Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Joakim Soria To Be Mexicuted By Royals

The Royals are on the verge of giving Joakim Soria a giant $750,000 consolation check for not picking up his $8 million club option. Soria, once a star closer, had a 1.78 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 9.73 K/9 and 43 saves in 2010 (aka the good times). The past two seasons haven't gone quite so well leading up to a potential split between the 28-year-old reliever and the 90 loss MLB team. The Royals have interest in bringing Soria back after he becomes a free agent but for pesos on the dollar instead of what Alex Rodriguez refers to as "loose change."

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.”

Soria paused and broke into a wide smile before adding: “Right now, at this point, I feel awesome.”
Awesome indeed. I'd have some cadaver ligaments sewn onto me for a free $750,000.

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.

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