Jun 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joakim Soria (28) delivers a pitch to the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Trade Rumors Joakim Soria Would Be Ideal

Pirates Trade Rumors Joakim Soria makes sense for the Bucs as the MLB trade deadline looms.  Many things stand out for Joakim Soria who is 30 years old.  The right hander has had two Tommy John surgeries and has battled back from the surgery both times.  The first was in 2003 and then he went under the knife again in 2012.

The good news is that his velocity is starting to creep back up as you can see in the velo chart from Fangraphs.   The splits show that right handers don’t have a prayer this season, but lefties have shown some success, just not much.  The serious question is it’s just hard to imagine how feeble righties fair against Soria.

Fangraphs Joakim Soria heatmap

Fangraphs Joakim Soria heatmap

When we think about Soria’s impact we immediately think of the Cardinals right handed hitters–it would be a coup for the Bucs to have a shutdown arm when it counts.

The question for me when looking at a reliever is this–can he sustain the success?  Well we have some very good news for you—amazing news–the peripheral numbers that the pitcher from Mexico is putting up are solid.

Soria has pitched in 33 games putting up a 2.59 ERA, 0.84 FIP, 1.98 xFIP in 31.1 innings.  Some of the impressive numbers coming out of the hand of the 6’3″ 200 pounder are just 21 hits allowed while seriously punching out the bad guys with a 12.06 strikeouts per nine and 1.15 walks per nine.

All season long, Soria has issued just four walks and also no homers.  None.  None on the road, none while pitching for the awful Texas Rangers.  It’s hard to imagine what has happened since Chuck Greenburg was cut loose, the Rangers are in last place–way back from the first place Oakland A’s.  The Rangers are going to sell, but we doubt any of the headliners are moved which nixes any thoughts of a blockbuster deal happening.

Jul 12, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joakim Soria (28) delivers a pitch to the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Adding Soria would be a win for the Bucs and could lock up the Shark Tank.  The question–and it’s a big one– is what’s the acquisition cost?  The Rangers would probably have to help with the contract as he gets $8 million a year on a two-year deal and has an option.  We have to think that’s a big number for the Pirates for some reason.  But if the Bucs dangle the right prospect, maybe a package for Soria could happen.

The Detroit Tigers are also rumored to be interested in Soria, so if Huntington feels the bullpen needs help (and the sad part is, we aren’t sure he does) it would be wise to move along the discussions.

In looking at where Soria would fit, we think he could be the eighth inning guy (#Hurdled) if somehow the Pirates pull the trigger.  Maybe it even makes Mark Melancon focus a little more, because should he falter–and he is eight-for-eight since Jason Grilli has departed, the Pirates would have an arm that could slide right into the closer role.

One that has peripheral numbers that are better than Melancon’s. Follow all the Pirates trade rumors that are flying around the Federal Street offices in Pittsburgh.

 

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