Rafael Soriano will opt out of the final year of his Yankees contract Wednesday, but that doesn't mean it's the end of his Yankees career.
Assuming Soriano does opt out, as has been expected for several weeks, the Yankees will counter by making him the $13.3-million qualifying offer by Friday's deadline, setting the stage for what could be an interesting multiyear negotiation.
There is a chance that Soriano will accept a qualifying offer, raising his 2013 salary by $800k because of the $1.5 million buyout included in his initial contract, but it seems more likely he will pursue a multi-year deal like the one Brandon League locked up with the Dodgers last night.
The 32-year-old Soriano pitched incredibly well filling in for the injured Mariano Rivera this season, racking up forty-two saves while posting a 2.26 ERA and 9.2 K/9. The right-hander is reportedly seeking a four-year deal, which may put him out of reach for the Yankees, who are likely to two years at most.
With Rivera giving serious thought to retirement and Soriano taking his chances on the free agent market, the Yankees may have to scramble to find a closer this winter if neither pitcher stays in the Bronx.