The Texas Rangers expect that set-up man Mike Adams will leave via free agency and they have needs in the bullpen. This afternoon, they filled one of those holes by signing former Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria. The contract will cover the next two seasons.
Soria, 28, did not pitch in 2012 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. It was his second such procedure and he is not expected to be ready to pitch when the season opens.
By inking a two-year contract, the Rangers will get to reap the rewards of watching Soria regain his form. There are bound to be struggles with command once he returns to the mound, as we saw with Joe Nathan in 2011. Nathan returned to dominance in Texas, two seasons after his surgery. Now Soria, a long-time AL Central rival of Nathan’s. will work the eighth inning in front of the Rangers’ closer.
Soria racked up 160 saves in five seasons with the Royals and averaged better than a strikeout per inning. In 298 career appearances Soria hhas a 13-15 record and 2.40 ERA.