MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Making an Attempt To Get Rafael Soriano?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 6, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09:  Pitcher Rafael Soriano #29 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Texas Rangers during game 3 of the ALDS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Happy New Year Bleacher Report, hope your 2011 is a good one for all of you.

For the Yankees, they are looking to have a strong 2011 after a disappointing end to the 2010 season. So far, they've re-signed Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, brining in Russell Martin and Pedro Feliciano as well.

Their main priority was getting stronger in the pitching department, but so far they have failed. They made a huge pitch to Cliff Lee, who turned them down to return to the Phillies.

Right now, they are waiting to hear back from Andy Pettitte, who has been heavily rumored to be leaning towards retirement to spend time with his family.

While the Yankees have been exploring the leftover options on the pitching market, they are also considering bolstering the bullpen.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN, the Yankees have been in contact with Scott Boras with the possibility of bringing in Rafael Soriano.

Soriano right now is probably the best closer on the free agent market. He had a fine season with the Rays last year, posting a 1.73 ERA with 46 saves for the AL East Champions.

Tampa has already let go of Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena and are possibly on the verge of trading away Matt Garza to save payroll, so Soriano will be searching for a new home for 2011.

If Pettitte does decide to retire, it's been rumored that the Yankees might make an aggressive pursuit for Soriano to create a lock-down bullpen, one that the Yankees haven't had since the days of Rivera and John Wetteland in 1996.

If the Yankees were to get Soriano, they would have to surrender a first-round draft pick to the Rays, but the Yankees also can be compensated with a draft pick due to Javier Vazquez signing with the Marlins.

As of right now, the Yankees don't have an imminent heir to Rivera's closer job if he retires anytime soon, and they don't have a main setup man after Kerry Wood turned down more money to return to the Cubs this winter.

The Yankees could consider Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson for the setup role, but both have had their struggles in the past, so Soriano would be an instant upgrade to the bullpen and a much better option to follow in Rivera's footsteps.

The White Sox are said to be interested in Soriano after letting Bobby Jenks go, and the Angels have expressed interest after losing out on Adrian Beltre and Carl Crawford this winter as well. But the Angels also signed Scott Downs to a three-year deal, plus already have Fernando Rodney as their current closer.

Although Soriano is a solid closer and could easily get a closing job this winter, he has said he would be a setup man for only one team, meaning the Yankees.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman also said that by missing out on Lee last month, the Yankees have room for both Soriano and Pettitte, pending if Pettitte wants to return for 2011.

Getting Soriano and adding him to a bullpen with Rivera and Feliciano would only strengthen the Yankees' chances of having success in 2011.

If the Yankees decide to pass up on adding a starter before the season, and whether or not they get Pettitte back for 2011, this is an option the Yankees should go for. If the Yankees decide to go with some of their younger arms for their rotation, having a strong bullpen wouldn't put too much pressure on the rookies to pitch a ton of innings and would also shorten games for the Yankees opponents.

If the Yankees are going to go after Soriano, they should make him an offer with closer-type money with the guarantee that the Yankees will make Soriano their next closer after Rivera.

So I now leave the discussion to you guys.

Should the Yankees make a serious push for Soriano?


Stay tuned.