With a young bullpen, having proven itself in 2011 season, the Kansas City Royals can and should look at moving their all-star closer Joakim Soria this offseason. Although being a good closer in the past, the Royals have set themselves up with numerous options for filling the closer role. Also Soria, with another trade asset, could bring a good return in the slim market of starting pitching.
First off replacing Soria in the closer spot could be an easy transition for two in house options that the Royals have. Greg Holland proved last year that hitters just could not hit his stuff. Not even after seeing his arsenal numerous times. His fastball sets up his great off-speed pitches and he strikes people out. As the duel set-up man along side Aaron Crow last season Greg holland paved the way for whomever was taking the hill in the next frame. Also, Jonathan Broxton, whom the Royals signed to a one year deal this winter could be an option since he has already had that role with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Putting one of these two in the closers role will also free up a spot for potential prospect Mike Montgomery to join the young bullpen if he does not make the pitching rotation in Spring Training. Although if Montgomery is to make the starting rotation then the Royals can fill the bullpen with whomever he boots out.
That is not the problem that the Royals face with the closer. It is the fact that will teams be willing to give up what the Royals are asking for. No doubt the Royals are not willing to part ways with their mexican closer cheaply. A frontline starter must be given in return for Jack, Soria’s clubhouse nickname. The Cubs look to be an option with Matt Garza reportedly being on the trade block and that is exactly what the Royals need. A pitcher who has had success with a small market team, Tampa Bay, and a pitcher that throws right handed. This would be the kind of player that would attract the Royals to trading Soria. The Royals are have more lefty prospects than they know what to do with. Who knew that having lefty prospects would be a problem for any organization.
The problem with holding onto Soria is the fact that if he starts the 2012 season with the cold weather blues of the past then his trade stock will surely go down and the Royals will not have a chance to trade him then.
The questions stand. Are the Royals willing to part ways with Joakim Soria and will teams fulfill the high price that the Royals are asking? Will Soria be the Jack of any trade?