Overnight (and while I was sleeping), the Major League Baseball winter meetings kicked off with a bang.
It seems teams are willing to throw lots of money (and years) at pitching this winter, and the KC Royals are no different.
A familiar face will be re-joining the Royals, as former closer Joakim Soria is expected to sign a three year, $25 million contract. There is also an option for a fourth year. The contract is also laced with performance incentives.
I knew the Royals were interested in bringing Soria back and the money isn’t too bad considering Ryan Madson (who I hate to see go), just got $22 million (and three years) from Oakland. I also think that is a crazy long deal for a guy who had one good season after not pitching for three years.
Soria was an All-Star closer for the Royals, as the former Rule 5 Draftee in 2006 pitched for the Royals from 2007-2011 before Tommy John surgery ended his time with the team.
Then it was on to Texas, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. He pitched fairly well the last two seasons, with his fastball velocity in 2015 the highest it has ever been. So his well-traveled arm (he has had two TJS) is recovered.
I’m just not a fan of the amount of years. Three years, plus an option for the fourth. Soria is 32 years old (I felt like he was older) and relievers are a finicky bunch. The Royals seem to be getting older rather than younger.
Many are predicting Soria to slot into the setup role (with Wade Davis as the closer) and Kelvin Herrera to slide back into his normal seventh inning role. The Royals also have Luke Hochevar for the late innings.
Once again, it looks like the Royals will have a dominant bullpen.