Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLBTradeRumors.com has reported that New York Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano has no plans on using his contract’s opt-out clause.
Not officially confirmed, according to ESPN New York, but there is no reservation that Soriano will play out the 2-years left on his contract, which earns him a $25 million paycheck.
In his first season with the Yankees, Soriano pitched just shy of 40 innings, posting an ERA of 4.12, with 36 strikeouts, 18 earned runs, four home-runs and 18 walks.
Those numbers are not reflective of how Soriano did after he returned from a two-month long DL stint after the All-Star break. In August and September, Soriano showed signs of the 2010 pitcher that led the AL with 49 saves. He pitched 24 innings, fanned 26 batters and his strikeout per nine-innings went from 6.0 in the first-half to 9.6 in the second.
Considering Soriano agreed to take a demoted role to come to New York, and the attitude he displayed in beginning of the 2011 season was certainly not there in the end. The extraordinary amount of money the Yankees are tied to with Soriano is definitely a good reason to stay too, but I think this partnership will continue to get better and be viewed as a success when done.
Soriano-Robertson-Mariano was a great late inning threesome, and with Joba Chamberlain returning from Tommy John surgery in 2012, the Yankees bullpen should be tops in baseball once again. And if the latest post season tells baseball fans anything, it is that the role of the bullpen is no longer an unheeded group, but a pivotal one.
The other Yankee news is that the team declined the $4 million option to keep left-handed reliever Damaso Marte around for 2012. In case you forgot, Marte played a small but vital role out of the bullpen during the 2009 World Series. Unfortunately, Marte hasn’t been back on the mound since due to a lingering shoulder injury.
With the 2011 World Series underway, as the St. Louis Cardinals won Game 1 over the Texas Rangers 3-2, Yankee fans will await a decision from ace CC Sabathia. Sabathia has the option to waive New York goodbye with a deadline of three days after the World Series ends to let everybody know.
Let’s hope that the Yankees don’t make for another dramatic off-season. Fact is Sabathia has to come back for more money and more years so biting the bullet would be ideal. Not going to hold my breath that this will be a smooth negotiation.
To get a great perspective read Joe Sherman of the NY Post’s latest article on the Sabathia negotiations HERE.
- No surprise: Rafael Soriano won’t opt out of Yankees contract (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Soriano News.. (yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Rangers Rumored To Want CC Drop CJ (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- You: Lack of Pitching, Not Lack of Timely Hitting, Cost New York Yankees in Playoffs (bleacherreport.com)
- Yankees decline Damaso Marte’s $4 million option (fanaticsportsandcards.com)
- Yankees decline Damaso Marte’s $4 million option (boston.com)
- Yankees decline option on Damaso Marte (theglobeandmail.com)