Edit: Never mind.
Still wonder if signing a reliever and trading a reliever would be a good way to maximize value. Original post below!
Free agent Joakim Soria is finalizing a 3-year deal with the #Royals, sources confirmed.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 7, 2015
Starting pitchers and left fielders, left fielders and starting pitchers. That's all we figured the Giants needed. I pre-wrote all of these rumors and reactions in September, and I'm in Australia right now, eating lobster and basking in the delightful weather.
And then the Giants went and got interested in a reliever. Now I have to fly home to take care of this.
According to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, the Giants are one of the three frontrunners for Joakim Soria, late-inning reliever. Soria was with the Tigers and Pirates last year, throwing 67⅔ innings, with 64 strikeouts to 19 walks, and a 2.53 ERA.
This is something of a surprise, considering the Giants' bullpen is mostly spoken for. If there are seven spots in the bullpen, you figure the Giants have ...
- Santiago Casilla
- Sergio Romo
- Hunter Strickland
- Javier Lopez
- Josh Osich
- George Kontos
- Long reliever (Heston, Blackburn, Lincecum)
Everything's pretty much spoken for. However, there are trades abound! The Braves were reportedly interested in Darren O'Day for some reason, so it wouldn't be absurd for them to be interested in Hunter Strickland for some reason. In a big deal for Shelby Miller. Which would allow the Giants to sign Jason Heyward and Soria.
/breathes into paper bag
Okay, that's not particularly likely. But if the Giants were to sign Soria -- a quality reliever with a sketchy injury history -- it would allow them to deal one of their young, cost-controlled relievers for whatever they need. If they trade for a cheaper left fielder, it would allow them to spend more on a starting pitcher. If they trade for a cheaper starting pitcher, it would allow them to spend more on a starting pitcher. So if there are discussions about Strickland (or Kontos, or even Osich), talking with Soria would be a good way to hedge their bets.
The going rate for Soria would probably be three years and $18-24 million, which is on the pricey side for something teams should be able to find internally. Like, with a waiver claim like Hunter Strickland, or from the farm system like Osich. But if the end goal is to have a quality bullpen, another starter, and a starting left fielder, it's possible that an expensive free agent reliever actually helps that goal, oddly enough.
I'll give this a 10-percent chance of happening. But if the rumor is legit, it makes sense. The Giants have a lot of different ways they can get an extra outfielder and starter. Signing someone like Soria is just one of them.