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Joakim Soria open to being a setup man with the Yankees

Nov 5, 2012, 9:31 PM EDT

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Joakim Soria recently became a free agent after the Royals declined his $8 million option for 2013. Coming back from Tommy John surgery, the thought is that he’ll look for a closer job on a one-year deal in hopes of re-establishing his value and testing the market again next offseason. But he’s keeping his options open.

Soria’s agent, Oscar Suarez, told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York today that his client would be willing to pitch as a set-up man for the Yankees if he could learn from his idol Mariano Rivera.

“If the Yankees call, we will be all ears,” Soria’s agent, Oscar Suarez, said by phone Monday. “If there is a fit, Joakim would be elated to work with Mo. He would close everywhere except there.”

Suarez told Marchand that he has already heard from eight teams, all of them contenders, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has yet to inquire. It appears that Soria’s interest in working with Rivera is genuine and it would make for a pretty natural changing of the guard beyond 2013, but as we’ve seen with other free agents over the years, it never hurts to have the Yankees involved in the bidding.

Soria, 28, has a 2.40 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 160 saves over five seasons in the major leagues. His 181 ERA+ is fifth all-time among pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched. Rivera is first all-time with an ERA+ of 206.

  1. vallewho - Nov 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    could be good, if Soria can still sling it.

  2. tigerman3 - Nov 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Forget the Yankees they have Rivera comming back , come to the Tigers , you will have a shot at the closers job.

  3. jolink653 - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Give him a call…Would love to see this guy in our pen

  4. Gardenhire's Cat - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    This is a much smarter move than overpaying for a 37-year-old Rafael Soriano (sorry Boras, but it’s true).

  5. slartibartfast4242 - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Coming off of Tommy John, who’s to say he can beat out Robertson for the set-up role? He might not be all that open to be relegated to middle relief purgatory.

    Of course the Yankees don’t need to say any of this to him. If he agrees to a reasonable deal (stay out of it Hank & Randy), it will provide great depth/ insurance to go along with Robertson, Joba and Aardsma.

  6. pisano - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    His agent is trying to get the Yankees to bite so they can drive the price up on this guy, as posted above, who’s to say if he 100% coming off of TJ surgery.

    • budjoy4 - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      I believe that Soria can help the Yankees.. there is no guarantee Rivera will regain his form at age 43. I believe Soria could be a good investment particularly in the 7th or 8thy innings and if he returns to form as a follow up closer to Rivera.

  7. doctorfootball - Nov 6, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Am I wrong or did this guy reject trade offers to the Yanks in the past? Why does he want to go there now?

    • drunkhistorian - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      I don’t think Soria has ever had the ability to block a trade. Royals were just too stupid to move him.

      • geoknows - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        RTFA before you comment. The article specfically says he had a no-trade, and that the Yankees were on it.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      Trade blocks/no-trade clauses are often used to sweeten the deal for the “blocked” teams.

  8. bobwheel - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    No thank you. Robertson will be just fine in that role.

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