Talking Head Rumor: Joakim Soria
By Matt Adams
Rumors from all directions fall in something of a credibility scale. When a Jon Heyman or Ken Rosenthal gets information from somebody within an organization and mentions an interest in a certain player, or desire to move another out, those are about as credible as it gets before it’s no longer a rumor and becomes a fact. On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum would be…I don’t know, your buddy at work telling you that so and so is unhappy, is demanding a trade, and will no longer be on your favorite team when the time comes to start the new season. Rumors from that end don’t usually grow legs. Nobody cares. Not even you, hopefully. I’m giving you enough credit to assume that you’ll raise your eyebrows to feign intrigue, say “that’d be messed up, man,” and flee the scene asap. In the middle, it can get tricky, especially where tv is involved. Folks on television baseball programs are just as baseball starved as the rest of us. They want to talk about things, want things to happen!
As much as we’d like a super charged bullpen, this acquisition isn’t likely. (Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE)
In that vein, I present to you a thought that Al Lieter shared with the viewers of MLB Network: Joakim Soria would be a good fit with the White Sox. I responded by making a little snorting sound (which wasn’t little at all, but quite loud, actually) and listened to my reasons this improbability echo off of my empty walls. I then thought about how I used to even like Soria. A solid bullpen guy, a man who got saves when there were few save opportunities to be had. The only specific I could call to mind was that he didn’t play last season. What was his strikeout rate when he was doing his whole “Mexicutioner” thing? What was he getting paid?
For his career, he has a K% over 25%. He kept the ball in park decently, albeit in a park that holds balls in decently enough on its own. This would be his first year in free agency, though. His previous contract essentially just ate up his arbitration years. He’s looking for a multi-year contract, and he wants to close. According to his agent, he would be willing to setup for the Yankees but would need to close anywhere else. He might have a tough time getting an offer like that, coming off of Tommy John surgery, that would guarantee a closing role waiting for him when he’s ready to pitch in May or June, and expect that he’ll do it with the success he has in the past for more than a year at a time. What that says, though, is that the closing part is very important to him. It’s possible that a team willing to make that sort of commitment to Soria as closer may be able to obtain him at some level of discount.
It’s not worth thinking too much about, this is an Al Leiter musing we’re talking about, far to the weak side of the rumor spectrum. And Ken Rosenthal, a legit starter of rumors has the Reds, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers and of course the Royals looking at him. With a market like that, he may get what he wants, and get his money too.