Kansas City Royals Interested in Joakim Soria
By David Hill
The Kansas City Royals have seemingly always had excellent closers. From the days of Dan Quisenberry and Jeff Montgomery to Greg Holland and Wade Davis of last year, the ninth inning has rarely been an issue in Kansas City. The Royals even managed to extract an All-Star season from Mike MacDougal, who was not exactly a given to successfully close out a game.
One of those closers may be returning to the Royals. According to Jon Morosi, the Royals have interest in bringing back former closer Joakim Soria, although those discussions are in the preliminary stage currently.
Soria, prior to losing his role as closer due to Tommy John surgery before the 2012 season, was a stellar closer for the Royals. In his five seasons, the former Rule V draftee posted a 2.40 ERA and a 1.043 WHiP, saving 160 games. Soria was a two time All-Star, earning those honors in 2008 and 2010, and received votes for the 2010 Cy Young Award and MVP.
Obviously, if Soria is to return to the Kansas City Royals, it would not be in his former role. Wade Davis appears to have a firm grasp upon the closer role, leaving Soria to battle Kelvin Herrera for the eighth inning spot. Adding Soria to a bullpen that has quite a few openings due to injury and free agency would help maintain the Royals relief corps as a true advantage over the opposition.
However, Soria may again be more of a luxury item than a piece that would truly make sense. The Royals have a number of vacancies to fill on their roster, and spending the type of money that Soria would command may not be the best option. Luke Hochevar should be able to hold down the seventh inning, and Tim Collins is set to return next year. Depending on what happens with the Royals rotation, Danny Duffy may even be a candidate to slot into the bullpen (at least according to the Royals depth chart). Soria, for as good as he has been in the past, may not be worth the cost for Kansas City.
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The Kansas City Royals have had tremendous success with lower prices reclamation projects for the bullpen. Chances are, with the various openings they have, Dayton Moore will take that route once again. Joakim Soria, despite his past success, would simply be too expensive to be a realistic option.