Scott Boras is reportedly asking for 3 years/$30 million in order for a team to secure the services of Rafael Soriano. Despite Brian Cashman explicitly stating he will not surrender a first-round draft pick for any remaining free agent, Boras buttboy Jon Heyman says the Yankees are still interested in the former Rays closer.

Considering the cost and the production he’d likely provide the Yankees, Soriano simply doesn’t make sense for this team. Here’s why:

1. He’s really not an upgrade over David Robertson and the imprisoned Joba Chamberlain. Soriano’s career xFIP is a modest 3.68. Compare that to the younger Robertson’s 3.55 and Chamberlain’s 3.77 (which includes 221 innings as a starter).

2. This one is a biggie: Soriano is an extreme flyball pitcher. He carries a career flyball rate of 50% and groundball rate of only 31%. This matters because he’s not that good versus left-handed hitters. That’s not a positive combination for Yankee Stadium.

The proof can be seen in his 2010 splits. Despite his sparkling 1.73 ERA for the season, his xFIP versus LHB was a beefy 4.42. His career xFIP versus lefties is 4.13. According to Stat Corner, Yankee Stadium increases lefty HRs by 24%. If used properly, he’d basically be a ROOGY. Is that worth 3 years, $30 million?

3. He has a lengthy history of elbow injuries, having Tommy John surgery in 2004 and ulnar nerve surgery in 2008.

4. The first round draft pick. Should we really give up a 1st rounder for a reliever? Really?

5. Since he’d no longer be a closer, he’d lose some of the higher leverage innings, further dampening his value for the Yankees.

Soriano is a good pitcher, don’t get us wrong. However, he is not of the elite variety that would necessitate such a high price. He simply isn’t worth the cost to the Yankees.


*Props to Gary Wallace for also contributing to this post.