It’s not everyday a baseball player wants to avoid playing for the New York Yankees, but that’s exactly the case with Rafael Soriano, as the reliever decided to bolt the Big Apple and join the Washington Nationals for the 2013 season.
The 33-year-old Soriano decided to opt out of the final year of his three-year contract with the Yankees (which cost him a $1.5 million buyout) in order to join the Nationals, but it’s safe to say that price didn’t matter considering he received a hefty two-year, $28 million contract from the defending N.L. East champions. What’s even better for Soriano–there’s a third-year, $14 million option for Soriano–depending on how well he performs over the next two seasons.
Soriano recorded 42 saves for the Yankees last season and will be a solid addition for a Washington squad that arguably had one of the top rotations in baseball last season and reached the postseason for the first tine in franchise history last fall. There’s no question Washington has the talent to make a run at their second-straight NL East title and could even get to the World Series this year now that they have the playoff experience under their belt.
With the addition of Soriano, Washington’s lineup has the potential to be that much better in 2013 and it should be interesting to see if New York will regret their decision of not fighting harder to keep their reliever around. For a team known to attempt “buying” championships, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Yankees to let Soriano go so easily.