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Fantasy Baseball 2012: Handling Joakim Soria's Injury

Reliever Jonathan Broxton (65 saves from 2009-11 with the Dodgers) hasn't played an official game with the Royals, and yet, his fantasy value has already spiked.
Reliever Jonathan Broxton (65 saves from 2009-11 with the Dodgers) hasn't played an official game with the Royals, and yet, his fantasy value has already spiked.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterMarch 20, 2012

The Kansas City Royals and Joakim Soria fantasy owners were dealt a big blow on Monday, after word of Soria's torn ligament in his right elbow and possible need for Tommy John surgery became public knowledge. But injuries happen all the time in baseball; for both parties, it's a case of simply shrugging before declaring, "Next man up!"

There's a reason why the Royals signed former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton (65 saves from 2009-11) in the offseason; and there's a reason why the club has moved All-Star Aaron Crow (2.76 ERA, 65 Ks in 62 innings last year) back to the bullpen.

You can never have enough power arms on the back end (including another closing option, Greg Holland); and the franchise may soon be welcoming another wave of potential starters to the parent club anyway—most notably Mike Montgomery (3.43 ERA, 348 Ks in the minors), John Lamb (Baseball America's No. 18 prospect) and Jake Odorizzi (3.70 ERA, 354 Ks in the minors).

For fantasy GMs who have already drafted Soria, you may need to sharpen your elbows to grab Broxton off waivers (or stealthily secure Crow in AL-only leagues). For those who haven't drafted yet, Broxton, the closer, might have an inflated pre-draft value (Round 15/16).

He would likely be taken after Andrew Bailey, Carlos Marmol, Sergio Santos, Huston Street and Joe Nathan, but before Brandon League and Jason Motte.

As for auction values, you know the drill: Anyone beyond Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera isn't worth the exorbitant asking price. Maybe $2 or $3, tops. Smart owners seldom lose their shirt buying saves.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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