The free agency compensation system is broken, at least it is for relievers. Guys who have no business qualifying as type-A or B free agents are routinely coming up as such and it is costing them on the free agent market.
So how does new free agent Rafael Soriano‘s agent, Peter Greenberg, deal with this problem? He had his client accept arbitration and now he is asking for the Braves to trade him. That way he’s guaranteed to get his $8 million (estimated amount he could win through arbitration) next season and the fact that he cannot be traded without his permission gives him some say in where he ends up as well.
One place that doesn’t seem likely right now, at least according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, is the Bronx. Despite the fact that the Yankees were interested in adding the righty before he was offered arbitration, and probably still are somewhat interested, they have said they have no interest in trading for him.
That could change depending on the timing of a deal and what the Braves are looking to get for him. The Yankees are not interested now, but things change in the postseason quickly and if they find they need to deal some relievers their interests could change. Also, the Braves were not expecting to carry Soriano and his salary this season, but they were hoping for a pair of draft picks. The question is, do they want to get rid of the salary so badly that they would forget about the draft picks?
If the answer to that question is yes and they made a sweetheart offer to the Yankees tomorrow just for the sake of dumping him I doubt they could resist. However, I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. Even at $8 million per season, Soriano could be a very attractive piece for a team looking for a closer, especially since he comes on a one-year deal. Heck, he’s probably going to be a type-A free agent a year from now so a team could conceivably try to get draft picks for him next year. Although after this offseason any team that tries that has to be weary he’ll accept arbitration again.