Reliever Rafael Soriano opted out of the final year of a three-year, $35 million contract with the New York Yankees on Wednesday and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency.
The move was expected after the right-hander had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA while filling in for closer Mariano Rivera this season after baseball's saves leader tore a knee ligament in early May.
"I'm not surprised because (agent) Scott Boras told me he was confident he could get him 15 times four (years), $60 million. If that's the case, it would be a good deal for Soriano," Yankees president Randy Levine told The Associated Press. "I hope that's what's real in the marketplace."
Soriano was set to make $14 million next season. Instead, New York will pay him a $1.5 million buyout. The Yankees can make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million before Friday's deadline, and if Soriano signs with another team, they will get draft compensation.
Soriano, who will be 33 in December, signed his hefty contract with New York before the 2011 season after notching a career-high 45 saves with Tampa Bay.
Angels trade pitcher Santana to Royals
The Los Angeles Angels traded right-hander Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk.
The Angels exercised Santana's $13 million option for next season before trading the Dominican veteran and cash to the Royals.
Santana has been a fixture in Los Angeles' rotation since 2005, going 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA while spending his entire career with the Angels, who signed him as a free agent in 2000. He struggled for much of last season, going 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA despite significant improvements over the final two months.
MARLINS: A person familiar with Miami's managerial search says former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon has become at least the fourth candidate to interview for the job.
Former major league manager Larry Bowa, ex-big league catcher Mike Redmond and Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price also interviewed to replace Ozzie Guillen, who was fired after one season.
AROUND THE MAJORS: The Mets have picked up the contract options for All-Stars David Wright and R.A. Dickey. … The Orioles exercised the 2013 club option on right-handed reliever Luis Ayala and declined their option on first baseman Mark Reynolds. … The Royals have declined their 2013 option on Joakim Soria after he missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, making the former All-Star closer a free agent. … The Indians picked up pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez's $5.75 million contract option for next season. … The Pirates have hired longtime major league infielder Jay Bell as their new hitting coach. They also picked up the option on third baseman Pedro Alvarez. … The Blue Jays have exercised their $3 million option on left-hander Darren Oliver and signed outfielder Rajai Davis to a one-year, $2.5 million contract