Levine said Boras wants a 4-year, $60 million deal for Soriano

The Yankees president Randy Levine and Rafael Soriano‘s agent Scott Boras have entered into negotiations to bring back the de facto close that opted out of the final year of his contract this morning and so far things are not going smoothly.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Yankees are under the impression that Soriano is looking for a deal worth $60 million over four years and Boras said he never put a total on the length of the contract.  The disagreement seems to have stalled negotiations as the Yankees would prefer to keep Soriano on just a two-year pact.

“I’m not surprised,” Levine told Heyman about Soriano opting out. “We really like Raffy. But Scott Boras told the player he could get $60 million for four years. Let’s see if he can do that. That would make it understandable why he would opt out. I wish Sori well.”

Boras doesn’t see it that way.

“Randy and I had a discussion,” Boras explained to Heyman. “He requested us to make an offer. At this time, we thought it best to file before making any proposals to the Yankees. I never make promises as to what the free-agent market might bear. I’m in the business of providing information to my clients and negotiating on their behalf. I’m not in the business of promising my clients contracts.”

First of all, I think it’s telling that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is not involved in this. That’s potentially a signal that he once again does not have interest in bringing Soriano back. And if Cashman is in Hal Steinbrenner‘s ear then Levine may not have much leeway in how much he can offer. Of course, since Levine is taking the lead on this we certainly can’t assume he won’t do anything stupid.

Soriano opted out of the final year of his three-year, $35 million deal earlier this morning that would have paid him $14 million this season. He’ll get a $1.5 million buyout for his troubles too. The Yankees will offer him a $13.3 million qualifying offer that he’ll likely reject which will earned them a sandwich pick in next year’s draft if he signs somewhere else.

The Yankees may have Mariano Rivera returning next year after sitting out most of 2012 with a torn ACL, but the all-time saves leader has hinted that he might retire. If he does indeed retire that may increase the Yankees efforts to bring back Soriano or they might just go with a bullpen with David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma in the back end. In that case the 22-year-old minor league reliever Mark Montgomery, who had a 1.54 ERA, a 13.8 K/9, and a 3.1 BB/9 in 46 games in High-A and Double-A, could be aggressively promoted and end up playing a role in the bullpen in the Bronx.

In 69 games this season, Soriano had a 2.26 ERA, a 9.2 K/9, a 3.2 BB/9 and a 37.8 ground ball percentage over 67.7 innings pitched.

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4 Responses to Levine said Boras wants a 4-year, $60 million deal for Soriano

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    Both are liars. Make him the qualifying offer, either he stays for another year and we get a good set up man/closer, or he leaves and we get the draft pick. i don't like him for another 3 years, and no way for 4 at $15 mil per. Levine is just stupid enough to blink and re-sign Soriano, remember he was the other team official involved in the A-roid deal.

  2. Dave says:

    Why would you spend 15 mil on a closer when you can get a quality outfielder for that. Don't do it Randy!

  3. Derek says:

    i would take my chances on Mo returning or Robertson/Chamberlain/Aardsma/Phelps battling for the closer role. Even a $4 or $5MM offer to Joakim Soria would be great. No need to spent double digits on Soriano, even though he was great last year. If it came down to the four current bullpen guys, I would take my chances on Robertson and Chamberlain.

  4. lumpy says:

    Neither the Tigers nor the Giants, the two teams in the World Series, finished the year with the closer that started it. As much as I love Mo, I am beginning to come around to the thought that closers are overrated and that a great starting pitcher is much more valuable than a great closer. No way a great closer is worth $15M per year or a four year deal. The number of great closers who did it for more than four or five years is pretty short.