Royals expected to decline Joakim Soria’s option for 2013

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Joakim Soria took a big step in his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery by throwing yesterday for the first time, but with his status for the beginning of next season still uncertain Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals “are expected to exercise a $750,000 buyout clause” of his $8 million option.

That would make Soria a very interesting free agent, because he’s just 28 years old and was one of the truly elite relievers in baseball from 2007-2011. Dutton notes that “both sides have expressed interest in working out a new deal” but it seems likely that Soria would at least want to test the market and see if there are any teams willing to offer him multi-year deals.

Among all active pitchers with at least 250 career innings Soria ranks third in opponents’ OPS (.579), fifth in ERA (2.40), and ninth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.92).

Diamondbacks place Bumgarner on IL with back strain

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PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Madison Bumgarner has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain.

The left-hander was lifted after two innings Sunday against San Diego due to back spasms.

The Diamondbacks placed Bumgarner on the injured list Monday and selected the contract of right-hander Jeremy Beasley from their alternate training site.

Bumgarner allowed six runs on five hits in two innings against the Padres to remain winless since signing an $85 million, five-year deal with Arizona last offseason. The four-time All-Star has seen his velocity dip into the upper 80s this season and has a 9.35 ERA after Sunday’s start.

Bumgarner was a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion in 11 seasons with San Francisco.

Beasley will be making his major league debut.