Less than a day after accepting the Atlanta Braves offer of salary arbitration, and thus denying the Braves two draft picks next year, Rafael Soriano has provided clearance to be traded. This was an expected part of the process which his agents have engineered -- a process that is a type of end-around free agent draft pick compensation.
The Braves have apparently had multiple conversations with teams about Soriano, so the market for his services certainly seems to be there; it's all a matter of what the Braves can get in return for one year of a closer who will make around $8 million next season. Another question to ask is will that return from a trade equal the two high draft picks the Braves would have received had Soriano rejected arbitration. The answer is that it likely will not, but it may provide Atlanta with more major league-ready talent than they would have gotten through the draft.
With several tradeable pieces on the club right now -- reliever Rafael Soriano, starter Derek Lowe, and second baseman Kelly Johnson -- the Braves should be able to fill some of their needs through the trade market. The chatter on day-2 of the meetings has been positive in the direction of trading away these players for the off-season needs. We'll see what comes of it.
Dave O'Brien says that Soriano and his agent have already provided a list of teams that most interest the reliever, with some of those teams rumored to be the Yankees, Astros, Orioles, possibly the Red Sox. O'Brien also passes along a note that Braves GM Wren said an unidentified team might have trade interest in both Derek Lowe and Rafael Soriano.
I really hope this doesn't turn into a circus.