"The closer market has not had anybody as a free agent with those kind of seasons and is 30 years old in the market,'' Boras said, noting how most of the top closers are signed before they get to free agency.
Boras called Soriano's performance "a historic season" - citing the limited number of other closers to have 44 or more saves with an ERA under 2.00 and a 92-percent sucess rate. And, he said, Soriano "is on track to be one of the alltime saves leaders based on what he's doing at this age."
We all love Rafi and I don't want to see him leave, but this news makes it all but inevitable. Scott Boras never strikes a team-friendly deal, and he will not let one of his agents negotiate a "hometown discount". He's out for the big bucks and if you're not willing to play with him, he'll go court someone else. If there's one thing he's managed to prove over the years, it's that there's always an idiot out there that's willing to overpay.
Rafael Soriano was already likely to get a multi-year contract for some big bucks, something that the Rays are loathe to do with relief pitchers. One of the last "historic closers" that Boras represented, Francisco Rodriguez, ended up signing a three-year, $37M contract back in 2008. The market has since plummeted, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Boras trying to get a similar deal for Soriano.
Soriano is 30 years old and has had a speckled injury history over his career; 2009 and 2010 are the first years in a long time that he hasn't had an arm injury of some kind. His 2010 season has been amazing, but will the Rays negotiate with Boras to bring Soriano back? With their history of resurrecting cheap relief pitchers off the scrap heap - i.e. Grant Balfour and Joaquin Benoit - my guess is no.
For now, I'm going to try not to think about that.