MLB rumors and the New York Yankees go hand-in-hand, especially in the off-season. This year will be no different, in fact, there might be an increase in rumors this year as the Yankees have several holes that need to be filled.
Among those holes might be the bullpen which has seen Rafael Soriano exercise his opt-out clause in hopes of getting a raise in free agency. The Yankees might be looking for a little help to back up Mariano Rivera who announced he will be returning for 2013 but is still very much a question mark and is a free agent himself.
While it is unlikely the Yankees go after Soriano now, they might very well make a run at Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria became a free agent after the Royals declined his $8 million option after he missed most of last season due to Tommy John surgery.
Soria’s agent recently said that Soria would listen to any offer the Yankees threw his way and that the Yankees would be the only team Soria wouldn’t ask to be closer for. That might be music to GM Brian Cashman’s ears. Cashman has had a crush on Soria for the past few years and called his Royals counterpart Dayton Moore in hopes of bringing Soria to the Bronx.
Soria is still just 28, and has been one of the best closers in baseball the past few years. Right now the Yankees haven’t made an offer to the Royals closer but if one is made it will likely be in the neighborhood of at least $8-10 million per year.
The major hang-up might actually be who the Yankees already have on the roster. David Aardsma spent all of this past season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and logged one inning with the Yankees at the end of the year. There is also Joba Chamberlain whom the Yankees view as a key component of their bullpen moving forward.
Right now, it looks like the Yankees are not making the bullpen a priority and are instead focusing their efforts on filling other holes at catcher, outfield, and starting pitcher before trying to fill any vacancies in the bullpen.
However, adding Soria would certainly be an intriguing option if Cashman wanted to add another power arm to an already strong bullpen.