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Yanks Overspend On Soriano

The Yankees just signed former Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano to a 3 year, $35 million dollar deal.

After a pretty quiet off-season, the Yanks just made some serious noise – for all the wrong reasons.

First off, I’m not sure if I like this move but I feel it was a move the Yanks had to make simply because they had to do something – I guess. 

The AL East just got much better in the off-season.  The Red Sox, and even the Orioles, both made more significant moves than the Yanks thus far.

Soriano is essentially signed as Mariano Rivera’s replacement but he won’t even have a chance at the closer role until the 3rd and final year of his deal -and that’s assuming Rivera only plays for 2 more years.

Soriano has only been a closer for 2 years. Well, really only a year and a half (he was the closer in Atlanta in 2009 for a half a season).  Last year, he had several disagreements with Rays’ Skipper Joe Maddon about how he was being used out of the bullpen.  Is a guy that wants to be the full-time closer going to be okay with now being the set-up man?

J. Meric, Getty Images

So until the time he’s handed the “keys to the store”, Soriano will be the 8th inning bridge to Mo.  So let me get this straight, the Yankees just spent $35 million on a set-up man?  By contrast, teams were giving 2 year, $10-15 million deals to closers this off-season.

A $35 million dollar, 8th inning set-up man is nice but don’t the Yankees need another starting pitcher?  Other than CC Sabathia, who’s going to get them to that 8th inning?

Quite frankly, I know Soriano had 45 saves last season but he really doesn’t have much of a track record as a guy that can throw a lot of innings or pitch a lot of games. In his 9 year career, he’s only had 2 seasons of 70+ games.

Soriano is a middle reliever for all intents and purposes. Oh yeah, he’s already 31 years old!

Bottom line – it’s way too much money for an 8th inning guy.  And before you say, “The Yanks have plenty of money, who cares?”  Do the names Farnsworth, Marte and Karsay ring a bell? 

Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

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