The Kansas City Royals have already traded outfielder David DeJesus and former Cy Young pitcher Zach Greinke this offseason, but will the purge continue?
One of the more desirable players remaining on their roster is young All-Star closer Joakim Soria, and rumors of a similar fate as that of Greinke and DeJesus continue to pop up.
Adding further impact to the speculation were comments Soria made to the Mexican newspaper Vanguard (via MLBTR) that were curiously similar to quotes that both Greinke and DeJesus made shortly before they were traded regarding their no-trade clauses.
“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.”
Last July, the Yankees were hot on Soria’s heels and they reportedly “dangled top catching prospect Jesus Montero” in trade talks with the Royal’s before the deadline. He certainly would be a nice consolation prize for them since losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, and they would certainly make a strong offer to bring this amazing talent to New York.
But what about the Mets?
Wouldn’t the Mets also have interest in a potential Soria trade as well, especially when you consider he is only 26 and considered to be among the best closers in baseball?
Obviously, this season will be the last one for current closer Francisco Rodriguez, who may even be traded at some point if the Mets can find a willing taker for him and his potentially volatile 2012 option.
All Soria did last season for Kansas City, was post a 1.78 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP in 66 appearances while notching 43 saves. Those saves are all the more incredible when you consider the Royals only won 63 games last season.
In 62 innings pitched he struck out a whopping 71 batters. Was it a fluke? No chance, in his four year career he had a 0.99 WHIP and a 2.01 ERA.
You want more? Soria is under team control for another four seasons, through 2014, and has a contract that will pay him an average of $6.75MM per year during that span.
If we are truly building toward 2012 and beyond, Soria would certainly make sense in that regard, and he would still be one of the younger players on the roster. One look at the Mets depth chart and there is no real successor for Francisco Rodriguez in the system. Sure, there’s Bobby Parnell, but he still has yet to prove he can be a reliable setup man and last season, his third, his 1.40 WHIP shows that there could still be plenty of growing pains.