Yankees closer Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract Wednesday, according to a report on the team’s website.
Soriano had originally signed a three-year $35 million deal and would have earned $14 million in 2013. But after saving 42 of 46 games with an ERA of 2.26 he may be in line for a bigger deal on the open market.
The opt-out triggers a $1.5 million buyout from the Yankees and puts them in an uncertain situation in the ninth inning. With legendary closer Mariano Rivera uncertain to return after last year’s season-ending knee injury the Yankees may be in for their third different closer in as many seasons.
The Yankees can still offer the 32-year old a $13.3 million qualifying offer before Friday to be able to receive draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere.
Already this offseason the Yankees have picked up club options for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson—each for $15 million.