"I just have to wait and see what they do," Joakim Soria said. "It's better for me and my family (to stay with the Royals). My wife is pregnant. I'm just focusing on my rehab."To me that sounds like a guy that really wants to stay in Kansas City. The Royals of course would have to want him back and then both sides would have to reach some sort of agreement to make Soria's return a reality.
As I'm sure you are aware Soria has an $8 million option for 2013 with a $750K buyout clause that would need to be enacted within three days of the World Series in order for the Royals to decline it. This of course is a given and no big secret that the Royals will act on the buyout clause. My hope is that before allowing Soria to reach the open market, the two sides can work out a way to get him back to Kansas City for 2013.
One would normally expect a pending free agent to not act early on a one year incentive laden deal without first testing the open market. However, Soria could just be that rare case that goes against the grain. The dude has obviously enjoyed his time in Kansas City and I do believe that he genuinely wants to be there. Also, based on the comment above, it sounds as though he doesn't want to have to move his family in the middle of a pregnancy.
The Royals clearly are going to be focused in on acquiring starting pitching this offseason. However, if the Royals can nab Soria on a team friendly enough deal, I don't think they should hesitate to pull the trigger. The bullpen was brilliant in 2012, but every team could always use another reliever.
Another thing to consider, is that just a couple of months ago the Royals did mention the possibility that Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera, or Tim Collins could transition to the rotation in 2013. This could be a similar situation to the Jonathan Broxton signing, where the Royals strengthened their bullpen in anticipation of one of the backend relievers transitioning to the rotation.
Last season, the Royals signed Broxton to a one year deal worth $4 million and an additional $1 million in incentives. If the Royals can get Soria back on a similar deal, I am all for it. Yes, money needs to be devoted to the rotation, but like I said this is a move that makes sense for both parties.
I was at the game in last Spring when Joakim Soria grabbed his arm and saw his season come to an end. As a Royals fan, Joakim Soria has provided me so many fond memories. I'm obviously a little biased, but I would prefer my last memory of Joakim Soria, to be something a little more exciting than the final memory I currently have in my mind.