By accepting salary arbitration, Rafael Soriano completely screwed the Braves. Of course for the players and teams baseball is a business, and Soriano figured to get more money in arbitration than via free agency, so Soriano did what he had to do to protect his bank account. Or at least Soriano did what his agent thought was best. Arbitration made sense for Soriano, but sucks for the Braves and their fans.
By going the arbitration route, Atlanta will no longer get draft picks as compensation for the team signing Soriano, and the Braves were on the hook for an unexpected $7 million (or more) after already dipping their toes in the bullpen free agency market. The really sad part of this is reactionary move is that Atlanta would have ended up with a really solid bullpen if they could afford to keep Soriano’s salary on the books. Too bad because Soriano would have also brought a lot more via trade come July, than a December trade with Tampa Bay. The best the Braves could do was Jesse Chavez.