There are two competing ideas going around this morning about whether Atlanta Braves closers Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez will accept or reject the Braves offer of arbitration. Here is the first take from ESPN's Buster Olney:
Says one high-ranking executive: "If Rafael Soriano turns down arbitration, he's insane." The Braves offered the right-hander arbitration after Soriano, who could make about $8 million through the process, or more than Billy Wagner will make to be the Atlanta closer.
While I like the decision to sign Billy Wagner, I agree with some folks on here yesterday who questioned the timing. But perhaps the Braves are unafraid of Soriano re-signing. That would give them another trade piece, or a fantastic (albeit expensive) 8th-9th inning punch.
SI.com's Jon Heyman follows up with this comment:
soriano, mike gonzalez will reject arbitration. one GM called them "the 2 most sought-after relievers on market."
Confusing. I can see both sides of the coin, but I think I fall on the latter side, the side of both of those guys signing elsewhere for more money and more guaranteed years than the one year they'd get with Atlanta.
And now this clarification from David O'Brien:
Top Braves officials fully expect Soriano & Gonzalez to leave via free agency. Really, there's no doubt in their minds that both will leave.
No doubt. I wonder if they had some sort of handshake agreement that the team would offer arb, but the players would not accept it. That happens sometimes.