NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the start of free agency looming, the Yankees have made qualifying offers to reliever Rafael Soriano, starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and right fielder Nick Swisher.
The players now have one week to decide whether to accept or decline the $13.3 million offers.
Soriano, who could be in for a big payday after taking over for Mariano River as closer and excelling, is expected to decline the offer. Swisher, who earlier in the year was reported to be seeking a Jayson Werth-type deal in the offseason, is also expected to reject the offer.
Kuroda, who was very impressive in his first year in the Bronx Bombers’ rotation, may accept the one-year deal.
If any of the three players sign with other clubs later in the offseason, the defending American League East champions will receive draft compensation.
Soriano was everything the Yankees could have hoped for and more in 2012, saving 42 games in 46 chances and posting a 2.26 ERA. The right-hander recorded 69 strikeouts to just 24 walks.
Swisher had a solid regular season — batting .272 with 24 homers and 93 RBIs — but he struggled mightily in the postseason, going 5-for-30 with no homers and 10 strikeouts. He made matters worse by admitting that the booing aimed at him from Yankees fans was bothersome.
Kuroda, who joined New York after four seasons with the Dodgers, was a rock on the staff, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA and 167 strikeouts.
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