Joakim Soria moved one step closer to Tommy John surgery, as a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum confirmed the initial diagnosis of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Soria is “taking a few days off to consider options” following the second opinion, but adds that surgery “seems likely.”
If he does go under the knife Soria would miss all of this season and possibly the beginning of next season, which may cause the Royals to decline their $8 million option on the stud closer for 2013.
Jonathan Broxton and Greg Holland are the leading in-house candidates to replace Soria in the closer role and the Royals have already decided to move Aaron Crow back to the bullpen.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.