Boston Red Sox Top-5 free agent reliever targets
Sep 26, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joakim Soria (38) throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
2015 Stats: 67.2 innings, 3-1, 2.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.5 K/9
Dombrowski has a history with Soria, having acquired him during his tenure as general manager of the Tigers last year. While Soria was a disappointment during his brief run to finish the 2014 season, allowing 6 runs in 11.2 innings for Detroit, he still managed to win the closer role this year when Joe Nathan went down with a season-ending injury.
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The former Kansas City Royals closer notched another 24 saves this year to surpass the 200 career save mark, which makes him another potential option to provide Uehara insurance for the Red Sox. Soria was shipped to the Pittsburgh Pirates in July when the Tigers purged themselves of any valuable impending free agents on their roster, finishing the season with a 2.03 ERA and 9.5 K/9 through 26.2 innings in a Pirates uniform.
Soria was one of the game’s most dominant relievers early in his career, making two All-Star appearances during his time in Kansas City and garnering some votes for the Cy Young and MVP awards in 2010. He missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery before signing a 2-year, $8 million deal with the Texas Rangers, who would later trade him to Detroit.
The first two seasons following his return from surgery were a far cry from what he produced in the first four years of his career, but in 2015 Soria seemed to recapture his old form. He may be in search of a team with a more immediate path to the closer role, but with Uehara nearing the end of the line, Soria may be inclined to consider the Red Sox.
Next: Antonio Bastardo