Rangers Sign Joakim Soria

According to various reports, the Rangers have agreed to sign Joakim Soria to a two-year contract.

All indications are that this is a fairly low-cost deal for the Rangers. Soria is coming off Tommy John surgery and may or may not be available by Opening Day 2013; he’s almost certain to return at some point in the first half of the season.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Namely, how did the Mets not get in on this?

It’s pretty simple, actually. The Mets were unlikely to offer two years to Soria. Also, when the Sandy Alderson & Co. Mets sign a pitcher coming off injury, it’s usually of the “low-risk, low- to mild-reward” variety; see: Taylor Buchholz, Chris Capuano, Boof Bonser, Chris Young, et al. Soria would be in the “medium-risk, high-reward” category — the category that provides game-changers, the type of people who can shape a team. If healthy, Soria can shape a bullpen (i.e., build a ‘pen around). At 28 years old, there’s a very good chance he’ll return in full health, and once again be the lights-out, late-inning reliever that made him an All-Star.

Another reason the Mets didn’t have much of a chance to sign Soria is that the Rangers made an offer. As of today, the Rangers are perceived as being a team with a good chance to be in the 2013 postseason, while the Mets are not. Soria spent enough time in Kansas City to make the potential to win a priority.

Sad, isn’t it, that a team located in New York, with all the resources and opportunities provided by the New York market, is so woeful that a team in Arlington, Texas appears to be a better landing spot for a pitcher coming off injury?

Well, at least the Mets still have Frank Francisco to close out games — and they’re paying him the bargain-basement price of $6.5M. Thank goodness for that.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. DaveSchneck December 4, 2012 at 9:45 am
    I am thinking what you are thinking. Regardless of how the Mets stack up against the NL EAst competition, it is too early to write off 2013 if they intend on selling any tickets to paying customers. The thought of FF as closer with no plan B makes me doubt I will be a paying customer. Soria or Madson would have been very good fits for the Mets – discounts that could take over the closing role if/when FF imploded.
  2. Izzy December 4, 2012 at 11:08 am
    Hate to break it to you Joe, but the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex is not Missoula Montana.
    • Joe Janish December 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm
      No it’s not Missoula. But it ain’t New Yawk, eitha.
  3. Joe December 4, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Wah. A team that just went to the World Series and playoffs (hey! one game counts) attracts a player who wants to win now. We are NYC! We should always beat losers like Texas!

    The status of the team is “sad” but given what it needs, signing a risky guy that won’t even start the season for two years when you don’t actually have real chance to get to the playoffs is sorta silly. If he was, e.g., some young OF, yeah, I’d be annoyed.

    It is not like he would save games now anyway. I also would like to know, you know, what the deal IS.

    • Joe Janish December 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm
      What’s risky about Soria? He has a new elbow that will be good for at least 3-4 years before he blows it out again.

      It’s a better plan to sign a guy like this to a one-year deal, which is essentially paying for his rehab as well as his showcasing — so he can walk away the next winter and pitch for someone else?

      Texas has it right: sign a high-upside guy to two years, so you reap the benefit of the rehab you’re paying for.

      Not to mention, if Soria proves healthy and lights out again before the end of July, he’d easily be swapped for a prospect or two at the deadline to a contending club — who will offer more knowing they have Soria for another full year, rather than as a half-season rental. Does it sound “sorta silly” from that perspective?