Reliever Rafael Soriano opted out of the final year of a three-year, $35 million contract with the New York Yankees on Wednesday and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency.
The move was expected after the right-hander had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA while filling in for closer Mariano Rivera this season after baseball's saves leader tore a knee ligament in early May.
''I'm not surprised because (agent) Scott Boras told me he was confident he could get him 15 times four (years), $60 million. If that's the case, it would be a good deal for Soriano,'' Yankees president Randy Levine told The Associated Press. ''I hope that's what's real in the marketplace.''
Soriano was set to make $14 million next season. Instead, New York will pay him a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees can make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million before Friday's deadline, and if Soriano signs with another team, they will get draft compensation.
Soriano, who will be 33 in December, signed his hefty contra...