In an offseason of head scratching and a whole lot of nothing, the Yankees have finally made a move to make the fans happy.
By signing Rafael Soriano, the Yankees have solidified their bullpen into the strongest in all of baseball. With Mariano Rivera at closer, Rafael Soriano at setup, and Pedro Feliciano, David Roberston and Joba Chamberlain as middle relief, the Yankees can start to make baseball games a lot shorter than nine innings.
In 2010, Soriano had an ERA of 1.73, 45 saves, a WHIP of .80 and 57 K's. That's the three most saves in the entire MLB, and amongst the best ERA, WHIP and K/9.
Having two of the best closers in the entire game makes things a lot easier on a questionable rotation, something the Yankees will likely address, now that it is their only issue.
A three-year-deal for Soriano would currently give him the closer job on his third year, assuming Rivera retires after his recently-signed two-year-deal.
Aside from being just a great closer, Soriano is a strikeout pitcher who can throw to either lefties or righties with little variation.
The only drawback to this deal, is that the Yankees will lose a first-round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Rays because Soriano is a type-A free agent. To me, that isn't that bad of a break.
Sure, it hurts to lose a draft pick, especially to a division rival, but draft picks can be busts. We already know Soriano is not a bust, and he will be facing the exact same teams he faced with the Rays, so we won't have to worry about a Javier Vazquez type situation.
Speaking of Javy, the Yankees will be getting a pick from the Florida Marlins, so things will work out just fine. Also, losing one draft pick isn't nearly as costly as what the Yankees would have had to give up in order to obtain Joakim Soria. Yes, I like Soria more as player, but this deal is working out a lot better for the Yankees.
Yet again, Cashman has shown why he's the man for the Yankees. He showed patience really is a virtue, and maintaining his head after losing out on Cliff Lee really paid off. They didn't spring for the first deal they can sign, but instead they waited it out and made the smartest decisions for the organization.
When you're an opposing player and you see Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera sitting out there in the bullpen, I don't think your'e going to like your chances of getting many runs, let alone hits in the late innings of a game.