Rafael Soriano has been one of the most consistent relief pitchers since 2005. After signing for $11 million with the Washington Nationals following a two-year stint with the New York Yankees, the Dominican Republic-native found his form in a return to the National League. By the end of his term with the Nationals, Soriano had a combined ERA of 3.15 with 75 saves.
Although he had an overall strong year, the 34-year-old right-handed-pitcher struggled in the second half of 2014. He had a career-high seven blown saves throughout the season, with five of them following the All-Star break. Evidently, Soriano was replaced late in the year by Drew Stroren. The team assigned him to a late relief role, and he continued to struggle - allowing at least one run in five out of the nine appearances he made in September.
The struggles, along with his advanced age, has led the Nationals to decline his option for the 2015 season. But he was a large reason as to why the organization made playoff runs over the past two years, and won the NL East this year. However, he is going to be one of the top relievers available in the free-agent market.
12 teams had at least 20 blown saves in 2014, and 16 clubs had a 70 percent save percentage or lower. Yet after his sub-par second half, Soriano should get a solid offer from several teams, especially since he hasn't been hurt that often since 2009.
As for the Mets, they could use another solid reliever. Jenrry Mejia will likely be the closer until Bobby Parnell is fully recovered from missing all but one game in 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin and Vic Black also had solid seasons in relief for the Mets. However, there likely isn't room on the staff for another reliever with a surplus of young pitchers coming through the ranks.
After making over $10 million for the past three seasons, Soriano will likely get a pay cut as his fastball loses velocity from the low to mid-90s and becomes more reliant on his secondary pitches, which includes a slider, a cutter and a two-seamer.