The market for free agent reliever Rafael Soriano has been pretty weak this winter, mostly because of the draft pick compensation tied to him after he opted out of his contract with the Yankees and then rejected a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer. However, the deep-pocketed Dodgers could come to the rescue.
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“20 percent chance” isn’t much, but it’s higher than anything else we’ve heard with Soriano lately. It’s worth noting that if the Dodgers were to sign him, they would have to surrender their first-round pick for 2013. Zack Greinke didn’t cost the Dodgers a draft pick because the Angels acquired him midseason last year and thus were not permitted to make him a qualifying offer before he hit free agency.
Soriano, 33, posted a 2.26 ERA and 69/24 K/BB ratio over 67 2/3 innings with the Yankees in 2012 and went 42-for-46 in save chances while filling in for the injured Mariano Rivera. The Dodgers currently plan to go into the season with Brandon League as their closer.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.