Two significant news bits today:
- The Royals officially chose to retain Joakim Soria. Technically, they rejected the $750,000 buyout which enacted the $6 million salary for 2012. Soria’s 2011 fell short of his usual expectations, and his 4.03 ERA was the highest of his career and he had stretches where he made every save an adventure. For a week of the season, Aaron Crow was technically deemed the team’s closer. Soria will look to improve on this year’s performance next season, and the Royals have said they intend to use him in spring training in longer outings, similar to how they brought him in after pulling him out of the Rule 5 draft in 2007.
- Bruce Chen is officially a Type B free agent according to the offseason Elias rankings. Chen elected to become a free agent on Sunday. A month ago, we looked at Chen’s tenure with the Royals, where he’s been one of the more consistent pitchers in the organization. Chen has sought a multi-year deal in past offseasons, but has settled to return to the Royals for one year deals the past two winters. As a Type B free agent, if he signs with another team, the Royals will be awarded a draft pick between the first and second rounds in next June’s amateur draft.
For those interested, former Royal Kyle Farnsworth is a Type A free agent after being traded last July to Atlanta and having a strong year as Tampa’s closer for most of the 2011 season. David DeJesus and Yuniesky Betancourt, both of whom were dealt last winter, are officially Type B free agents, as is Wilson Betemit, whom the Royals traded to Detroit in July.