To: Brian Cashman
From: Andrew Marchand
Re: Rafael Soriano
CC: Scott Boras
The move now is to go get Rafael Soriano. That is what you should do even if Andy Pettitte decides to come back.
The misnomer on Pettitte is that he is some sort of sure thing. If Pettitte were to come back, he will turn 39 before the All-Star break. Last year, the break was basically midnight on his season. He had the groin and the back injuries that made him a half-season pitcher. It was one heckuva half season, but a half season nonetheless.
So even if Pettitte decides to return, what can you count on from a year older Andy?
Soriano is the last impact player on the free-agent market for the Yankees. If he locked down the eighth inning and you have Mariano Rivera in the ninth, then suddenly the suspect starting rotation gets a lot better. CC Sabathia, if his knee is fine, should be his usual self, going deep into games and resting the pen. Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Pettitte, Ivan Nova, etc.. would know they'd only need to pitch six strong innings and then hand it to David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, Pedro Feliciano, Soriano and Rivera.
The Yankees could then be dominant at the end of games. The strategy makes perfect sense and after banking the nearly $150 million you were going to give to Cliff Lee, it should fit into the budget.
Now, Soriano's agent is Scott Boras. Boras doesn't do discounts, we all know that. Soriano deserves a nice raise from the $7.5 million he received from Tampa for his 45 saves last year. He was the difference maker in the division (along with the fact the Yanks didn't try too hard in September to win the East).
Brian, if you pay Soriano elite closer money, then he likely would be willing to be a setup man.
If you put Soriano on this Yankees team, then the talk going into spring training is not all about the blowtorch put to Derek Jeter's image and the loss of Lee.
It is about how the Yankees can finish games like no other team in baseball.