#Cubs sign Soriano to Minor League deal

The Cubs picked up a potential bullpen arm and a pitcher manager Joe Maddon knows well, signing 35-year-old
Rafael Soriano to a Minor League contract on Tuesday.

Soriano, who most recently pitched for the Nationals last season, has logged 117 saves over his last three seasons with the Yankees and the Nationals. In that span, he went 9-5 with a 2.84 ERA in 201 relief outings.

Over Soriano’s 13-year career, he has pitched for the Mariners (2002-06), Braves (2007-09), Rays (2010), Yankees (2011-12) and Nats (2013-14). He is 22-28 lifetime with 207 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 585 Major League appearances (all but eight in relief).

He primarily served as a setup man early in his career before saving 27 games for the Braves in 2009, then went on to
record a career-high 45 saves for Maddon and the Rays in 2010, when he was named an All-Star. He has three seasons (also 2012 with the Yankees and 2013 with the Nationals) of 40-plus saves.

Last year, Soriano went 4-1 with 32 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 64 relief appearances for the Nationals. He lost the
closer’s job in the second half of the season when he posted a 6.48 ERA in 27 games. In the first half, he saved 22 of 24
games and compiled a 0.97 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 37 innings.

Cubs relievers rank 10th in the National League with a 3.68 ERA, with 14 saves in 22 opportunities. In the last three wins
over the Nationals, Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and Jason Motte each picked up a save. Rondon, who began the season as the closer, went 2-0 in May with a 4.38 ERA in 12 games, saving five of seven.

According to reports, Soriano will earn a pro-rated portion of a $4.1 million base salary, and can ad up to $4 million in
incentives, which will be based on games finished and appearances.

—  Carrie Muskat

2 Comments

Pingback: #Cubs sign Soriano to Minor League deal - Cubs Chronicles

They say his velocity was down a bit at the end of last season. On the other hand, he’ll only be pitching 2/3 of a season this year, so maybe he’ll still have something left in the tank come playoff race time? I was hoping for Papelbon in a trade (maybe him and Hamels together), but we’ll see how Soriano does and what else happens as the trade market heats up.

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