Joakim Soria missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery and today the Royals declined their $7.5 million option on the once-elite closer, making him a free agent.
Soria will hit the open market after receiving a $750,000 buyout, although Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that it’s possible the Royals will re-sign him at a lower salary.
Soria was one of the best relievers in baseball from 2007-2011, saving 160 games and throwing 315 innings with a 2.40 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He may have to settle for an incentive-laden one-year contract, although if a team wants to take the risk of offering Soria a multi-year they could end up getting a huge bargain in the 28-year-old right-hander.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Brewers may be interested in Jake Arrieta.
The Brewers could definitely use a front line starter, especially with Jimmy Nelson slated to miss a good chunk of next season due to a rotator cuff injury. Arrieta will be expensive, obviously, but the Brewers have a lot more payroll flexibility than most teams, with only minimal money due on long term contracts. Most of that is for Ryan Braun, but even the outlay for him is reasonable, with deferred money involved. Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel laid all of that out back in October.
Milwaukee had a surprisingly good 2017 and they have the ability to add in free agency or to take on salary in trades if they want to. Maybe they don’t get Arrieta but they could make a splash this offseason.