Rafael Soriano: Reliever Expected to Opt out of Contract with New York Yankees

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIOctober 20, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02:  Rafael Soriano #29 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox on October 2, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Rafael Soriano stepped up in a huge way this season, taking over the closer role vacated when future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera tore his ACL early on in the season. This could lead to him opting out after the World Series.

Soriano saved 42 games and recorded an ERA of 2.26. He struck out 69 batters in 67.2 innings.

His deal with the New York Yankees from two seasons ago was structured so he could opt out at the end of last season.

His 2011 season was a bit of an up-and-down campaign, so it was obvious that he was not going to opt out: The salary he would make in 2012 would not be matched by any team interested in his services.

After the year he just compiled, though, he has the opportunity to make more money. Hence, opting out would be the best decision on his part.

He does have until three days after the World Series to decide whether or not he will become a free agent. Should he stay with the Yankees, he'll make $14 million in 2013. If he declines, he'll be paid a $1.5 million buyout.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post interviewed Soriano's agent, Scott Boras, and was given the implication that Soriano will test the market.

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Should Soriano opt out, it's unlikely that the Yankees will attempt to bring him back. Rivera is expected to return next season, so Soriano would once again become one of the most expensive setup men in the league.

David Robertson can easily fill that role, as can minor leaguer Mark Montgomery (some believe Montgomery to be the heir to the throne of Rivera once he retires).

Soriano will be remembered for his strong showing in 2012, but if he opts out, it'll likely be the last time he's seen in pinstripes.