The Royals have looked firm this offseason in their unwillingness to ship off Joakim Soria. The All-Star closer, on the other hand, appears comfortable with migrating to another market and, more specifically, to New York. In an interview with the Mexican paper Vanguard (link in Spanish), Soria told Roberto Espinoza that he doesn't give much weight to the no-trade clause in his contract, which reportedly allows him to block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals, and Cubs.
"I didn't put it there, my agent did, as a strategy," Soria said. "But if the Royals decide to trade me to New York I would gladly go to play with the Yankees or any other team... I repeat, I would not block a trade to the Yankees. I like to play baseball and I would play with any team."
The Yankees reportedly dangled top catching prospect Jesus Montero in a Soria discussion last July, and the subsequent departure of Zack Greinke and David DeJesus has spawned a fresh crop of speculation about the haul Soria could bring to the already deep Royals system. The one cambio that Soria seemed eager to block, though, is a switch to the Royals' starting rotation.
"I really don't believe that could happen," Soria told Espinoza. "As I've always said, why fix something that isn't broken?... Furthermore, if they asked me if I would like to change into a starter, I would say no."
Soria emphasized in the interview that he is happy with the Royals, who have him under control through 2014 via a series of team-friendly options. And while there is a case to be made for keeping Soria right where he is while a roster's worth of elite talent inches ever-closer to the Royals' major league squad, Dayton Moore will no doubt continue to field queries about "the Mexecutioner" for as long as he remains the Royals' elite stopper.
About 18% of 11,000 MLBTR readers would convert Soria into a starter and 69% said the Royals should trade him by next July 31st.