Found November 06, 2012 on
Joakim Soria was one of the top closers for the Kansas City Royals over the past few years, prior to missing all of the 2012 MLB season due to Tommy John surgery. Now facing a decision in free agency, Soria would like to once again establish himself as one of the elite closers in the game.
Unless, of course, the New York Yankees made a phone call. That would be an entirely different situation.
Soris would be willing to go to the Yankees to serve as a set-up man in the eighth inning, after word got out that Mariano Rivera intends to return in 2013 after suffering a season ending injury early this year. If Rivera returns to his closing duties as expected, Soria would be fine signing with New York to both set up, and learn from, Rivera. That is according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
“If the Yankees call, we will be all ears,” Soria’s agent, Oscar Suarez, said by phone Monday. “If there is a fit, Joakim would be elated to work with Mo. He would close everywhere except there.”
According to Suarez, eight teams have already been in contact in regard to potentially signing Soria, although the Yankees are not one of them. Still just 28-years-old, Soria could be a free agent steal, considering he will likely come cheaper due to missing all of 2012.
In my opinion, I feel that the Yankees would be foolish and ignorant not to call.
While Soria is five years younger than Rafael Soriano and, would likely come at a much lower asking price than the reported 4 years/$60 million Soriano is seeking on the free agent market, he could come at a bargain. Also, Soria would have no problem setting up for Rivera until he decides to retire. We have seen that Soriano is nowhere near as effective in the set up or seventh inning roles as he is closing out the game in the ninth. That would be the case for at least one year if he comes back to the Yankees with Rivera back in the mix.
Of course, this does come with a bit of a caveat.
Soria may not be able to pitch in a MLB game until June, with May being the earliest date possible. Still, if the Yankees’ bullpen can hold up with David Robertson continuing to pitch the eighth inning until they hand the ball to Rivera, Soria could be eased back slowly. he could pitch the seventh or eighth inning for New York in 2013, and then assume the closer’s role in 2014, if Rivera does in fact retire then. We have already seen that Robertson is far better suited to set up the closer than to handle the closing duties. That is what led to Soriano having his resurgent season in 2012 with the Yankees.
“Joakim is not a greedy individual,” Suarez said. “He wants to win so if it is (the) right situation he is probably not going to be a guy to wait until February. If he goes back to Kansas City, he loves the people and he will be part of the rebuilding process.”
That means that New York had better act quickly. Soriano and Jose Valverde are probably the top two relief pitchers available this offseason, and both come with more than their fair share of concerns from many aspects. Soria will likely be cheaper than those other two because of his injury, but could also go quicker due to his price. If the Yankees are interested in doing the best thing possible for their bullpen, they need to make up their minds quickly and place an inquiry into Suraez concerning Soria.
The post MLB Rumors: Joakim Soria Would Set Up Mariano Rivera With Yankees, But Wants To Close Anywhere Else appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.
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