Soriano Closes Gap Between Yankees, Red Sox

Soriano Closes Gap Between Yankees, Red Sox

Be honest, did you really think the Yankees would allow the Red Sox to crush them all winter, start to finish, without some sort of counterpunch? Did you swallow Brian Cashman’s promise not to give up a first-round draft pick just to sign Rafael Soriano?

If you were having night sweats worrying about the Yankees’ bizarre passivity, you can relax: Soriano is on his way to the Bronx, agreeing in principle Thursday night to a creative three-year, $35 million contract that gives the Bombers the best late-inning combination in baseball.

Between Soriano and Mariano Rivera, those last six outs will be dominated by power fastballs and historic cutters. The Red Sox, for all their on-paper might, won’t have quite the same blow-away capability after the seventh inning, a fact that might narrow the talent gap between the two rivals in the East.

The Sox still are the American League’s deepest, most balanced team; they project to a 100-plus-win season. But the addition of Soriano slots the Yankees at 95 or more wins, assuming they get the back end of their starting rotation fixed.

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