After the KC Royals declined former closer Joakim Soria’s $8 million option for next season, I thought the Royals would try to bring him back at a cheaper price.
Prior to succumbing to his second Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2012 season, Soria was one of the game’s best closers. Yet he rarely garnered much recognition.
I had heard that a few big name teams were interested in him (like Boston), but he had kept stating his desire to close.
However on Day 1 of the winter meetings in Nashville, it was announced that Soria did sign with one of those big name teams. He signed a two year deal with the Texas Rangers, but he will be setting up Joe Nathan. The deal is expected to be worth $8 million with a possible third year option. He is expected in Arlington tomorrow for a physical.
The Rangers took a flyer on Nathan last off season after he had recovered from TJS and it worked out pretty well. Now Soria has someone to go to with questions regarding his recovery.
Soria is just 28 years old and is one of the best Rule V draft stories. The Royals plucked him in 2006 and he now ranks third in the franchise in saves (160). He also carries a career 2.40 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings.
In other winter meetings news…
*Former (and seldom used) outfielder Mitch Maier signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox.
*DH Billy Butler is in a lot of conversations in Nashville. The Seattle Mariners still REALLY want him. Despite the fact that the TB Rays signed first baseman James Loney, they are still interested in Butler. The Baltimore Orioles need a big bat in the middle of their order. The M’s and Rays are better choices for the Royals to deal with because of their pitching depth.