The Texas Rangers are heavily pursuing free agents this offseason. They may have landed their first one. As long as Joakim Soria passes a physical, he will become a member of the Rangers for the next two seasons.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that Soria and the Rangers have agreed to a contract.
Soria in agreement with #Rangers on two-year deal, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2012
Soria missed the entire 2012 season with Tommy John surgery, but he was one of the better closers in the game before the injury. He underwent the surgery back in March. This means he should be ready near the start of the 2013 season if he does not suffer any setbacks. Presumably Soria's recovery is on pace or the Rangers would not have considered him.
Soria, 28, has spent the last five seasons in Kansas City. He has a career ERA of 2.40 and has picked up 160 saves. Last month, Soria mentioned a willingness to step out of his closer role only if he were setting up Mariano Rivera in New York. Since that's not the case, it's safe to assume he will be Texas' closer in 2013.
At his age, and with the progression of Tommy John surgery and the subsequent rehab, the Rangers should not be overly concerned with Soria's elbow. Most pitchers return just fine after having the surgery. The biggest concern for Texas will be getting Soria back into game shape and ready to shake the rust off. He hasn't pitched in a game since the end of the 2011 season.
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