The 8th and 9th innings are once again in good hands at Yankee Stadium. While the starting rotation may still be a question mark, the bullpen is taking shape.
New York has agreed to sign reliever Rafael Soriano to a three year deal worth $35 million. Soriano was the best relief pitcher on the market this offseason. Last year, the 31-year-old righty led the American League with 45 saves. He finished the year with a 1.73 ERA and .802 WHIP. Soriano struck out 57 batters in 62 1/3 innings as the closer for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Soriano will set-up for current Yankees closer, legend Mariano Rivera. Rivera enters this year with a new contract. With Trevor Hoffman now retired, Rivera will be chasing the All-Time record for saves. Hoffman has 601 while Rivera enters the year with 559.
New York is likely hoping Soriano has enough success with the team that he can eventually take over the closer role when Rivera does retire.
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