ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Twitter that there was a chance, albeit very minute, the Dodgers would look at signing the free-agent closer.
Dodgers have been looking into possibility of signing Rafael Soriano, but it's probably still a longshot - say, 20 percent chance.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 14, 2013
Soriano and his agent, Scott Boras, are looking quite foolish for opting out of the $14 million that would have been owed to him in 2013 (h/t Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com).
Olney responded to a tweet asking what Soriano might be looking at this offseason:
@rsr_travel If he gets $10m a year at this point, I think he'll be doing great.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 14, 2013
The Dodgers shouldn't be offering the former New York Yankee a lifeline. Los Angeles already signed Brandon League to a three-year, $22.5 million deal (h/t Matt Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com).
(General manager Ned) Colletti said they re-signed League to serve as the team's closer though (Kenley) Jansen had a surgical procedure earlier this month to correct his atrial fibrillation and is expected to be at full strength at the start of spring training.
"That's the role," Colletti said. "That's where we'll start."
In addition to re-signing League, Los Angeles also signed J.P. Howell to a one-year deal (h/t Dodgers team website).
At this point, signing Soriano would serve almost no purpose.
The ownership has shown its commitment to the team by bring in Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Then there was the six-year, $147 million contract for Zach Greinke (h/t Ken Gurnick of MLB.com).
Signing Soriano would simply be the Dodgers throwing around money for the sake of flaunting their financial clout, not for baseball reasons.
League hasn't been a closer for very long, but in the short time he has, he's done well enough.
With Seattle in 2011, League saved 37 games while maintaining a 2.79 ERA. The five blown saves are a bit of a concern. Then in 2012, he blew six saves before being traded to the Dodgers.
League did very well replacing the injured Kenley Jensen. He must have been done enough to encourage Dodgers' management, as the three-year deal would attest.
Considering all of the money plunged into the bullpen already and the players currently there, it doesn't make sense to add the likely $9-12 million Soriano will be getting from whatever team signs him.
The problem with the bullpen, as Soriano is finding out, is that it doesn't make sense to pay a lot of money to an established closer when so many emerge each and every season.
Recently, John Axford, Heath Bell and Jim Johnson were largely unheralded relievers before they led each of their leagues in saves.
In 2013, you'll be able to add more names to the list of closers who come from out of nowhere to have a huge season.
Unless you have Mariano Rivera, you'd be foolish to tie up a lot of money in a closer.
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