Rafael Soriano has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $35 million with the New York Yankees. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman was the first to report the deal and says that the deal will allow Soriano to opt out after either of the first two years.
The deal makes little to no sense, as Brian Cashman has been continuously saying that he wouldn't surrender his first-round pick to sign a Type-A free agent. As a result of the signing, the pesky Tampa Bay Rays will receive the Yankees' first-round draft pick in this year's draft.
Rafael Soriano will almost certainly be the primary setup man for legendary closer Mariano Rivera. The role is odd for Soriano considering he was probably one of the best closers in baseball last year. Soriano posted a robust 1.73 ERA and had a 8.2 K/9 with an extremely low BB/9 as well.
This move by the Yankees is a very nice addition. New York adds a powerful and reliable pitcher with the potential to close if Mo goes down. It also gives the Yankees some comfort in regards to their bullpen as the pen is starting to look very solid. It also means that if Mariano retires at some point in the next few years, they won't have to look far to find his replacement.
With the move, the Yankees now have a little over $20 million to spend on improving their team. The Yankees will probably use the remaining cash on a designated hitter and to hopefully bolster their starting rotation.
I believe that this is a good investment for the Yankees and one that provides them with a stable bullpen for the near future. It also provides them with a backup plan at the closers role if Mo should get injured or retire. It is a solid move for the Yanks and one that will pay dividends.