Reliever Rafael Soriano has opted out of the final year of his contract with the New York Yankees and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency.
Soriano was set to make $14 million next season. Instead, the Yankees will pay him a $1.5 million buyout. New York can make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million. If Soriano signs with another team, the Yankees will get draft compensation.
The right-hander signed a three-year, $35 million deal with New York before the 2011 season. He served as a setup man for Mariano Rivera until the baseball saves leader tore knee ligaments in May. Soriano had 42 saves in his place.
Yankees president Randy Levine said Wednesday he is not surprised Soriano opted out of his deal.