Rafael Soriano To The Nationals

Last year's Yankees closer has just agreed to a two-year $28 million deal with the Washington Nationals, that includes a third year option. Though there was a bit of speculation that Rafael Soriano was desperate for a contract, the reliever certainly got his money. With Nick Swisher in Cleveland, the Yankees now have the 27th, 31st, and 32nd round draft picks for 2013. These picks can move up a bit depending on where Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn sign, but at the moment, the Yankees are in good shape for next year's draft. Last season, these picks were worth $1.675 million, $1.575 million, and $1.55 million. That's $4.8 million to spend on the first round of draft picks, or anywhere else they desire, and it's $3.2 million more than they had to spend last season. The slot bonus amounts should go up in 2013, but so should the market.


Soriano not a necessity, but a reunion should be welcomed

Yesterday, we heard news that Scott Boras, agent for free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano, approached the Yankees about a one year contract for the righty pitcher. Boras and Soriano were apparently, "flatly denied" per Bob Klapisch. Buster Olney hinted that the Yankees are choosing the draft pick/draft pool money over Soriano and his services. I like the draft and I like prospects as much as the next guy, but if I'm forced to choose between a draft pick in 2013 and another year of Rafael Soriano, I'm taking Soriano every time. The Yankee bullpen is definitely well stocked for 2013. Mariano Rivera is coming back from injury, but if there's one guy you're going to have faith in, it's him. David Robertson is more than capable as a set-up guy and with Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and David Aardsma falling in line behind him, the Yankees should be fine in late game situations. However, that doesn't mean they couldn't be more fine in late game situations. I realize this sounds horribly spoiled and at least vaguely like that 'give me everything' Yankee fan I've tried to avoid being, but this choice seems rather simple. On a one year deal, Soriano may end up being expensive, but there isn't a cheaper alternative with his level of talent.

The alternative in this case is essentially a lottery ticket. Yes, the pick would give the Yankees four picks in the first 106, which would be great, but chances are, that draft pick won't become anything even close to what Rafael Soriano is and, obviously, that pick won't come any where near helping the Yankees win a World Series in 2013.

If Rafael Soriano still wants a "long-term" (we'll use the term loosely when dealing with a reliever), he can look elsewhere. But if he's looking for a one ear dal, the Yankees need to be all ears. Soriano would give them yet another weapon in their already formidable bullpen and would help the toward its ultimate goal of a championship. Considering the ever-closing pace of Plan 189, winning the Fall Classic this year may take on even greater importance than it usually does for the Yankees.