Soriano Turns Down Qualifying Offer From Yankees, MLB.com Says

Relief pitcher Rafael Soriano rejected the New York Yankees’ $13.3 million qualifying offer, making him a free agent, while former teammates Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda also are expected to turn down equivalent packages from the club, MLB.com reported.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said today at baseball meetings in Indian Wells, California, that he received a rejection phone call from Scott Boras, Soriano’s agent, and that he doesn’t expect Swisher, an outfielder and first baseman, and Kuroda, a starting pitcher, to except offers before today’s 5 p.m. New York time deadline, according to MLB.com.

Under new terms of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement with its players, teams can make one-year qualifying offers for the average of the previous season’s 125 top salaries, which this year is $13.3 million, the amount offered to all three Yankees’ players.

The players still may re-sign with the team. If they sign elsewhere, the Yankees will be compensated with draft picks.

Soriano, 32, had 42 saves in 46 appearances last season, filling in for the injured Mariano Rivera, who has said he’d like to return in 2013.

The 31-year-old Swisher, who has played four seasons with the Yankees, batted .272 with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in in 2012, playing in 148 games, including 41 at first base.

Kuroda, 37, went 16-11 with a 3.32 earned run average in his first season with the Yankees following four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His career record is 57-57 with a 3.42 ERA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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