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Royals, Joakim Soria agree on a three-year, $25 million deal

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Update (1:25 AM EST): Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed the contract length and value. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Soria’s contract includes a mutual option for a fourth year.

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Royals and reliever Joakim Soria are finalizing a three-year contract. MLB.com’s Jason Beck hears that the deal is worth $25 million. Soria will slot into the back end of the Royals’ bullpen behind closer Wade Davis, handling the late innings with Kelvin Herrera. Soria is effectively replacing Ryan Madson, who recently signed with the Athletics.

Soria, 31, finished the 2015 season with a 2.53 ERA and a 64/19 K/BB ratio over 67 2/3 innings. 41 of those innings came with the Tigers before they dealt him to the Pirates at the trade deadline in July.

The Twins, Tigers, and Rangers had expressed interest in Soria before the Royals emerged victorious.

This will be Soria’s second stint with the Royals. The club had selected him from the Padres in the Rule 5 draft December 2006. He spent six years in Kansas City before signing with the Rangers as a free agent in December 2012.

Brad Ausmus interviewing for Astros manager job

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I did the Handsome Managers list in December. Thought I had moved on. Thought I’d never have to think about him again. But here is, walking right back in my door: Brad Ausmus is interviewing for the vacant Astros manager job. So reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Ausmus played for the Astros longer than he played for any other team in the bigs, notching ten years of service in two stints and playing on the 2005 NL Pennant-winning club. As a manager, you know, that he led the Tigers for four seasons and was the Angels’ skipper last year.

Houston has already interviewed Dusty Baker for the job. They’ll presumably want someone in place before spring training begins in a few weeks.