The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a three-year deal with veteran right-hander Joakim Soria, according to a report from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick early Monday morning.
It is said that Soria will receive $25 million on his contract with Kansas City plus performance bonuses which are unknown at the time.
Many teams have recently checked in on the 31-year-old, who spent the 2015 MLB season with the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in July. That trade sent shortstop JaCoby Jones to the Tigers.
As reported by Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, the deal is expected to include a mutual option for a fourth season.
Bringing Soria back to the city of Kansas City tends to make sense for both sides, as he was drafted by the Royals back in 2006. He was drafted in the Rule 5 Draft out of the San Diego Padres organization which ultimately kick started his major league career.
He spent his first five seasons with the Royals where he started out in the club’s bullpen. He quickly became an all-star closer prior to suffering an injury to his throwing arm which sidelined him for the entirety of the 2012 season.
Once re-activated, he was non-tendered and became a free agent, hitting the open market for other teams interested in obtaining his services.
Taking a look back to his earlier days, Soria recorded a total of 160 saves from 2007-11. With the readdition of Joakim, he is likely to serve as setup man to Wade Davis, who in return was the setup to Greg Holland in 2015. Holland was non-tendered last week, setting the notion of which Davis will take over those duties in the upcoming season.
In terms of others who could've fit the bill, a guy like Ryan Madson played rather well in the postseason when he was in Kansas City. He signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Athletics on Sunday morning. Veteran lefty Franklin Morales, on the other hand, is a free agent, though he is not believed to be an option at this time.