Over the last few years, the Kansas City Royals have had some very good luck in the Rule Five Draft. Their biggest relatively recent acquisition in this manner was certainly Joakim Soria. He was an All-Star twice and quickly showed that he was one of the best closers in the game after taking over from Octavio Dotel. He had a slightly rocky 2011, but came back well only to have Tommy John surgery before the 2012 season and miss the lot.
But he will not return to the Royals in 2013. The Royals declined to extend his contract after his surgery and could not reach a new agreement with him. During the Winter Meetings, Soria signed with the Texas Rangers, officially ending the stay in Kansas City of the man known as ‘the Mexicutioner’. It is a great disappointment. Soria was as reliable as they come in save opportunities and although Greg Holland looks to be a worthy successor, Soria is proven and utterly unflappable.
Even though Soria would not have been available until midseason next year, I think having him in the ninth alongside Holland in the eighth would have been a very strong set up in the back of the bullpen. Or, if Moore so desired, Soria could be traded if it became clear that Holland could outdo him and the Royals would have at least got something. But as it is the Royals are left without one of the best closers in baseball and with next to no compensation.