Yankees Rumors: Soriano Would Have to Come “Absurdly Cheap”

Via Buster Olney of ESPN:

Heard this: As of 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Yankees are not interested in Rafael Soriano. They’ve seen a lot of $ squandered on set-up men. Soriano would have to make himself absurdly cheap — on a very short-term (1-year or 2-year deal) — before NYY would even consider him.

So it turns out that while the Yankees might have interest in Soriano that the interest seems very limited. Sure they would like to have him, but it seems that their stance continues to be that they won’t pay closer money for a setup-man.

I wonder if the Yankees would reconsider paying top dollar for for a setup-man if they were able to acquire him on a one or two-year deal. Especially a one-year deal where they would minimize the risk of having the deal come back to haunt you and would probably be able to make up for losing a draft pick by getting one back next year.

This does once again show that when Brian Cashman preached patience earlier this offseason that he meant it. If the Yankees get Soriano it will be on their terms. They are not going to overpay for a setup-man especially after they got one in Kerry Wood last year so cheaply.

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12 Responses to Yankees Rumors: Soriano Would Have to Come “Absurdly Cheap”

  1. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    This is news I really like. As always, thanks for the update.

  2. Robert G. Kramer says:

    For all we know we could see Kerry Wood II in 2011, but I think it's more likely we'll see something like we saw in 2007. Either a young arm up from the farm or Joba coming back to the brilliance he showed then!

  3. Susan says:

    They're interested, they're not interested, interested, not interested, interested, not interested. It's like a yo-yo with Soriano and the Yankees. From my view, the only interest the Yankees have these days is wanting stuff for dirt cheap. You get what you pay for and if this is how it's going to be, expect a mediocre team.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I'm not so sure that they've really ever expressed that much interest so much as Boras would like to make it seem like the Yanks have to gain some traction with other potential buyers.

  4. bob says:

    Since the goal of pitching is to prevent runs, I don't get why a pitcher's value is so significantly less if runs are prevented in the seventh or eighth vs the ninth inning. If a lead is not held in the eighth there is no need for a closer. Is there data showing the correlation of team winning percentage as a function of in which innings runs are given up? Seems as irrational as the notion that an outfielder has to be a better RBI man than a second baseman. Closers do have to be emotionally ready to operate under ninth inning pressure, and runs given up in the ninth -especially the bottom of the ninth – can't be recouped later . But ultimately runs are runs and if Soriano is great at not giving them up then he is valuable.

    • No different. Most closers are used very poorly. That's why the role of the closer is greatly overrated. The idea behind it, which happens about half or maybe a quarter of the time, is that the 9th inning are higher leverage situations. The problem with the modern closer is that managers, bad managers, will use them in the 9th inning regardless if it is the highest leverage situation or not.

      The thing is though that relievers are very volatile by nature (the majority of them are either failed starters or not good enough to become a starter in the first place). Even good relievers have bad years and average relievers are almost a crap shoot. Paying a ton of money to relievers is generally not worth it. The closer is the most important reliever so you pay extra to make sure you have a good one. After that though it doesn't make sense to overpay because you can do just as well with a guy straight out of the minors as guys you have to give a lot of money to most of the time.

      Look at the Yankees over the past 10-15 years. Some of their most expensive relievers were the biggest busts. Steve Karsay, Chris Hammond, Kyle Farnsworth, Paul Quantril. It just doesn't make sense to overpay for a reliever unless you can really justify that he's worth it. To me there are less than 5 relievers in baseball that are worth it. Soriano might be one of them, but the Yankees already have Rivera and Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson are just as likely to have as good a season as Soriano at a fraction of the cost. If they can get Soriano one a one-year or even a two-year deal then they should go for it. Anymore would be a gross overpayment.

      • Loonidood says:

        Rob, what do you think of going back to the 70's style of using closers? If they have two dominating closers, they could start using them for 2-3 innings, and giving Mo and Soriano turns. I think it would be a good situation to have your best closers take over for your starters and finish the game, like Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle did in 1978, averaging 2 innings an appearance each. In this scenario, there would be a minimal use of middle innings relievers, and it would be worth paying two closers.

        • I like it. I think that Rivera is a better pitcher than Gossage was, but I like the way closers like Gossage were used more. But unfortunately a modern major league manager will not try that anymore. At least not next year or anytime soon. Maybe eventually it will go back to that, but I doubt it. Everything is too specialized now. They just don't train or condition pitchers to do it.

      • Franco Kotos says:

        Cashman will not go after Soriano…he wants to avoid losing a 1st round pick in the draft…of course, that’s not the only reason but a concern for a team that would not benefit enough to have Soriano in the 8th…i agree, there are alternatives to Soriano but probably none that match his potential as is…his greatest value might be as Rivera’s replacement and that’s too far down the road to contemplate…

      • bob says:

        Rob – sorry for the delayed response to your response. Thanks for the detailed reply. Re the ability to get relievers on the cheap, since it is easier to pitch one or two innings than seven or eight – that certainly makes sense. Since everyone has access to the pool of failed starters or minor leaguers to use in relief, having one who yields fewer runs than average is still a good idea and worth paying for. The fact that we overpaid for relievers doesn't mean they aren't potentially valuable, but that our powers of discernment re quality is imperfect (as it has been for many of our starter busts).

        Thanks for the good discussion.

        • Dave says:

          I am soooo discussed with the "closer". I wish baseball managers would go back to using a stopper. The whole idea of having a player who comes in exclusively for the 9th inning, when what is really needed is a person who can warm up quickly and throw strikes when the bases are loaded and there is no one out makes so much more sense. A closer does you no good if you lost the game in the 5th inning. I would pay closer money for a stopper any day. I wouldn't pay closer money to a ninth inning pitcher, and I am a huge fan of Mariano.