haren trending down. I would take on Haren to get rid of A-Rod, but I would Not expect a lot outta Haren.

  80. DONNYBROOK November 1st, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I could see Sizemore inna Chad Curtis kinda way.

  81. austinmac November 1st, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I think Boras will expect and require eight years to start after this year to sign Cano. It would be a big mistake to do this, in my opinion. No doubt some owner would do it, and Boras will begin his calls with the Dodgers. I would call the Dodgers myself if I am Cashman to see what they would give up.

    What a shock that the Angels want to move Wells. They have wanted that for awhile now. They will either have to pay most of his salary or trade for another bad contract. I think AROD’s is too long and expensive for them.

  82. austinmac November 1st, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I also don’t see the Yankees going after Hafner or a DH only kind of guy. The spot still must be kept open for AROD, Jeter and the rest of the older crowd.

    Sizemore is a nice memory of a formerly good player. He is likely never to be able to play much again.

  83. blake November 1st, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @Rotoworld_BB: David Ortiz ‘likely’ to hit free agent market http://t.co/le34hWIT

    Big hairy monster !

  84. PacoDooley November 1st, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I would not do the deal again . Closers are overrated. They lost a first round pick that they could well into the pipeline and probably avoided some other signings because his large contract restricted their spending.

    If they can get a supplemental pick for him when he signs elsewhere, then they come out a little closer to even, but still not a good deal.

    Despite his descent 2012 I am glad be opted out – hopefully they get the pick and the cash to spend on someone worth more in terms of wins…

  85. trisha - true pinstriped blue November 2nd, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    WORLD SERIES

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