Interesting offseason in the Bronx

Ran across a couple of pretty good stories on ESPN.com regarding the New York Yankees.

The first one is that GM Brian Cashman discouraged the Steinbrenners from signing Rafael Soriano to big bucks to be a set-up man, yet the ownership group did it anyway. The second one is about how the Yankees actually made a contract offer to free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano.

Let’s start with the Soriano deal. The dynamite reliever agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees within the last week. It includes opt-out clauses after each season, which seem unlikely to be exercised by him since he probably isn’t going to get a deal where he would get paid more than that.

Soriano saved 45 games with a 1.73 ERA last season for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Pavano story is a little more surprising, though I think we can all agree that there’s no way Pavano would have accepted a one-year contract offer like the story says. I’m not sure why the Yankees even bothered with an offer like that, unless they felt Pavano wanted to come back to the Bronx and try and make things right. He was signed to a four-year lucrative offer by the Yankees earlier in his career, but those four injury-plagued years led to the Pavano contract being considered one of the worst in recent history. But he’s bounced back the last year-plus with the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins are expected to have an agreement in place with Pavano by Wednesday.

It’s been a pretty quiet offseason for the Yankees until the Soriano signing. And considering the Boston Red Sox added outfielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the AL East seems to have swung in the direction of Beantown.

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