Yesterday, we heard news that Scott Boras, agent for free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano, approached the Yankees about a one year contract for the righty pitcher. Boras and Soriano were apparently, “flatly denied” per Bob Klapisch. Buster Olney hinted that the Yankees are choosing the draft pick/draft pool money over Soriano and his services. I like the draft and I like prospects as much as the next guy, but if I’m forced to choose between a draft pick in 2013 and another year of Rafael Soriano, I’m taking Soriano every time.
The Yankee bullpen is definitely well stocked for 2013. Mariano Rivera is coming back from injury, but if there’s one guy you’re going to have faith in, it’s him. David Robertson is more than capable as a set-up guy and with Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and David Aardsma falling in line behind him, the Yankees should be fine in late game situations. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be more fine in late game situations. I realize this sounds horribly spoiled and at least vaguely like that ‘give me everything’ Yankee fan I’ve tried to avoid being, but this choice seems rather simple. On a one year deal, Soriano may end up being expensive, but there isn’t a cheaper alternative with his level of talent.
The alternative in this case is essentially a lottery ticket. Yes, the pick would give the Yankees four picks in the first 106, which would be great, but chances are, that draft pick won’t become anything even close to what Rafael Soriano is and, obviously, that pick won’t come any where near helping the Yankees win a World Series in 2013.
If Rafael Soriano still wants a “long-term” (we’ll use the term loosely when dealing with a reliever), he can look elsewhere. But if he’s looking for a one ear dal, the Yankees need to be all ears. Soriano would give them yet another weapon in their already formidable bullpen and would help the toward its ultimate goal of a championship. Considering the ever-closing pace of Plan 189, winning the Fall Classic this year may take on even greater importance than it usually does for the Yankees.
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