Late Thursday, the Yankees made a free agent reliever a very rich man, signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year contract worth $35 million. What's interesting - beyond the signing itself - is that, just recently, general manager Brian Cashman had told the press that he didn't want to sign a Type A free agent reliever because he didn't want the Yankees to lose their first round draft pick. Soriano is a Type A free agent reliever, and the Yankees have lost their first round draft pick.
Clearly, something changed, and according to Buster Olney, the Yankees' front office was split as to what approach they wanted to take. The baseball operations department was reluctant to offer Soriano a lot of money. It was ownership that drove this deal to completion, likely because Soriano is a big splash and the team has been unable to do much of anything else.
One wonders about the status of a front office in which ownership has gone over the top of the general manager's head. There are certain things that just come with working for the Yankees that you simply have to accept, but Brian Cashman probably isn't thrilled with this most recent course of events.
Buster Olney also says that, before signing Soriano, the Yankees had discussed a sign-and-trade with free agent reliever Grant Balfour. Such a deal would not have cost them their first round draft pick. On Friday, Grant Balfour signed a two-year contract with Oakland.