Joakim Soria Rumors
Here's the latest from the AL Central...
- Royals closer Joakim Soria has suffered "definite damage" in his right elbow's UCL, GM Dayton Moore told media (including Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star) today. Soria will visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday to determine if Tommy John surgery is necessary and, if so, it would be the second time Soria has undergone a Tommy John procedure in his career. Greg Holland and Jonathan Broxton would seem like the top candidates to close games for the Royals in Soria's absence, but to keep tabs on the situation, follow MLBTR's Tim Dierkes on Twitter @CloserNews.
- Some baseball people "have said for a while" that the Royals should've traded Soria while his value was at its highest, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Soria had an off-year by his standards in 2011 but still drew some trade interest over the winter, with Kansas City demanding a top starting pitcher in return.
- Even if Scott Baker struggles in 2012, the Twins could still be justified in picking up his $9.25MM option for 2013, writes John Bonnes of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti discusses Shin-Soo Choo, the importance of assembling a good defensive corps to help a pitching staff and several other topics with Grantland's Jonah Keri.
The baseball world figures to remain relatively quietly until after the New Year, but as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes, there is still a lot of work to be done before the season begins. Let's round up Morosi's rumors...
- The Blue Jays are saying they will not give a hitter a contract of more than five guaranteed years, though they'll likely have to violate that policy if they want to sign Prince Fielder.
- The Brewers, Cubs, Nationals, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, and Pirates are all considering non-Fielder upgrades at first base. Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchman, and Derrek Lee remain unsigned, among others.
- Some within the game believe that Joakim Soria and Carlos Marmol could be had at the right price. The Cubbies are said to be planning a "complete and total rebuild."
- Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain available, and the Rangers may be willing to trade Matt Harrison for a more established starter.
- Most believe Yoenis Cespedes will sign for more than the $30.25MM Aroldis Chapman received because as a position player, he carried less risk. A larger number of interested teams and the new collective bargaining agreement will also help his cause.
The Red Sox had discussions with the Royals about the possibility of dealing for closer Joakim Soria, multiple sources tell Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. The talks have failed to progress, however, with Kansas City seeking the type of players that Boston doesn't want to part with for Soria.
Soria is coming off of a down season in which he turned in a 4.03 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 60 appearances. However, the 27-year-old remains attractive thanks in part to his contract which will pay him $6MM in 2012 and has club options of $8MM and $8.75MM for '12 and '13, respectively.
It' s important to note that Soria's contract includes a limited no-trade clause in which he can block trades to the Red Sox and five other clubs. The other teams on that list are the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Rockies, and Braves.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the Royals were willing to listen on Soria but wanted a frontline starter in return.
The Blue Jays, Twins, and Marlins added closers in recent days, and it's not clear whether the remaining teams with ninth inning openings are willing to spend big. The latest on several closers...
- There is "no interest" from Madson or Rodriguez in accepting arbitration, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network. However, one agent believes that if the Red Sox trade for Andrew Bailey, which is a "real possibility," Madson and K-Rod could be in trouble, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The Angels are interested in trading for Seattle's Brandon League, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Angels have also expressed interest in free agents Todd Coffey and Jason Isringhausen, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, but they probably won't move on a reliever until C.J. Wilson decides what to do.
- There's lots of buzz that Ryan Madson and Francisco Rodriguez could accept arbitration with the Phillies and Brewers, respectively, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. I still think Scott Boras will advise both to decline tomorrow night.
- The Rockies are willing to eat all of Huston Street's $8MM salary for prospects, tweets Stark. He says the Padres are a possibility. Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link) hears the Rockies would take on some "but not all" of Street's salary.
- Stark confirms yesterday's rumor that the Royals will listen on Joakim Soria, but they want a front-line starter in return.
The Royals are downplaying it, but they would trade closer Joakim Soria for a starting pitcher and would also discuss reliever Greg Holland, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Soria, 27, is potentially under contract through 2014. Holland is drawing interest from the Blue Jays and others after a breakout season. Either player would require a significant bounty.
The Blue Jays are in the market for a closer, and they have interest in Greg Holland of the Royals according to Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star (Twitter links). They don't have interest in Joakim Soria, and yesterday we heard that Kansas City has some interest in Colby Rasmus.
Dutton says that other clubs are interested in Holland as well, but the Royals are not inclined to move him unless they're overwhelmed with an offer. The 26-year-old right-hander broke out as Soria's setup man last season, pitching to a 1.80 ERA in 60 IP. He struck out 11.10 batters per nine innings and walked just 2.85 per nine, getting a ground ball 44.9% of the time. Holland is under team control through 2016.
The Royals announced that they exercised their 2012 option for closer Joakim Soria. Soria will earn a $6MM salary, rather than a $750K buyout. Soria would not have been eligible for free agency if the Royals had declined the option. Instead, Kansas City would have gone to arbitration with Soria and he would have obtained a salary in excess of $6MM. “This decision was more of a formality,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said.
Soria, 27, posted a 4.03 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 60 1/3 innings in 2011. It was an up-and-down campaign for the 27-year-old, who lost his closing job after a rough stretch in late May.
- A look at Royals closer Joakim Soria's contract situation shows that his $6MM option vested on July 30, when he pitched his 110th game between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Soria's option vesting merely locks in his salary for 2012; he'd have been arbitration-eligible at any rate.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if the Braves should extend Michael Bourn, and what the cost of it would be. As O'Brien points out, it's hard to come by comparables for Bourn, and the best may be Juan Pierre, whose contract is widely regarded as a tremendous mistake.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy runs down the week's minor league transactions.
- Recently, impending free agent C.J. Wilson said that now is not the time to look ahead to the offseason and his next contract. In an interview on 103.3 FM ESPN (audio link), Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine seemed to agree and said that the club isn't looking to negotiate mid-season, writes Bryan Dolgin of ESPNDallas.com.
- Infielder Felipe Lopez will report to the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate on Monday after being outrighted on Wednesday. The veteran didn't impress on Milwaukee's big league roster this year, batting .182/.245/.182 in 51 trips to the plate.
- It's time for Athletics GM Billy Beane to move on to a different challenge, writes Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle. While he's been linked extensively to the Cubs job, Jenkins wonders if Beane could be a fit for the Dodgers if GM Ned Colletti winds up being hired by Chicago.
- The Marlins have begun the process of looking at managerial candidates and there is still interest in some corners of the Florida organization in Ozzie Guillen, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The White Sox skipper has another year on his current deal but it remains to be seen whether Guillen will be invited back.
MLBTR's Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the contract information used in this post.
- Rafael Furcal, Cardinals: $12MM option vests with 600 plate appearances. Injuries have limited Furcal to just 179 plate appearances this year, so this one won't be vesting.
- Jon Garland, Dodgers: $8MM option vests with 190 innings pitched. Garland is unlikely to pitch the rest of the season due to a shoulder issue, and he's only thrown 54 innings. The Dodgers won't have to worry about this one.
- Koji Uehara, Rangers: $4MM option vests with either 55 appearances or 25 games finished. Uehara has appeared in 46 games and finished 20, putting him on pace for 67 and 29, respectively.
- Arthur Rhodes, Rangers: $4MM option vests with 62 appearances and if he's not on the disabled list at the end of the season. Rhodes made 32 appearances with the Rangers before being designated for assignment earlier this week. Even if another team picks him up in short order, he's still unlikely to appear in enough games for the option to kick in.
- Joakim Soria, Royals: $6MM option vests with 55 appearances. With 47 appearances already to his credit, Soria is on pace to pitch in 68 games this year.
- Dan Wheeler, Red Sox: $3MM option vests with 65 games; increases to $3.25MM with 70 games. Wheeler has appeared in 34 games this year with a disabled list stint mixed in. He'd have to appear in 31 of the team's final 51 games for the option to vest, which seems unlikely.
Francisco Rodriguez agreed to waive his vesting option in exchange for additional compensation following the trade that sent him to the Brewers. He would have been guaranteed a $17.5MM salary for next season had he finished 55 games this year and been declared healthy by doctors.
Adam Wainwright's 2012 ($9MM) and 2013 ($12MM) options will not vest because he will finish the season on the disabled list after having Tommy John surgery. Aramis Ramirez's option depends on MVP Award finishes and whether or not he's traded, not plate appearances or another counting milestone.
The Indians acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs today and they might not be done yet. GM Chris Antonetti told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’s open to adding another pitcher or a hitter - even another outfielder. Here are some other notes and rumors from around the AL Central...
- The Indians should see a "marginal improvement" after adding Fukudome, according to ESPN.com's Keith Law. The Indians, who gave up two "fringy" prospects for the outfielder, are getting a player with enough on-base skills to help out.
- Antonetti, by the way, called the improvement “incremental.”
- MLB.com’s Bill Ladson confirms that the Tigers are interested in Jason Marquis (Twitter link). A scout suggested to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Marquis is out there now and could clear waivers next month to enable an August trade (Twitter link).
- There are indications that Joakim Soria will stay in Kansas City, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).