According to Jon Heyman, the contract is expected to be worth somewhere around $35 million over three years. That would be an awful lot of money, especially given that closer Mariano Rivera signed a $30 million, two-year contract last month, but this is the Yankees, and they play with money in a way different from most everyone else.
To date, this offseason hasn't gone the way the Yankees wanted it to, as they missed out on top target Cliff Lee along with Carl Crawford while the Red Sox added Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Until now, all the Yankees had really been able to manage was re-signing Rivera and Derek Jeter. But by signing Soriano, they've made a statement that, while they haven't been able to make big additions to the lineup or rotation, they plan to have a bullpen worth fearing.
The Yankees had been in talks with the 31-year-old Soriano for a while, with mixed messages being sent out as to whether the team was willing to pay big money for a setup man. Soriano was the closer for the Rays last season and the closer for the Braves the season before that, but obviously didn't stand to fill the same role with New York. Nevertheless, there's an agreement in place, and Soriano will bring his very talented righty arm to many eighth innings. He's posted a 2.41 ERA the last two seasons with 159 strikeouts in 138 innings, and between him and Rivera, the Yankees don't stand to lose many late leads.
Soriano was a Type A free agent, so the Yankees will lose their first round draft pick to the Rays.
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