Friday, October 23, 2009

Should the Royals Trade Joakim Soria?

Should the Royals trade one of their best pieces to acquire more pieces? You decide:
"Aside from a barstool, there may be no more emotional position in baseball than closer. This is certainly true for Jonathan Papelbon and K-Rod, but more, it's true for the people watching.

So long as it doesn't get watered down from blowouts, the best moment at Kauffman Stadium is when the video boards set fire and Slash starts playing "Welcome to the Jungle" and Joakim Soria comes out from the bullpen to throw fastballs at the knees and 67-mph curveballs through bats.

Beyond his success -- Soria is, what, one of the four best closers in baseball? -- he is the shining example of what the Royals' current scouting department is capable of. They got him in the Rule 5 draft, for $50,000, which is the equivalent of you getting a two-week Hawaiian vacation for 50 cents.


There's something that's been discussed in certain circles of Royals fans, and this offseason it should be out in the open.

Soria is among the Royals' very best trading chips, and they should look long and hard about using it."
Jeez, this a tough one. There's so much to like about Soria if you're a Royals fan. Soria is one of the best closers in baseball. Soria is only 25 years old. Soria is signed through 2014 to a very team friendly deal.

In short, Soria is one of the only commodities the Royals have right now.

So then why would the Royals want to trade Soria?

The answer is simple yet painful: the Royals have so many holes to fill that they need to acquire as many useful pieces as possible. You can make the case that the Royals roster right now contains only 4 or 5 players that any team would have interest in acquiring: Greinke, Butler, Dejesus, maybe Teahen, and Soria. If the Royals are going to add any talent this offseason via trade, then Soria is one of the only guys that can actually yield a substantial return.

But ask yourselves this: is now the best time for the Royals to trade Soria? Will they maximize his value? I'm not sure about that. Soria missed a month with shoulder issues and the free agent market is already loaded with closers (Valverde, Rodney, Soriano, etc.) while a number of big name closers have been rumored in potential deals (Papelbon, Nathan). Given his contract, age, and ability level; I'm sure many teams would prefer Soria over all those guys. Whether or not they would be willing to pay the Royals' heavy price tag is another story.

If the Royals are going to trade Soria, they need to be completely overwhelmed by the package offered to them. The goal should not simply be to get back as many useful pieces as they can, but to maximize Soria's value. If Moore cannot find a package that he feels maximizes Soria's value, then no deal should be made.

Now comes the hard part for Dayton Moore: finding out when Soria's value will be at its peak.

And now comes the hard part for Royals fans: trusting Dayton Moore's decision making.


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1 comment:

P. W. Hjort said...

I wonder if the Braves could pull off a blockbuster for both Soria and Butler. Maybe something like Nate McLouth, Freddie Freeman, Randall Delgado, Kris Medlen, one of (Cole Rohrbough, Brett DeVall, Zeke Spruill, J. J. Hoover) one of (Dimaster Delgado, Edgar Osuna, Scott Diamond, Jose Ortegano), and Barbaro Canizares.