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Rafael Soriano opts out of Yankees deal

NEW YORK -- Rafael Soriano, who saved 42 games in 46 chances this year as a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, has opted out of his contract with the Major League Baseball club, the team said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Dominican right-hander was due US$14 million next year but will instead take a US$1.5 million buyout as he seeks a new deal with another club.

The Yankees are expected to make a qualifying offer of more than US$13 million to Soriano in order to receive some sort of compensation should he sign with another club.

Soriano went 2-1 with a 2.26 earned-run average this past season as the Yankees won the American League East division title but were swept by Detroit in the league championship series.

In 453 career appearances, Soriano is 15-24 with 132 saves and a 2.78 earned-run average with the Yankees, Seattle, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

He served as a replacement for injured Mariano Rivera, the 42-year-old Panamanian closing relief ace who tore knee ligaments in May but has not yet decided whether or not to attempt a comeback.

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