The Oakland A’s are “close to finalizing” a contract with free agent reliever Joakim Soria, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Thursday. The two-year deal will pay Soria around $15 million, according to MLB’s Jesse Sanchez. The pitcher must still pass a physical, which should take place on Friday, says Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
This is a significant addition to Oakland’s bullpen. Soria has enjoyed a brilliant career, and even entering age 35 he’s still one of the top relievers in the game. The right-hander spent a half-decade as a dominant closer for Kansas City, converting nearly 90% of his save/hold chances during that time with sparkling numbers across the board. He then lost a year to Tommy John surgery in 2012, but he has returned to form since. Most recently, he split his excellent 2018 between the White Sox and Brewers.
Soria, 2018: 3.12 ERA, 60? ip, 75 Ks, 16 BB, 5 HR, 53 hits, 2.43 FIP
He began last season as Chicago’s closer and then finished as a setup man in Milwaukee’s super-pen, and along the way he racked up 16 saves and 13 holds with only five blown (85% success).