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Why Losing a Draft Pick for Soriano Isn’t a Big Deal



By Mike Silva ~ January 6th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Yesterday, Jon Heyman of SI tweeted that he believes the Yankees will turn to Rafael Soriano if Andy Pettitte winds up retiring. Before the holidays, I suggested a solid Plan B would be to beef up the bullpen by signing Soriano to “closer type money” just to set up Mariano Rivera. This would slot David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain into more desirable roles in the sixth and seventh inning, while Soriano/Rivera could provide a “lights out” tandem not seen since the days that Rivera set up John Wetteland. Soriano’s presence would also relieve pressure on Rivera, as he could give him a few days off. I realize Rivera is ageless, but he still is 40 years old.

The issue with signing Soriano is the Type A status. The Yankees would lose a first round pick in a draft that many experts deem as “deep.” I don’t see this is as big an issue because of the fact the Yankees payroll resources, and the current depth of their farm system.

Back in March of ’10, Moshe Mandel of the Yankee U recapped a John Sickels conversation with Yankees VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman. In that column, Newman pointed out how they have relied on the international market, as well as risking lower draft picks on players that are signability issues, because the lower first round picks don’t have the highest ceilings. Knowing that, I don’t think the lack of a first round pick eliminates the Yankees from having a productive draft in 2011.

This is not the Yankees of the turn of the century, who had a shallow farm system and needed to plug a majority of their holes via free agency. They are rich with arms, catchers, and have seen some positional player’s progress over the last couple of years. I do not think they should sacrifice the big league club because of the possibility there is a gem in the 2011 amateur draft.

Right now it would be hard to see the Yankees competing with Boston in a short series. The pitching isn’t good enough, and there isn’t another Cliff Lee  on the horizon. Brian Cashman put all his proverbial eggs in the Lee basket and lost. Obtaining Soriano on a one year deal isn’t all that risky. I believe it’s realistic since his market appears to have dried up. Why not take the Yankees money and have a big season in New York. That would allow him to shop around and see what team needs a closer next year. The three to four year deal Scott Boras was looking for is just not going to happen this year.

As Newman said in the article “to be extraordinary involves risk, and our goal (the Yankees) is to be extraordinary.” Signing Soriano at the expense of a first round pick is a risk, but could turn out to be an extraordinary move. It could also be imperative to close the gap between them and Boston.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to Why Losing a Draft Pick for Soriano Isn’t a Big Deal

  1. Russ

    Deja Vu

    Oh yeah, I suggested that here a few weeks back (LOL)

    I love the 1 year plan for Soriano.

    True losing the pick sucks, but with the compensation pick for Javy, they really are standing pat there, just dropping down 15-20 slots.

    Soriano is a Type A and should be next year as well, so you would also be buying an extra pick for 2012 in the deal.

    By pushing D-Rob & Joba down to the 6th & 7th, it’s easier to make due for half a year with length issues from your 4th & 5th starters that will arise either from going with kids, signing make good deals with SPs coming off of injury, or heaven forbid, Sergio Mitre.

    You would be absolutely killer in a short series with that pen. Shortened games, and crazy good match up options in the middle innings.

    Trade chips — While I wouldn’t do it unless it’s a no-brainer, both D-Rob & Joba are suddenly, in theory, expendable in the right deal.

    Then there are the late game match ups galore for games with Boston and especially Texas. Huge potential for K’s out of the pen which is the #1 way to get bailed out of jams and more time for the kids to develop on the farm. For example, with this move, there will no longer be the temptation to call up someone like Brackman to pitch out of the pen in mid-season.

    Lots of positives here, including the fact that with the money coming off of the payroll and not going towards Lee, you still have the flexibility to sign Andy or trade for a SP at the deadline.

    I really dig this move in a lot of ways

  2. Stu B

    According to Buster Olney, the Yankees aren’t interested in Soriano. Scott Boras “told ESPN New York on Thursday that his client would be open to playing for the Yankees and serving in a setup role behind Mariano Rivera.”

    Boras loves to drag the Yankees into his negotiations.

  3. UncleMario

    The only reason why Boras is dragging the Yankees into this was for only one reason – to drum up business for his client since there’s apparently no market for Soriano.

  4. Stu B

    Funny how Heyman fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

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