I've managed to narrow down the reasons why the Royals are declining Soria's option to three.
1. After seeing Soria's ERA balloon to 4.03 in 2012, Dayton Moore realized the volatile nature of relievers and decided $8 million is way too much to spend on one bullpen member. This gives Moore more credit than I feel comfortable putting on him.
2. Soria underwent his second Tommy John surgery since 2003 just over six months ago. That should put him on track for the start of 2013 and this isn't his first rodeo...
“I know what to expect because this is my second time,” he cautioned. “I know what’s coming for me. There will be some days when I don’t feel that good, and there will be days that are awesome.”Awesome indeed. I'd have some cadaver ligaments sewn onto me for a free $750,000.
Soria paused and broke into a wide smile before adding: “Right now, at this point, I feel awesome.”
3. No more mojo. The most likely reason is Soria tried to fix something that wasn't broken. Before the 2011 season, Soria dumped the nickname "The Mexicutioner." While his reasoning for the nickname change was sound, the Taco Bell themed nicknames I suggested ("Cruchwrap" and "Diet Pepsi" were among my favorites) did not quite strike the same fear in his opponents. Which I can only assume led to the bloated 2011 ERA and FIP, overcompensation and eventual Tommy John surgery.
If Soria can be had for a nice discount, he could be a good low risk, high reward piece for the back of most bullpens. Of course I'd have the team doctor poke around on him before handing out a contract. He might be put together by rubber bands like a GI Joe action figure.