When someone acquires something new, the inevitable question after the excitement is adjusted to is always the same: what do we do with the old one? If you buy a new couch, you throw out the old one. If you meet a new girl, you’ve likely broken up with another. You get the idea. So the natural question for Kansas City Royals fans to ask this morning is, “What happens to Joakim Soria?” After all, the Royals have reportedly signed another closer in Jonathan Broxton, so it seems like something might be in the works.
The idea of trading Soria is nothing new. We’ve discussed it here before, but for any team looking for a young, dynamic closer with a few more years of team control on a contract that’s under market value, Soria is a great option. While he had some issues last season, he’s largely been a very steady closer who has been the best player on the Royals for some time. Yet he’s also an expendable part on a team that’s starting to pay their closer way more than a team at their stage needs to.
Soria will begin making $8 million next season and the club option for 2014 is for $8.75 million. That’s still below anything Ryan Madson will make when he signs and it’s already three million less than Jonathan Papelbon’s average with the Phillies. However, it’s still a lot for a small market club like the Royals who have other options in house. Broxton cements the reality that with or without Soria, the Royals will have a decent bullpen. That’s what makes it interesting to see what they could get on the trade market for their young All-Star closer.
Soria should be able to fetch a decent haul of prospects — at least two solid prospects in return if not more. Perhaps the Royals could also use him to pry the starter they need away from another team. With the winter meetings coming up in December, it’s a perfect time to discuss assets and come away with a solid deal that will bolster the Royals in other areas while shedding some money off of the books for now.
If Broxon and Soria both stay with the Royals, then that definitely gives Ned Yost some dynamic options in the late innings. But it also stands to reason that now is the ideal time to trade Soria and receive the best return possible before his value begins to go down — which is really the only way it will go until his contract runs out.