Joakim Soria should be a Yankees winter target
Last week, ESPN reported that Joakim Soria was interested in signing with the Yankees–but not to be a closer. Instead he wanted to sign so he could set up for none other than Mariano Rivera who is returning for what many predict to be his final season in Yankee pinstripes. When it was announced Soria wanted to join the Yankees, there were some health concerns that everyone worried about, strictly the 2 Tommy John Surgeries he’s had in the last couple of years. Other than that, I believe that if the price is right the Yankees should go after Soria and make a deal.
Soria hasn’t played baseball since 2011 since he was out all year with TJ surgery in 2012, but if you look back at the five years he’s been in the Majors, his numbers aren’t bad. In 2007 at the ripe age of 23 years old he went 2-3 with a 2.48 ERA and had 17 saves in 62 saves. Keep in mind, the Royals don’t have a lot of save opportunities. Soria’s most impressive years were in 2008 and in 2010. In 2008, Soria had a 1.60 ERA with 42 saves under his belt. In 2010, he had a 1.78 ERA with 43 saves. He won an All-Star apperance, voted 10th in the Cy Young award and voted 19th in the MVP award.
Now, the reasons that the Yankees should be interested in Soria. One reason, he’s 28 years old. If the Yankees are going to sign someone, it has to be someone that is young and not in their mid to late thirties to early forties no offense any pitcher in the Yankees bullpen/rotation that’s 36 and over). Second of all, as a just in case measure if Mariano Rivera isn’t pitching like Mariano Rivera (which there is a small chance of happening), you’ll have Soria ready to pitch in the closer role, but don’t expect the Yankees to give up on Mo so easily.
There was one thing that I don’t agree with when it comes to what Soria is wanting–he wants to be in the 8th inning role, a role that is currently occupied by David Robertson. What could happen is that Soria could be used in the bullpen in the earlier innings and the 8th inning role could be Robertson’s to lose. The Yankees have an option for the bullpen, especially since Rafael Soriano flew the coop so even though the Tommy John is a slight risk, I think that Soria could work out for the team. May I emphasize one more time Cashman, that Soria is young which is something that we are looking for.