It was only a matter of time, but Wednesday was opt-out day for Rafael Soriano.
The Yankees' closer opted-out of the final year of the three-year, $35 million deal he signed before the 2011 season. The Yankees PR department's verified twitter account tweeted the news.
Soriano was in line to earn $14 million for the 2013 season under that contract, and he is now due a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees are likely to make Soriano a qualifying offer, which is $13.3 million this season. If he accepts he would be under contract for one season and, combined with his buyout, would actually earn an $800,000 raise over his former deal.
But Soriano, who will turn 33 in December, is thought to be seeking a multi-year deal. He saved 42 games with a 2.26 ERA in 2012, taking over for the injured Mariano Rivera. His performance was less stellar in 2011, when he was 2-3 with a 4.12 ERA in a late-inning role.
Soriano's bargaining position could be helped by Rivera's indecision on whether he will return. The Yankees could turn to an in-house candidate like David Robertson for the ninth inning, but he's appeared shaky in prior closing opportunities and the Yankees have already witnessed Soriano succeed in the role.