After spending much of the young offseason being linked to any number of relief options, Dayton Moore apparently finally has his man. Again.
According to Jerry Crasnick at ESPN,
Free agent Joakim Soria is finalizing a 3-year deal with the #Royals, sources confirmed.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 7, 2015
Adding numbers to the equation is SB Nation scribe Chris Cotillo tweeted the following:
Source: Soria getting $25M on Royals deal plus performance bonuses.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 7, 2015
With the cost of the Win Above Replacement probably hovering somewhere in the $8M range on the open market this offseason and buying Wins from relief pitchers typically running on the high side of that figure by a few million dollars, it's likely that the deal will require that Soria be worth roughly 1 WAR in each of the next three years to be worth the money he will get from the Royals.
Of course that value is generated largely in a vacuum and does not take into account any number of variables.
For starters, the Royals speculatively have about $30-$35M to spend on free agents for this next season. While replacing Greg Holland, Ryan Madson, and Franklin Morales carries importance given how this team is built, signing one of the more sought after free-agent relievers in the form of Joakim Soria on the open market may not have been the most prudent means by which to allot somewhat limited resources.
Of perhaps more significant concern is the fact that Soria has gone under the knife two times already for Tommy John surgery. Hoping for another three years of healthy production from the former Royals' closer may not be the safest way to spend money.
Moving past the alarm bells for just a moment, it does look as though the Royals will be welcoming one of the few bright spots from some of the darker years in franchise history back into the fold while the shine of a World Series trophy still washes over the organization. From a purely sentimental standpoint, it will be nice to see Soria dazzle with his diverse repertoire from the rubber at Kauffman in the uniform that seems right.
And for anyone concerned that Dayton Moore might be losing his touch, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press is reporting that there is a mutual option for a fourth year. Never change, Mr. Moore.