Friday, November 9, 2012

Swisher, Soriano, Kuroda pass on Yankees qualifying offers

Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher have all rejected qualifying offers from the New York Yankees by Friday's 5 p.m. deadline.

All three players had until today's deadline to inform the club of their final decisions after the Yankees had made the one-year, $13 million offers last week to ensure draft compensation if any of the three free agents sign elsewhere.  They can still negotiate deals to stay with the team.

"Let's put it this way: I don't believe anybody's going to accept," said general manager Brian Cashman after the General Managers Meetings were finished on Friday.  "But I would be happy if they did."

Kuroda and Soriano are the most likely to re-sign — either for more years or more money.  Swisher appears to be ready to test the free-agent waters where he's sure to attract attention.

If the Yankees re-sign Mariano Rivera, Kuroda would the most important of the three to keep in pinstripes.  Kuroda was last season's most consistent Yankees starter and finished the year strong.  If Andy Pettitte decides to retire, he would become a significant part of the Yankees rotation in 2013.

Whether or not Kuroda returns to Japan, as he has suggested, is one option Kuroda has but the 37-year-old could also  end up with the Red Sox or back with the Dodgers as well.  Either way, the righthander will cost more than the $10 million he made with the Yankees last year.

Soriano is looking for a multi-year deal and, if Rivera comes back as the closer, the surly Soriano's price tag might be a little high for the Bronx — where the Yankees want to keep under the $189 million payroll tax in 2014.

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