The New York Yankees have questions at closer this offseason for the first time since Mariano Rivera's incredible tenure at the position began in 1997.
Soriano had a stellar season filling in for the future first-ballot Hall of Famer. He saved 42 games and pitched to a 2.26 ERA.
After having issues as the setup man in his first season with the Yankees, Soriano really stepped up his performance when Rivera went down.
Should Soriano opt out, the Yankees will be on the lookout for a new closer.
David Robertson and Mark Montgomery are possible options for the job. Robertson had a tough time in limited appearances in the closer's role this season, but he has the experience pitching late in games.
Many feel as if Montgomery is the closer of the future in New York, but he's yet to pitch a single inning in the majors. If we see him at all in the upcoming season, it'll probably be in a seventh-inning role.
Soria did not pitch at all last season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery after injuring himself in a March 18 spring game.
Greg Holland pitched well for the Royals in the ninth-inning role, so Soria could very well be available this offseason.
The Royals are not expected to pick up his $8 million club option for 2013 (via Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star). Instead, they are expected to exercise their $750,000 opt out clause.
Dutton claims that both sides are interested in working out a new deal, but the Yankees could very well jump into the mix and try to pry him away.
Prior to his down season in 2011, Soria thrived in the closer's role from 2008 to 2010. During that time, he compiled 115 saves and a 1.86 ERA.
Even though he's now undergone two Tommy John surgeries, he could still be a very useful option late in games.
Should Rivera go through with his retirement and should Soriano actually opt out of his deal, going after Soria may not be such a bad decision. An incentive-laden deal would be fair for the closer.
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