The Yankees have signed former Rays closer Rafael Soriano to a three year, $35 million dollar deal. I didn’t see that coming.
Apparently, nobody else did either. I don’t know why; the Yankees could use a setup man – not that I don’t like David Robertson, because I do, but any time you can bring in a quality reliever for the back of your pen like Rafael Soriano, well, that’s not a bad thing. Now you could argue that 3 years is too long for a player this injury prone, and the Damaso Marte deal immediately springs to mind as a prime example of why this is not a good deal, but I digress – Rafael Soriano is a really good pitcher.
So I envision Rafael Soriano to function as the Yankees primary setup man as well as to be the closer should Mariano Rivera not be available, but more to the point, Rafael Soriano is Mariano Rivera insurance. Sure, Mo is still great, but he’s over 40 and could go down at any time. If Mo goes down at some point, Soriano is a fine replacement – although I weep for whoever has to ultimately take over for Mo – it’ll be like replacing Jesus with some guy named Steve. "Uhm, I know we used to have Jesus Christ take care of that, but now we have Steve. Now granted, he’s not as good as Jesus, but then, who is? Ha! Am I right? But yeah, Steve’ll do OK." I’m sure Soriano will do fine when he has to close, but I don’t expect him to be an immortal like Mo.
So while I would say that 3 for $35 is a bit much for a reliever, even one as good a Rafael Soriano, it’s not like this is an A-Rod deal that’ll choke the Yankees to death – not that A-Rod deal does, because they’re the Yankees and aren’t afraid of spending money. I’m glad Rafael Soriano is on the team – he makes the Yankees better immediately.
NOTES: The ESPN Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season season came out, and over course, the Yankees are all over it. I hate ESPN, I hate their announcers, and I friggin hate, I friggin HATE Sunday Night Baseball! It starts too late and ESPN is too busy running commercials or pimping their other shiz to give the game the proper attention it deserves.