It’s been a surprisingly busy first day of the winter meetings, especially considering many teams didn’t have their complete front-office contingent together in town until Monday morning.
The latest buzz: Former Royals closer Joakim Soria, who missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery, is heading to the Rangers on a reported two-year, $8 million contract (the same amount he was due to make in just 2013, until Kansas City understandbly declined his option).
So, in short, there’s one name to cross off the list of potential Tigers closers.
Impressive, really, that Soria got a two-year commitment, considering the surgery. Ryan Madson, in the same boat, got just a one-year, incentive-laden contract when he recently signed with the Angels.
But the Rangers, you’ll recall, do have some positive history to point to in defending this move: They gave Joe Nathan a two-year deal last winter, when he had recenty had Tommy John surgery. And that move has paid off quite handsomely. He saved 37 games and had a 1.057 WHIP in 2012.
That said, Nathan had a full season back in the majors under his belt. Soria hasn’t thrown a pitch since spring training 2012.
Another big move Monday, one of three (to go with Soria to the Rangers and Mike Napoli to the Rangers): The Giants, no surprise, have kept center fieder Angel Pagan, reportedly locking up for $40 million over four years. He’s the third big-name outfielder to sign this offseason, following Torii Hunter (Tigers) and B.J. Upton (Braves).
Still plenty more high-quality outfielders available, though — good news for teams like the Phillies (who got snubbed by Upton and Pagan) and the Red Sox, among many others.