Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/15/13
It looked for a while like Rafael Soriano would regret opting out of his contract with the Yankees. That’s no longer the case, as the Nationals have reportedly decided to toss a lucrative deal his way. Soriano has agreed to a two-year, $28 million contract with the Nationals, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. The deal reportedly contains an option for a third year that will vest if Soriano finishes 120 games over the course of the next two seasons. Soriano took over as the Yankees’ closer last season after Mariano Rivera went down with a season-ending injury on May 3. He pitched well in his new role, saving 42 games and finishing the season with a 2.26 ERA in 69 appearances. It marked the second time in three seasons that Soriano recorded more than 40 saves, as he also accomplished the feat in 2010 as a member of the Rays. He saved 45 games with Tampa that year while earning an All-Star selection and finishing eighth in Cy Young voting and 12th in MVP voting. The 33-year-old Soriano signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Bronx Bombers in January of 2011 after his breakout campaign with the Rays, but he decided earlier this offseason to opt out of his contract after two years in New York. The hope was that he’d be able to secure another multiyear deal, while also going somewhere where he’d have an opportunity to continue pitching in a closer’s role. The market was slow to develop for Soriano because he was tied to draft-pick compensation as a result of turning down a qualifying offer from the Yankees, but the Nationals ultimately decided that giving up a draft pick in addition to making a sizable financial commitment wasn’t enough to keep them from getting their guy. Source: Rafael Soriano agrees to two-year, $28M deal with Nationals. Deal contains vesting option for third year. Story coming on Y! Sports. — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 15, 2013 Rafael Soriano’s $14 million option will vest with 120 games finished over the next two seasons. — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 15, 2013 Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison
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