White Sox have some interest in Rafael Soriano

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It’s amazing how quiet the market has been this winter for free agent reliever Rafael Soriano.  He was one of the best bullpen pitchers in all of baseball last year with a 1.73 ERA and 0.80 WHIP across 64 appearances.

His 45 saves in 48 chances led all American League closers and he struck out 57 batters while walking only 14.  And, yet, only a couple of clubs have let it known that they have interest in the right-hander.

Most teams simply want to avoid the lofty price tag.  In a world where Joaquin Benoit can score a three-year, $16.5 million deal, Soriano should be able to command — or at least ask for — a four-year contract worth close to $25 million.

Whatever the case, it seems like the White Sox are at least investigating Soriano as a possible replacement for Bobby Jenks.  SI.com’s Jon Heyman said Saturday that there “seems to be interest” coming from the south side of Chicago, though money may be a real problem.  The White Sox have already handed out a couple of big contracts this offseason and would really have to stretch their budget to get something done.

It may take another week or two for the 31-year-old’s market to fully develop.

Mariners to hire Tim Laker as their hitting coach

Mariners
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Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that the Mariners plan to hire Tim Laker as their new hitting coach. He’ll replace Edgar Martinez, who has moved into a different role with the club.

Laker has spent the past spent the past two years as the Arizona Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach. Before that he was a coach and manager in the minor league systems of the Indians and White Sox. He, of course, also spent 11 seasons in the Majors as a catcher, playing for the Indians, Expos, Devil Rays, Pirates and Orioles.