Trade rumors involving the Yankees and free agent relievers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano emerged yesterday when Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported conflicting accounts of the team’s plans to improve their bullpen.
Rosenthal was told by a rival team executive that the Yankees are planning on making attempts to acquire both the lefty Gozalez and the right handed Soriano. The problem with this rumors is that Rosenthal also reported that an additional source, supposedly with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking, said that the team would rather improve the bullpen from within using prospects.
The thing is, it’s possible that both statements are true. While the Yankees would rather add both veteran pitchers, they may elect to build from within if the Atlanta Braves, the former team of each pitcher, offer the type-A free agents arbitration. If that happens then the Yankees would have to give up draft picks to sign either or both.
Soriano, who will be 30 in just under a month, just came off a 2-year/$9 million contract that paid him $6.1 million last season. His 1-6 record was poor in 2009, but that was about the only thing. In 77 games and 75.2 innings he had a 2.97 ERA with 27 saves, 102 strikeouts, 27 walks, a 1.06 WHIP, and a .194 BAA.
Gonzalez, who is 31 and represented by Scott Boras, is in his first year of free agency coming off a one-year/$3.45 million contract. He had a good season in 2009 after what was really his only poor season in 2008. In 80 games and 74.1 innings Gonzo had a 5-4 record with a 2.42 ERA, 10 saves, 90 strikeouts, 33 walks, a 1.20 WHIP, and a .209 BAA.
Looking at the stats for each of these players makes me feel like the Yankees should get them, but their high innings and games totals has me feeling like they definitely shouldn’t be giving up draft picks for either pitcher. With relievers you just never know and both pitchers set career highs for for both games and innings pitched.
This is definitely a wait and see if they are offered arbitration scenario.