Yankees sign Rafael Soriano, Much Bigger Deal than you think

Only a few days ago Brian Cashman came out and said the Yankees would not pursue Rafael Soriano due to his status as a type A free agent. That essentially means that whoever signs him this offseason will forfeit their first round pick and give the Rays a compensatory pick. Well apparently Brian has changed his mind, and rightfully so.

Rafael Soriano is a big time reliever and arguably one of the top ten if not top five in baseball. Good news for the Yankees and bad news for everyone else hoping to stage late inning comebacks against them, this now gives the Yankees two of the best relievers in baseball. Soriano and then Rivera is a lethal combination, and don’t forget about all the other relievers the Yankees have. David Robertson, Pedro Feliciano, and Joba Chamberlain make the bullpen deep, which is necessary for the long haul of a 162 game season. While the Yankees rotation is far from impressive right now, the additions of atleast one of two different players in Andy Pettitte or Justin Duchscherer, would go a long way.

Right now the AL East is shifting back to what it used to be, the Yankees and Red Sox, as the Rays are starting to lose much of the talent that has led them to the postseason in two of the past three seasons. The Rays have now lost Soriano to the Yankees, Crawford to Red Sox, and recently traded one of their best young pitchers to Cubs, in Matt Garza. While the Rays will certainly not slide back to the bottom of the division, it is hard to believe they will not be 3rd in the AL East this coming season.

The Red Sox have gotten all the offseason hype based on their acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, spending a mere 300 million along the way. While I agree both are great players, the Red Sox are no different offensively this coming season after losing Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez, who combined for equal numbers in 2010. The difference, in my opinion, for the Red Sox will come from their pitching, which struggled at times last year. They have signed some help for the bullpen, and can hope for the rotation to be healthier in 2010. Dice K and Beckett have been non factors the last two seasons, but if they can come back and have decent seasons, the Red Sox will be tough to beat.

While the Yankees have mostly sat back and watched this offseason, they finally made a deal worth writing about. Rafael Soriano may only pitch 70 innings in 2011 for the Yankees, but if they can make it to the postseason, it will be all the more difficult to beat the Yankees in the late innings.  Before this signing I had very big concerns for the Yankees in 2011, but I do now believe the Yankees will return to the postseason. One or two moves by Cashman and the Yankees could be in business again to fight with the Red Sox in the AL East. Going into the 2011 season the Yankees will still probably have the lowest expectations they’ve had in a while, but with moves like this look for them to quietly surprise us in 2011.

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2 Responses to “Yankees sign Rafael Soriano, Much Bigger Deal than you think”

  1. vanillaICE Says:

    I appreciate the lack of red sox bashing in this post… AL East really should come down to the yanks and sox this season. Can they take out the phillies come october though?

  2. i think the phillies are beatable. obviously they will be the favorites to win it, but in a five game series, anything could happen. two years ago, everyone thought the cardinals were gonna run right through the NL with carpenter and wainwright anchoring the rotation. didn’t happen.

    only way the yanks win the division is if burnett and hughes have outstanding seasons. if aj doesn’t figure it out, the yanks aren’t making the playoffs.

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