Rumors: Soria Won’t Block Trade to Yankees

The Yankees have been searching for ways to upgrade their pitching staff since missing out on Cliff Lee, but the free agent market was shallow this offseason and they are unwilling to pay closer money for setupmen. Meaning their options are very limited.

But maybe they’re only willing to overpay for the available setupmen and if one were to become available whom they really like they could decide to give closer money to a setupman. Enter Joakim Soria.

Soria is a totally different animal than the other closers that have been on the market like Rafael Soriano, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, and even Kerry Wood. For one thing he’s younger than all of them, he’s cheaper than all of them, and perhaps most of all he’s better than all of them.

Soria is 26 years old and in his four years in the majors he has a 2.01 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He has an impressive walk and strikeout rate at 9.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over his career. He’s also owed just $26.75 million over the next four years including only $10 million over the next two years. Not exactly closer money.

The problem has been that it didn’t seem like the Yankees could acquire him. As such an attractive and cheap young player it wasn’t likely the Royals would trade him, but on top of that Soria has a no trade clause that blocks any deals to the Yankees. Apparently though the latter isn’t a problem. In an interview with the Mexican newpaper the Vanguard Soria said the no trade clause in his contract doesn’t matter (translated from Spanish via MLB Trade Rumors):

“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.”

This would be great news for the Yankees, but the initial problem still exists – the Royals don’t want to trade Soria and even if they did he wouldn’t come cheap.

Last July the Yankees discussed a potential deal with the Royals for Soria and the discussion started with their top prospect Jesus Montero. So while $10 million over the next two years isn’t too much to pay for a setupman a top prospect followed by bunch of other highly touted prospects could be.

The Royals wanted Montero plus at least one of the Killer B’s (Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, and Manuel Banuelos), Eduardo Nunez, and another pitcher for Zack Greinke. A package for Soria could be cheaper, but probably not much cheaper. Montero and a Killer B would probably be a must, but the other prospects might not need to be as headline. This is all speculation, but still seems extremely expensive and it is hard seeing Brian Cashman swinging a trade like this.

Still Soria is a very intriguing pitcher. The fact that he’s signed for the next four years means that the Yankees would have a built in replacement for Mariano Rivera after he retires in two years. Until then the Yankees would have one hell of a bullpen.

What do you think? Should the Yankees bite the bullet and go after Soria? Or should they hang-on to their prospects and find another way to improve their pitching staff?

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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14 Responses to Rumors: Soria Won’t Block Trade to Yankees

  1. Mike S. says:

    If there is a way, do it.

  2. Alex Taffet says:

    Montero and a Killer B for a reliever… meh. As much as I love Soria, it is just not worth it.

  3. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    One killer B and maybe Adams tops. Nothing more. I love Soria too but we need to preserve the prospects for something more special or to fill out a couple of roster spots down the line.

  4. Franco Kotos says:

    No Way the Yankees would part with Montero for Soria…Montero will only be traded for a starter…and i don’t see KC trading Soria for minor league prospects such as the killer B’s, maybe if the Yankees threw in Romine…

  5. YankeeRay says:

    The Yanks don't need to spend big or give up "A" talent to amass a killer bullpen.All these guys are still available –

    2010 stats.

    Jon Rauch – 59 games – 3.12 – 57.2 innings – 18 BB's salary 2.9 mil.

    Will Ohman – Lefty – 42 innings – 43 K's – 3.20 – salary 1.35 mil.

    Jason Fraser – 63.2 innings – 63 K's – 3.68 – 2.65 mil.

    Grant Balfour – 55.1 innings – 56 K's- 2.28 – 2.0 mil.

    There were gonna give Lee 20 mil per?

    They should take a chance on Justin Duchscherer and ALL those relievers.It would cost less than 15 mil.

    • Even if you were right on the salaries of all of those pitchers every one of them is going to want a multi-year deal and none of them are really that great. Plus Balfour costs a draft pick. So that means you are losing a draft pick while bogging down your team with mediocre pitchers over the next 2-4 years. Relievers are very volatile. Meaning that just because Jon Rauch had one good year doesn’t mean he’ll have two.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      To add to what Rob said, which is spot on, Soria would make an ideal heir to Mo. And he's very inexpensive over the next 4 years. However, my objection is that he will not be THE difference maker in a postseason run like Lee or Felix or someone of that Caliber could.

    • Lou says:

      There are some very good players out there, not sure why Cashman is sitting tight..Soriano from tampa bay is young and can start and has a very good fastball..why are we not going after him???i live in new england surrounded by redsox fans..all i hear are the aggressive moves they have made making them the favorites…pitching is key.HERE….we have already lost out on lee, lets get moving… LOU FROM RHODE



      • Mike S. says:

        Soriano is not a starter. He started 8 MLB games, all in 2002.

        Yes, George might be making moves if he were alive. Bad, panic moves. We did see lots of those in the past, too.

        I'm frustrated and impatient too, but no move is better than a bad one.

      • What good players are there out there to get Lou? Soriano is a closer and if you forgot the Yankees have a closer.

  6. Nostra damn us says:

    My guess is we don't get Soria and that it's far more likely we'll end up with one or more from YankeeRay's list above, or some other pitchers I haven't even heard of.

    How do we feel about our 2100 Yankees? I feel the same way I have for 3 years running: the pitching is shaky and Cashman is an awful, just awful GM. With all that cash the Man o' Cash managed to make us weak.

    Still, I can't wait for Spring…

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