Monday, May 19, 2008

Rule 5 Pick To Shutdown Closer

Another young player; another smart front office; another team-friendly long-term contract. This time it was Kansas City closer Joakim Soria, who apparently approached the team himself. He was given a three-year deal (through 2011) for $8.75 million, even though he wasn't eligible for arbitration until after the 2009 season. The Royals also have three team options, that could keep Soria in KC for his first free-agency year - it would run the total deal to about six-years $30 million. If they move Soria into the rotation, as has been discussed, then he could get another $2 million. Very low risk for the Royals ($8.75 million buys maybe a year of an OK closer) and they could keep him around for a while at a discounted price.

Mariano Rivera and his 7.5 WARP1 a year (about) just got 3 years, $45 million - that's $2 million per WARP1 per year. Soria was worth about 5 WARP1 last year (about $10 million) and is only getting better (1.04 ERA, 20 K's to 2 BB in 17.3 IP - he's also given up just 5 hits).

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