Joakim Soria, who is one of the top relief pitchers on the market along with Darren O’Day, is looking for a contract worth approximately $27 million over three years according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.
The Mets, who are in need of another shutdown pitcher to pair with Jeurys Familia, are reportedly interested in Soria who would seem to be a perfect fit for a Mets bullpen in search of a setup reliever.
The two-time All Star is a very consistent lock down reliever who has a lot of closing experience over the course of his career, logging 202 saves, including 24 last season.
In his career pitching for the Royals, Rangers, Tigers, and Pirates, he has appeared in 444 games, striking out 481 batters while walking 126 in 461 innings, while posting a solid 2.57 ERA and 1.062 WHIP.
Last season for the Tigers and Pirates, Soria pitched 67.2 innings, striking out 64 batters and walking 19 while logging 24 saves to go with a 2.53 ERA and 1.0941 WHIP. He held batters to a .219 batting average.
Soria features a four-pitch arsenal including a fastball (90-93 mph), changeup (84-86 mph), curveball (69-72 mph), and slider (77-80 mph). In the last three years (2013-2015), Soria has been effective against both left and right handed batters.
LHB: .230/.270/.367 — 271 AB, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR, 14 BB, 1 HBP
RHB: .209/.293/.308 — 234 AB, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 25 BB, 4 HBP
At 31 years old, he isn’t quite as super dominating as he was in his days as the Royals’ All-Star closer. However, he still is an extremely effective reliever and has recovered just fine since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012.
The market for Soria is becoming robust of late with two more teams in the hunt according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The Royals and Blue Jays are now monitoring Soria, joining the Giants, Rangers, Twins and of course the Mets as teams with reported interest.
The $9 million a year for a reliever of his caliber doesn’t seem too unreasonable and he would certainly fill a critical void for the Mets, giving them three relievers along with Familia and Addison Reed with the ability to close games. Soria might even provide a better value than O’Day who is reportedly close to inking a four-year deal.