Surprising news tonight emerges courtesy of John Heyman (who has gotten a bad rap this offseason, but deserves credit for reporting the “mystery team” in on Cliff Lee as well as breaking this news), who broke the news that the Yankees have reportedly signed Tampa closer Rafael Soriano to a 3-year deal for around $35 million. Soriano, who saved 45 games last season for the Rays, will likely serve as the primary setup man to Mariano Rivera, and will presumably have the unenviable task of succeeding the great Rivera. Soriano is cashing on on a career year in which he a 1.73 ERA, a 2.81 FIP, but was worth just 1.6 WAR (psst, closers aren’t worth very much, and neither are setup men).
I am fairly shocked by this news since Brian Cashman insisted that the Yankees would do everything they could to keep their first-rounder in the loaded 2011 draft, and signing Soriano gives that pick to division rival Tampa. I will have more thorough analysis tomorrow when I have some time to think this over, but at present I’m not pleased with this signing, and I imagine I’m not the only one. It smells like a panic move, and not the type of decision that should be made by a GM preaching patience. I’m about to run out, but post thoughts/updates in the comment section, and I will address this issue more thoroughly tomorrow.
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