Despite being rumored to be on the Detroit Tigers' radar this offseason, available reliever Rafael Soriano is not going to be pursued by the organization in free agency, according to a report by Peter Gammons of MLB.com.
Many believed the 32-year-old Soriano would land in Detroit due to his agent Scott Boras' strong working relationship with Tigers owner Mike Illitch, and also because of how badly Jim Leyland's team needs to shore up its closer position heading into 2013. But the high price tag Soriano will likely command on the open market ultimately takes the Tigers out of the running in the wake of the team giving outfielder Torii Hunter a two-year, $26 million deal roughly two weeks ago.
Soriano was brilliant in the ninth inning last season for the New York Yankees following a devastating injury to closer Mariano Rivera, and racked up 42 saves out of 46 opportunities with a stellar 2.27 earned-run average. While Soriano would have offered an ideal option at the back of Leyland's bullpen, the Tigers will likely be forced to find a closer internally due to having a majority of capital tied up at the moment. Detroit still could look at a less expensive option on the free-agent market in the form of a lefty reliever, but for now it appears names like Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit could very easily enter the spring as the team's top closing options.