Rafael Soriano, Nationals agree to two-year deal
Yahoo! Sports insider Jeff Passan was the first to report the deal on Twitter, saying that the contract will pay Soriano $14 million annually over the next two years, with a $14 million option for 2015 that will kick in if the right-hander finishes 120 games between 2013 and 2014.
Soriano, who turned 33 in December, was 2-1 with a 2.26 ERA and 42 saves for the Yankees last year while filling in for injured closer Mariano Rivera. He was 4-4 with a 2.94 ERA and 44 total saves in two years in pinstripes, and for his 11-year career, Soriano has 132 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 453 appearances for the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Seattle.
The right-hander, who became a social media phenomenon/favorite in New York based on his penchant for immediately untucking his jersey after saving games, became a free agent when he opted out of the final year of his Yankees contract that would have paid him $14 million. He later turned down the Yankees’ one-year qualifying offer of about $13.3 million, which ensured that the Yankees would receive a compensatory draft pick if he signed elsewhere.
Soriano now joins a Nationals bullpen that also includes fireballer Drew Storen, who saved 43 games in 2011 before missing more than half of 2012 due to injury, and ex-Yankees farmhand Tyler Clippard, who won 11 games out of the Nats’ pen in 2010 and saved 32 games last season filling in for Storen.
One other note on the vesting option: Soriano finished 54 games last year, and his highest total is 56 games finished, which he accomplished in 2010 while saving an AL-leading 45 games for the Rays – so, in order for his option to vest, he will have to set (and likely re-set) career highs in that category.
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