Last week, the Yankees traded Adam Warren and Justin Wilson away in exchange for Starlin Castro and some prospects. Now that the Yankees have found a second baseman, Brian Cashman has indicated that he will try to improve the bullpen and the rotation. The team has made it clear that they are not interested in signing any of the expensive free agent pitchers who are available, and they have reportedly checked in with former Yankee Rafael Soriano. He had a rough 2015 season, so he could be signed to a cheap deal. Should the Yankees be interested?
Soriano became a free agent last year after finishing up a two-year contract with the Nationals. He recorded 75 saves while working as their closer, yet he struggled to find a new home over the offseason. Much like Stephen Drew following the 2013 season, Soriano did not ink a deal with the Cubs until June. He made his way to the big leagues in July, where he posted a 6.35 ERA, giving up four runs through five and one-third innings. His season was very short lived, as he was subsequently placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. The Cubs designated him for assignment in early September and he ended up being released before the season ended.
Since Soriano's minor league contract with the Cubs was only worth approximately two million dollars, and his season was cut short due to injury, his price tag should be a lot lower than it might have been. He is only one year removed from a 2014 season where he posted a 3.19 ERA with 8.56 K/9, granted he was really terrible during the second half and ended up losing the role of closer with the Nationals. Although he did end the 2015 season with shoulder inflammation, Soriano has been pitching in the Dominican League this winter and seems to be healthy now. He's said to have a 2.57 ERA with 10 strikeouts through 14 innings pitched.
Cashman was quick to say that he was not done after he traded Justin Wilson away the other night, but as things currently stand the Yankees bullpen has been depleted. After Chasen Shreve collapsed during the second half, Wilson was the best reliever out of the 'pen behind Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Warren also did a fine job shifting from the rotation to the bullpen. Unless they want to rely on the likes of Bryan Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren, or the other relievers who traveled back and forth between the majors and Scranton, the Yankees need to fill some holes in the bullpen externally. Soriano is soon to be 36 years old, but if they could sign him to a one-year minor-league deal, it would be worth it to see if he has anything left in the tank. He certainly wouldn't be given the role of closer, but he could help to strengthen the bullpen.
Do you think the Yankees should reunite with Soriano?