Joakim Soria Rumors


Stark On Shields, Melky, Soria, Marlins

Astros GM Ed Wade has been determining the market for his players, including Hunter Pence, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. Incoming owner Jim Crane urged Wade to do so in case appealing offers emerge. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors: 

  • Given Wade’s uncertain future in Houston, at least one executive suggests the GM needs to make a "job-saving deal" if he trades Pence.
  • The Rays are more likely to trade B.J. Upton than James Shields, though they realize Shields’ value has never been higher (the right-hander won't be going to the Bronx). 
  • The Phillies remain in contact with the Royals about Melky Cabrera, but the Royals have told teams they’re more likely to deal Jeff Francoeur. Kansas City is asking for a number three starter who’s nearly Major League ready in return for Cabrera.
  • Clubs that have inquired on Vance Worley have heard that he’s off of the market.
  • The Braves have shown some interest in Heath Bell, whose most aggressive suitors have been the Rangers, Cardinals, Phillies and Angels. The Padres are telling teams that they’ll need to “clearly surpass” the value of two compensatory draft picks in any deal for Bell, though they’re flexible in terms of the type of player they’d accept in return.
  • The Padres continue to field calls on Mike Adams, who will be tougher to obtain than Bell.
  • The Yankees, Phillies and Diamondbacks appear to have checked in on Joakim Soria.
  • The Red Sox are looking at everything, but aren’t approaching the deadline with much urgency, one AL executive told Stark.
  • Rival teams expect that the Dodgers will trade Jamey Carroll and there are indications that Rafael Furcal is drawing interest as well.
  • The Marlins, who hope to build momentum before opening their new stadium in 2012, are in a “holding pattern,” Stark reports. They’ve shown interest in third basemen.
  • Rival teams report that the Phillies say they won’t move Domonic Brown or top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart. Jonathan Singleton is available in the right deal, but the Phillies don’t expect to trade him for a rental player.
  • Stark reminds us that commissioner Bud Selig ruled out contraction at the All-Star Game.



Bullpen Notes: Royals, Angels, Braves, Cardinals

Virtually every contender could use relief help, as Tim Dierkes explained yesterday. Here's the latest on the bullpen market...

  • Kansas City GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that we shouldn’t read too much into rumors about the Royals’ closer, Joakim Soria. “We certainly understand and appreciate why there would be strong interest in him,” Moore said. “He’s a premium closer. But he fits for us, and our view of Joakim Soria hasn’t changed as it pertains to his importance to our team.”
  • Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times notes that the Angels are targeting relief help. 
  • There is "growing reason" to expect the Braves to explore deals for relief help, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
  • The Cardinals are among the teams looking for a starters, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The St. Louis front office would likely shift Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen if they acquire a starter.



Phillies, Royals Discussing Melky Cabrera

The Phillies and Royals have discussed a deal that would send Melky Cabrera to Philadelphia, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The sides have exchanged names, but they aren't close to completing a trade. 

Morosi notes that it's unlikely that the Royals will trade both Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, since that would create openings in next year's outfield. The Royals and Francoeur have a mutual option for 2012 and Cabrera is arbitration eligible after the season.

Phil Anastasia of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Philadelphia's interest in Cabrera earlier this week. Some Phillies people think the Royals are asking for a "small fortune" for Cabrera, Francoeur and Joakim Soria, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).

Cabrera earns just $1.25MM this season, so he's considerably cheaper than another one of Philadelphia's targets, Carlos Beltran. Beltran, a switch-hitter like Cabrera, earns $18.5MM this year and though the Mets appear willing to cover a substantial portion of that, they're asking for top young players in return. The Phillies appear to be one of the favorites to acquire Beltran.



Soria Can Block Trades To Dodgers, Rockies, Braves

The Dodgers, Rockies and Braves have replaced the Tigers, Cubs and Cardinals on Joakim Soria's no-trade list, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.com (on Twitter). The reliever can still block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies with his no-trade clause, which would provide him with leverage in the unlikely event of a proposed deal.

The asking price for Soria is "exorbitant," according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, who hears that Royals officials have never had upper-level talks about the closer with the Yankees.

Soria, 27, has a 4.03 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 38 innings this year. He had a difficult May during which he briefly lost the closer's job, but has recovered to post a 14K/2BB ratio since with just one earned run allowed in 16 innings in June and July.

The reliever’s 2012 option vests at $6MM if he finishes 55 games this year (he has finished 26 games so far). The Royals also have an $8MM option for Soria in 2013 ($750K buyout) and an $8.75MM option for  2014 ($750K buyout). Keep up with Soria and every other MLB closer at closernews.com.



Quick Hits: Phillies, Soria, Hardy, Braves

The Reds signed Pete Rose as an amateur free agent on this date in 1960 and it's safe to say their investment paid off. Rose collected 3,358 hits in 19 seasons with the Reds en route to becoming MLB's all-time hits leader with 4,256. Here are today's links...

  • Phillies starter Cole Hamels is heading into his final season of arbitration eligibility and as David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News shows in a pair of pieces, starters with Hamels-like production have been extremely well-paid in recent years. Hamels is earning $9.5MM this year in his third season of arbitration eligibility.
  • Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News explains that the Phillies might want to acquire a right-handed hitter for their lineup to avoid becoming a regular season success that fails in the playoffs, like the 2001 Mariners.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains that being selected to play in the All-Star Game has made a difference for players like Jose Bautista and Joe Nathan, who have obtained more endorsement offers and had more leverage in contract discussions since becoming All-Stars for the first time.
  • The teams on Joakim Soria's no-trade list have changed since last season, according to Morosi (on Twitter). The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are on the list, just as they were last year. The Tigers, Cardinals and Cubs were previously on Soria's list, which is designed to provide the reliever with leverage.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are communicating semi-regularly with J.J. Hardy about a possible extension. The Orioles began extension talks with the shortstop last week.
  • Atlanta GM Frank Wren told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that the pieces the Braves are looking for may already be on their roster.



Rosenthal On Braves, Yankees, Royals

Though some teams are still in the process of deciding whether to buy, sell or hold, others are developing a clear sense of what moves they intend to make this month. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has the latest on the trade deadline, which is just over three weeks away... 

  • The Braves, who have limited payroll flexibility, aren’t sure if they’re going to upgrade their offense, but they could pursue a right-handed hitting outfielder. Atlanta could probably afford an outfielder like Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham or Michael Cuddyer if they also obtained cash to cover the player’s salary (though that would likely mean giving up better prospects in the trade).
  • The Phillies may end up pursuing some of the same right-handed hitters as the Braves. Philadelphia is also exploring trades for relievers now that Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson are on the disabled list.
  • The Yankees would like to acquire a top-of-the-rotation lefty, but they’re more likely to add a left-handed reliever. New York’s preference is for a southpaw who can retire right-handed hitters as well as lefties. The Yankees are targeting a number of left-handers, including Sean Burnett of the Nationals, who is not yet available.
  • The Royals will listen to offers for all of their players, but rival executives tell Rosenthal that Joakim Soria is likely staying put, since the asking price for him is high. 
  • Yankees catcher Jesus Montero has limited appeal to the Royals, since they doubt he’ll be able to stay behind the plate long-term.
  • The Royals expect to compete from 2012-14.



2012 Vesting Options Update

The season is offically more than halfway complete now, so let's update the status of the various vesting options from around the league...

  • Bobby Abreu, Angels: $9MM option vests with 433 plate appearances. Abreu is just 82 plate appearances short of that total, so this one will vest later this month, barring injury.
  • Rafael Furcal, Dodgers: $12MM option vests with 600 plate appearances. Injuries have limited Furcal to just 82 plate appearances this year, so this one won't be vesting.
  • Jon Garland, Dodgers: $8MM option vests with 190 innings pitched. A few days ago we heard that Garland is unlikely to pitch the rest of the season due to a shoulder issue. He's at 54 innings, so the Dodgers won't have to worry about this one vesting either.
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Mets: $17.5MM option vests with 55 games finished and if doctors declare him healthy at the end of the year. K-Rod has finished 32 games already, putting him on pace for 60. A trade to a team that would use him as a setup man would change things, though we recently heard that some GMs beleieve Rodriguez's trade value is reaching a "tipping point" as he racks up the games finished.
  • Koji Uehara, Orioles: $4MM option vests with either 55 appearances or 25 games finished. Uehara has appeared in 35 games and finished 16, putting him on pace for 68 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 has appeared in 28 games so far, and he's on pace for 52. Texas will need to use him a little more liberally down the stretch for this one to kick in.
  • Joakim Soria, Royals: $6MM option vests with 55 appearances. With 35 appearances already to his credit, Soria is on pace to pitch in 69 games this year.
  • Dan Wheeler, Red Sox: $3MM option vests with 65 games; increases to $3.25MM with 70 games. Wheeler has appeared in 26 games this year with a disabled list stint mixed in. He'd have to appear in 39 of the team's final 77 games for the option to vest, which seems unlikely.

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.



2012 Vesting Options Update

Now that the calendar has flipped to June, let's check in on the status of the various vesting options around the league...

  • Bobby Abreu, Angels: $9MM option vests with 433 plate appearances. Abreu has already come to the plate 276 times this year, so this one seems life a safe bet to vest, barring injury.
  • Rafael Furcal, Dodgers: $12MM option vests with 600 plate appearances. Furcal is back on the disabled list with an oblique strain, and he's still a month away from returning. He has only 69 plate appearances this year, so this one won't vest.
  • Jon Garland, Dodgers: $8MM option vests with 190 innings pitched. Garland has been on the disabled list twice this year (the first two times of his career), and he's currently out with a sore shoulder. He only has 54 innings to his credit and won't be back anytime soon, so this one won't vest.
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Mets: $17.5MM option vests with 55 games finished and if doctors declare him healthy at the end of the year. K-Rod has already finished 25 games, putting him on pace for 65 at season's end. A trade to a team that would use him as a set-up man would change everything, but right now the option figures to vest.
  • Koji Uehara, Orioles: $4MM option vests with either 55 appearances or 25 games finished. Uehara has appeared in 26 games and finished 11, putting him on pace for 69 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. He's appeared in 20 games so far, putting him on pace for 50. Rhodes' workload could increase down the stretch.
  • Joakim Soria, Royals: $6MM option vests with 55 appearances. He's already appeared in 28 games and is on pace for 71. It's worth noting that even if the option doesn't vest, the Royals would still control Soria as an arbitration-eligible player in 2012.
  • Dan Wheeler, Red Sox: $3MM option vests with 65 games; increases to $3.25MM with 70 games. Wheeler has appeared in 17 games so far, so a stint on the disabled list did not help his cause.

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.

Mark Buehrle is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season and although he doesn't have a traditional option in his contract, he gets an extra year at $15MM tacked onto his current deal if he's traded at some point this season.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.



Stark On Montero, Athletics, Phillies

Teams may be able to trade draft picks as soon as next year, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. It also appears that owners and players are leaning toward adding a second Wild Card team in each league and having a one-game playoff between each league's two Wild Card teams to open the playoffs, according to Stark. Here are the rest of his rumors:

  • Though the Yankees never officially offered Jesus Montero to the Royals for Joakim Soria last year, executives around baseball are convinced GM Brian Cashman would have parted with the top catching prospect to acquire the Royals’ reliever.
  • Athletics manager Bob Geren is at “the top of the ‘First Manager to Get Fired’ charts,” according to Stark. The 27-34 A’s have lost their last seven games.
  • One rival scout tells Stark that Josh Willingham is the only Oakland player he’d recommend to his team. Scouts are bearing down on the A’s as possible sellers.
  • It’s highly unlikely that the Phillies consider trading Roy Oswalt or prospect Jonathan Singleton for a bat.



Cafardo's Latest: Beltran, Guerrero, Marquis, Soria

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discusses Buster Posey and Scott Cousins, examines what went wrong with Daisuke Matsuzaka, and lists 25 of baseball's most passionate people. Here are the other highlights from Cafardo's piece:

  • A National League talent evaluator on Carlos Beltran: "A contending team is going to get Beltran at the trading deadline, and they’re going to be very happy with him. He can still hit. He can be an emotional guy, but put him in a place where it counts, and he’ll produce for you."
  • At least a couple National League teams are eyeing Vladimir Guerrero as a potential trade deadline pickup. As Cafardo notes, the primary concern for NL clubs is how significant a defensive liability Guerrero would be.
  • Jason Marquis could be had in a trade if the Nationals received young talent in return. Cafardo speculates that Josh Reddick would be enough to acquire Marquis, but the Red Sox appear to be content with Tim Wakefield at the back of their rotation for now.
  • Joakim Soria's demotion from the closer's role doesn't make him any more available via trade. Cafardo spoke to Royals people who said the team still wasn't considering dealing Soria.









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