Rafael Soriano opts out of deal

Updated: November 1, 2012, 11:37 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

Rafael Soriano opted out of the last season of his three-year contract Wednesday, leaving the New York Yankees without a closer and waiting on Mariano Rivera's decision whether to retire.

Soriano's opt-out had been expected since the end of the season. His agent, Scott Boras, has indicated to several media outlets, including ESPNNewYork.com, that he planned to advise his client to opt out and become a free agent.

Soriano would have been paid $14 million had he remained for the final season of the deal. Soriano can negotiate with all teams beginning Saturday.

If Rivera decides to return, there is very little chance the Yankees will try to re-sign Soriano, who saved 42 games in 45 opportunities filling in for Rivera since early May.

Rivera is still contemplating whether to play next season. Immediately after suffering his season-ending knee injury, he vowed to pitch again, but backed off that stance last week when he informed Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that he is undecided on his future.

With Soriano opting out, the Yankees have leeway to offer Rivera more money. If Rivera retires and the Yankees don't re-sign Soriano, then David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma would be in-house candidates for the closer role.

The Yankees' team offices have been closed due to Hurricane Sandy. Yankee Stadium suffered only minor damage from the storm.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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