Yep. He's kinda a big deal in case you were asleep the past decade or so.
He wasn't his dominant self prior to the knee injury, so yeah, there's question marks here. Jeter coming back too is unknown. Both guys are old. If they get their mojo back, Yankees win the East. Again.
No shit he was good. But you're making it sound like Soriano was a bum out there, when that's far from the truth. 2.26 ERA 1.16 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 is very comparable to Rivera's career numbers. Even if Mo is 100%, replacing Mariano for Soriano will see little change because Soriano was pitching like a top 5 closer. It's not like it's going from Valturde to Rivera.
EDIT: And Mo was pitching like Mo lately. 2008-11 his stats are virtually identical, and 2012 is too small of a sample size to judge on since he didn't even get 9 full innings in.
You don't think getting dominant classic Rivera back makes a difference? Shock value. Soriano as a setup man for Rivera or vice versa seems amazing on paper, so yeah, having both of them as shut down guys from the 7th or 8th on seems pretty freaking awesome to me.
Soriano opted out and is a FA. He's gonna close somewhere else where someone will overpay for him (as most teams do with high end relievers). It'll be Robertson/Mo 8-9, which, again, won't be a gigantic difference from Robertson/Soriano since Soriano pitched very, very well.