New York Yankees closer Rafael Soriano will opt out of the final year of his three-year contract on Wednesday to seek multi-year offers following a bounce-back season in which he saved 42 games, per CBS Sports. Soriano would have made $14 million next season had he stuck with his original contract.
When Soriano does opt out of his deal, the Yankees are expected to counter with a $13.3 million qualifying offer to cover their bases. With the $1.5 million buyout included in Soriano's initial contract, he would earn $14.8 million in 2013 were he to accept the qualifying offer.
Placed in a set-up role in his first season with New York, Soriano moved to closer this year after Mariano Rivera went down with a season-ending knee injury in early May. The 32-year-old right-hander thrived in the role, finishing the season with a 2.26 earned-run average and 2.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio, converting all but of four of his save opportunities.
Soriano opting out of his contract does not necessarily mean his career as a Yankee is over, but it could be difficult for the Bronx Bombers to retain him. The right-hander is reportedly seeking a four-year deal, which would make the chances of him agreeing to a qualifying offer slim to none.
With Soriano testing the market and the 42-year-old Rivera mulling retirement, the Yankees find themselves in a precarious situation at the back end of the bullpen for the first time in well over a decade.