The Texas Rangers reassured its bullpen Monday at the 2012 Winter Meetings by signing former Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria to a two-year deal pending a physical. Soria will enter the 2013 season vying for the closer spot in the Rangers bullpen after undergoing Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2012 season.
Soria has not seen action since the 2011 season. In that year, he was able to record 28 saves with a 4.03 ERA in 60 games. In the 2010 season, Soria had a career-high 43 saves and at one point was the most feared closer in baseball although he was on a Royals team that usually battled for the fourth spot in American League Central division
The Texas bullpen is young but Joe Nathan was able to anchor it last season recording 37 saves on the comeback trail after he injuries plagued the end of his tenure with the Minnesota Twins. Soria and Nathan will lead the bullpen of youngsters that could include top pitching prospects Tanner Scheppers and Robert Ross.
Texas is not done in their offseason shopping though. The Rangers are still planning to try and go after Zack Greinke to sure-up the rotation and are expected to be going after outfielder Josh Hamilton. Both players are very high on the list leaving room for low risk, high reward players like Soria to come in.
The Rangers will have to battle multiple teams for the players that they prize the most though. A number of teams are interested in Greinke and Hamilton and it will certainly cost them a pretty penny.
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