The Washington Nationals will be paying Rafael Soriano more than any other reliever not named Mariano Rivera. And they will be giving up draft picks and limiting themselves in slot money for the upcoming draft. All this because the New York Yankees gave Soriano a qualifying offer that he turned down, and the Nationals signed him.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the deal is worth $28 million over two years. Soriano will also earn a a third season if he appears in 120 games over the first two years of the deal.
Source: Rafael Soriano agrees to two-year, $28M deal with Nationals. Deal contains vesting option for third year. Story coming on Y! Sports.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 15, 2013
Soriano stepped up and filled the closer's role for the New York Yankees last season when Rivera went down with his knee injury. Soriano himself remained healthy and appeared in 69 games last season which bodes well for his vesting option.
Last season, Soriano posted a 2.26 ERA and saved 42 games. In his career, Soriano has pitched for four different teams and has 132 saves. Over 11 Major League seasons, he has a 2.78 ERA.
The Nationals will likely use Soriano as their closer, but they will certainly have options. The team still has Drew Storen under team control and Tyler Clippard under team control. Both could be closers, but regardless the team will have a stacked bullpen.