No. 2 Joakim Soria
Entering the final year of his three-year, $25 million contract, Joakim Soria has failed to live up to expectations, so far. He had a disastrous first year back with the team in 2016 with seven blown saves and eight losses. It was a far cry from the Jack that carved through hitters during his first run in Kansas City from 2007-11.
Soria bounced back somewhat in 2017. He still wasn’t particularly effective in the clutch. This could be attributed to poor luck or poor performance depending on who you ask. In his defense, Soria’s 2.23 FIP, 1.23 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 were all very solid. These numbers are actually comparable to what Minor accomplished last year. The difference is that Minor got the outs that he needed to get, while Soria didn’t.
Even after two less-than-stellar seasons, Soria is the most likely candidate to get saves if the Kansas City Royals decide to rebuild. His contract ensures he won’t be moved and will also serve as reason to put him in the closer’s role to try to get whatever value they can. If the team commits to being a little more competitive, a good spring may put him back in the setup role he had for most of last season. He would be one of the first in line if the anointed closer falters.