Reliever Joakim Soria emerged as one of the best closers in baseball over the past five seasons with the Kansas City Royals. Now a free agent at age 28 and coming off a season shortened by Tommy John surgery, Soria is looking for a new team to close out games with. But as Adam Marchand of ESPN writes, Soria would be willing to serve in a set-up role if it meant doing so for his idol with the New York Yankees, Mariano Rivera.
Soria averaged 36 saves a season before injury derailed his 2012. He became a free agent when Kansas City declined his $8 million option for next season. Several teams have reportedly contacted agent Oscar Suarez and he could return to Kansas City, but Suarez indicated the Yankees would be high on his client's list:
"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."
Soria is expected to be ready to see Major League action some time in May while still recovering from Tommy John.