Two months into the 2015 regular season, reliever Rafael Soriano is still a free agent. He wants to sign with a team and has dropped agent Scott Boras in an effort to expedite that process, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports.
Soriano, 35, struggled in the second half last season and was booted from the closer’s role by Nationals manager Matt Williams, giving way to Drew Storen. Despite his ouster, Soriano wasn’t all that bad, finishing with a 3.19 ERA, 32 saves, and a 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings. One would think he could be an upgrade for at least one team out there if not as a closer, then simply as bullpen depth.
Rafael Soriano remains unsigned almost two months into the season, but Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com hears that the Cubs are among several teams who have considered bringing the veteran reliever aboard.
Soriano, 35, is currently training in the Dominican Republic and has been throwing to live hitters in preparation for game action. His agent, Scott Boras, told Mooney on Thursday that teams are “reaching out” and he’s “pretty close to structuring a deal for him.”
The Marlins were briefly mentioned as a possible fit last week with Steve Cishek being moved out of the closer role, but they apparently aren’t willing to give Soriano the salary he covets. The Cubs entered play Thursday with a disappointing 4.20 ERA out of their bullpen, but Hector Rondon isn’t in any danger to lose his closer job. If the price is right, they’d likely look at Soriano as a set-up man.
Soriano posted a 3.19 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings with the Nationals last season, but he really struggled during the second half and found himself booted from the closer role in September.
Yesterday several reports had the Marlins expressing interest in unsigned veteran closer Rafael Soriano, with the caveat that Soriano and agent Scott Boras were still holding out for a lot more money than Miami wanted to spend.
Apparently whatever interest was there is gone, because Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins “are no longer considering Soriano as a bullpen addition.”
It was seemingly a decent fit given that the Marlins just demoted Steve Cishek from the closer role and don’t have an obvious replacement, but Soriano continuing to ask for mid-offseason money in mid-May may have been a non-starter considering the 35-year-old’s second-half struggles last year.