Rafael Soriano appears poised to leave the New York Yankees, and Ervin Santana is headed to Kansas City.
Soriano opted out of the final year of his $35 million, three-year contract Wednesday and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency. The right-hander had 42 saves for the Yankees last season after longtime closer Mariano Rivera tore knee ligaments in early May.
Soriano, 32, was set to make $14 million next season and had until Wednesday to opt out. Instead, New York will pay him a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees can make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million before Fridays 11:59 p.m. EDT deadline, and if Soriano signs with another team, they will get draft compensation.
Im not surprised because (agent) Scott Boras told me he was confident he could get him 15 times four (years), $60 million. If thats the case, it would be a good deal for Soriano, Yankees president Randy Levine told The Associated Press. I hope thats whats real in the marketplace.
Kansas City made its first move toward shoring up their rotation, acquiring Santana from the Angels for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk.
Santana was an All-Star in 2008 and threw a no-hitter in 2011, but struggled with the long ball this year. He gave up a major league-worst 39 homers and went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA – although he showed improvement in the second half of the season.
The Royals, however, declined their $8 million club option on closer Joakim Soria after he had elbow ligament-replacement surgery and missed last season. Soria, a two-time All-Star, will receive a $750,000 buyout.
Both sides want to work out a new contract.
All-Stars David Wright ($16 million) and R.A. Dickey ($5 million) had their contract options picked up by the Mets.
Baltimore exercised its $1 million option on right-handed reliever Luis Ayala but declined an $11 million option on first baseman Mark Reynolds.
Cleveland exercised its $5.75 million option on pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Also, the team declined its options on designated hitter Travis Hafner ($13 million) and starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez ($6 million), formerly known as Fausto Carmona.
Pittsburgh picked up its option on 25-year-old third baseman Pedro Alvarez ($700,000) and parted ways with catcher Rod Barajas, who had a $3.5 million option.
In Toronto, the Blue Jays exercised their $3 million option on left-handed reliever Darren Oliver and signed outfielder Rajai Davis to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.
Tampa Bay exercised contract options on pitcher James Shields, closer Fernando Rodney and catcher Jose Molina. The team also declined its $6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott.
Cincinnati outfielder Ryan Ludwick and reliever Ryan Madson became free agents.