Rafael Soriano moves to the Boras camp

Rafael Soriano(notes), who in a season-and-a-half in the role has established himself as one of the dominant closers in the game, has hired agent Scott Boras to represent him as he approaches free agency.

Soriano, 30, has 44 saves and a 1.76 ERA, becoming a pivotal performer for the Tampa Bay Rays and their return to the American League playoffs. He signed a one-year deal for $7.5 million last December after being traded to the Rays by the Braves.

Boras put Soriano’s impact in the ninth inning with that of some of the elite closers in history, among them Dennis Eckersley, Eric Gagne(notes), Mariano Rivera(notes) and Trevor Hoffman(notes).

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“Tampa was a closer away from being a championship-caliber team,” Boras said. “And now he’s the elite closer at a very young age in the market.”

A set-up man for the Atlanta Braves until taking over for an injured Mike Gonzalez in the middle of last season, Soriano has converted 65 of 71 save opportunities since. The Braves traded Soriano to the Rays last offseason.

Soriano joins Jayson Werth(notes), Adrian Beltre(notes), Manny Ramirez(notes), Andruw Jones(notes) and Kevin Millwood(notes) among Boras’ clients who will become free agents at season’s end.