MLB Trade Rumors: Are Joakim Soria's Days in Kansas City Numbered?

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MLB Trade Rumors: Are Joakim Soria's Days in Kansas City Numbered?
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
After an abysmal May KC's closer has rebounded quite nicely.

The Dodgers, Rockies and Braves have seemingly replaced the Tigers, Cubs and Cardinals on Joakim Soria's no-trade list, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX which leads some to wonder if this may be a prelude to a possible trade involving the former All-Star.

The reliever can still block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies with his no-trade clause, which would provide him with leverage in the unlikely event of a proposed deal.

The asking price for Soria is said to be "quite exorbitant," according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, who hears that Royals officials haven't had high level talks about the closer with the Yankees since last summer. Yankees catcher Jesus Montero has limited appeal to the Royals, since they appear to doubt he’ll be able to stay behind the plate long-term.

The Yankees would like to acquire a top-of-the-rotation lefty, but they’re more likely to add a left-handed reliever. New York’s preference is for a southpaw who can retire right-handed hitters as well as lefties. The Yankees are targeting a number of left-handers, including Sean Burnett of the Nationals, who is not yet available, but one has to think that they will once again kick the tires on a possible Soria trade if only for the sake of due diligence.

Soria, 27, has a 4.03 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 38 innings this year. He had a nightmarish May during which he briefly lost the closer's job, but has recovered nicely, posting a 14K/2BB ratio since with just one earned run allowed in 16 innings in June and July.

The reliever’s 2012 option vests at $6MM if he finishes 55 games this year (he has finished 26 games so far). The Royals also have an $8 million option for Soria in 2013 ($750,000 buyout) and an $8.75 million option for  2014 ($750K buyout).

While it seems unlikely the Royals would seek to move Soria since the teams official position is "we look to compete for the division in 2012 and beyond" one has to assume that if the right trade partner comes knocking and dangles a sweet package in front of them they'll at least give it a listen.

"We'll always listen," Moore repeated, "to any trade that makes our team better in the long run. But we might not do anything."

This article is also featured on You're Killin' Me Smalls.

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