Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Over his past four active years, Joakim Soria averaged nearly 36 saves, building a reputation as one of the finest young closers in the game. In the past, the Yankees have asked the Royals about Soria in trade discussions. Now, following a season off after Tommy John elbow surgery, Soria is a free agent.
Soria, just 28, would like to close, but he would be willing to go to the Yankees to learn from his idol Mariano Rivera.
“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.”
Suarez said Yankees GM Brian Cashman has yet to inquire. Eight other clubs, all contending teams, have already contacted Suarez about Soria. Soria could also return to Kansas City, which declined his $8 million option for next season, allowing him to become a free agent.
Suarez said that Soria will be ready for spring training, but probably won’t be able to pitch in major league games until May of next season. Other reports have tabbed June as a more likely date.
I’d like to see the Yankees take a flier on Soria, although the track record of pitchers in their first year back from Tommy John surgery is mixed. CAIRO would project Soria to put up the following line as a Yankee:
65 IP, 61 H, 7 HR, 19 BB, 63 K, 3.69 RA, 3.46 ERA, 3.56 FIP.
Of course, CAIRO doesn’t know that he’s coming off surgery and his past performance may not give us a complete picture of who he is now.
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