Photo: Screengrab va MLB.com
This past winter, the Yankees signed former Rays closer Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million contract. And so far, the marriage has gone about as well as expected.That is, not very well at all.
So far this season, Soriano is pitching to a 5.40 ERA. Yesterday, the Yankees placed Soriano on the DL with an elbow injury.
Interestingly, one report on WFAN added that Soriano’s “locker has been cleaned out.”
This came after Soriano had some interesting comments in which he seemed aloof to his situation and threw his teammates under the bus.
“I don’t think the bullpen be the problem right now. I think it be the hitters,” said Soriano. That thing happens sometimes.”
And when he was asked if he was bothered about not being able to face the Rays or Red Sox, Soriano added, “Not at all, to me…Because in the situation, how the team looks be the situation when I’m supposed to be in the game, the eighth. Everybody see, (the team is) losing two, three runs. I don’t think it be that situation that I would be in the bullpen, that I would be in the game.”
These comments came after Bobby Valentine mentioned on “Baseball Tonight” two nights ago that “nobody in the [Yankees] clubhouse likes [Soriano].”
All of this won’t be much of a surprise to those in and around the Rays organisation. There were reports this past off-season that Soriano was not liked in the Rays clubhouse and even threw a temper tantrum in the bullpen during the playoffs when asked to pitch in a non-save situation.
And according to Peter Gammons, this situation probably isn’t a surprise to anybody in baseball except the people that overruled Brian Cashman this winter and gave Soriano the $35 million contract.
In an interview on WFAN yesterday, Gammons said that the signing “was widely considered to be a pretty big mistake throughout the industry.”
This brings us back to the report that Soriano’s locker at Replica Yankee Stadium was cleaned out yesterday. (The Yankees were on the road last night playing in St. Pete). The report did not clarify what that meant. But it does raise the question of whether the Yankees and Soriano will survive the remaining two-and-half seasons on his contract.
Are the Yankees ready to cut ties with Soriano? Probably not. But it does suggest that his trip to the DL might be more about a much needed vacation…for both sides.
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