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Soriano opts out, leaving Yankees with a big decision to make

No big surprise, but Rafael Soriano has opted out of the final year of his three-year, $35-million contract with the Yankees and is a free agent.

What a pickle the Yankees are in at closer right now.

Mariano Rivera said last week he's not sure he's returning -- after telling beat writers in May to "write it in big letters" that he was coming back from his knee surgery. Soriano went 42 of 45 in save chances this year and the Yankees would certainly want him back if there's no Mo.

UntuckBut if Rivera does return, there's no way the Yankees will pay nearly $12 million for Mr. Untuck to serve as a setup man, not when they're trying to cut the payroll to avoid luxury tax payments in 2014. At least you wouldn't think so.

(#Untuck was the Twitter hashtag that developed from Soriano closing games and ripping his shirt out at the final out, as it looks in the picture to the right.)

What do they do? They need an answer quick from Mariano and then they can move on. What do you think? Vote below.

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington
Photo: Getty Images 

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |