Cashman: I don’t think Soriano will sign if he’s not the closer

It’s beginning to sound like the only way Rafael Soriano comes back to the Yankees is if Mariano Rivera retires.

“I don’t think Soriano would sign here if he’s not going to be the closer,” Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. “And I don’t think we would do again what we did before. He’s going to want closer money and I doubt he would want to come back here as a setup-man.”

Cashman is not exactly suggesting that Soriano wouldn’t agree to be the Yankees set-up man. History has already shown if you offer him a big enough and player friendly enough contract that he will sign. Instead, Cashman seems to be suggesting that if Mariano Rivera doesn’t retire, they will not offer him enough money and only if Rivera does retire will they increase their offer to the point where they could enter serious negotiations.

The Yankees are expected to offer Soriano a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer so that they can get an extra draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds of next year’s draft after he rejects the offer. He is expected to reject the offer though in an attempt to find a multi-year offer somewhere else.

Yankees president Randy Levine has suggested that Soriano’s agent Scott Boras has asked for a four-year, $60 million deal, but Boras denied that. It sounds like he wants three-years and $45 million at least though. The Yankees are trying to cut payroll to $189 million by 2014 though and will not go that high for a setup-man. It sounds like Cashman is suggesting that he might for a closer though.

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