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Blake Snell a trade target or not

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:27 PM
I would personally be happy to offer up Kirilloff and a few other prospects for him!!! What do you guys think he would cost and would you...
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Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 12:18 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...
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Free Agency / Re-Signings 2020-21 Offseason

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:31 PM
Free agency is likely going to be a really slow burn this year, but I still think it's worth having a thread to discuss signings. ...
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Twins Spotlight Episodes

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 04:47 PM
I'm going to try to keep a running list of all of the Twins Spotlight episodes here. Feel free to discuss any of them, ask questions or l...
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Comments on 41 MLB baseball I visited with 5 to go

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:05 AM
I've been to 41 MLB parks with 40 since 1993. I missed 5 or 6 starting in the early 1990s when I landed my first computer job and then jo...
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Twins Lab: This Free Agent Reliever Could Benefit from Wes Johnson and Co.

The Twins, especially after declining Sergio Romo’s $5 million club option, will need to fill three or four spots in the bullpen. Is this journeyman reliever a worthwhile signing?
Image courtesy of © Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Joakim Soria was a dominant closer for the Royals during the first five years of his career. He posted a 2.40 ERA and 2.90 FIP over 315 ⅓ innings for Kansas City. Soria then pitched for six different teams over the next eight seasons, including another two year stint with the Royals. His 3.12 FIP ranked 16th among 73 relievers who threw at least 300 innings in that span.

Soria signed a healthy two-year, $15 million contract with the Athletics before the 2019 campaign. He pitched to a 3.94 ERA and 3.46 FIP in 91 ⅓ innings for Oakland. These numbers don’t jump off the page, but his subtle adjustments in 2020 show some hidden upside for the 36-year-old righty.

In a move that screams “Minnesota Twins,” Soria upped his slider usage by 70%, similar to the move Homer Bailey made in Oakland with his splitter. Opponents had an expected .234/.254 (wOBA)/.307 line against Soria’s frisbee during the shortened season, whiffing at over a 30% rate.

Even with this death-on-righties slider, lefties hit just .130 with a .361 OPS off Soria. His changeup was incredibly effective, but his fastball still has plenty of juice, too. Soria averaged 92.4 mph with his heater and it played up due to the offspeed efficiency.

Soria was simply a Statcast darling in 2020. He ranked in the 94th percentile in barrel rate, the 92nd percentile in expected wOBA and expected ERA, and the 85th percentile in expected slugging percentage.

He still threw his fastball over 65% of the time, which suggests there’s remaining room to tweak the pitch mix and pull out more value. Soria has the repertoire and profile that reminds one of Matt Wisler from last offseason, albeit with much more success and a higher price tag.

How high that price tag will be, though, is the main question. Cleveland just waived Brad Hand, the Twins wouldn’t pay Romo $5 million, and the Braves declined the $3.5 million option on Darren O’Day, a 38-year-old righty who posted a sterling 1.10 ERA in 2020.

Soria turns 37 next May and falls into the category of a solid but not great reliever. He does seem like an ideal candidate for the Twins to tweak on a lower-term deal. Worst case scenario is he ends up being the same guy he’s been for the last five years, a 3.20 FIP, 10.2 strikeouts-per-nine middle-to-late leverage righty. That has immense value in itself.

What do you think? Should the Twins sign Joakim Soria? Who else would you want to see them sign for the bullpen? Comment below!

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2 Comments

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tony&rodney
Oct 30 2020 08:50 PM

The money is the issue. $5 million is a lot of money but Soria just had a couple of really good years earning more moola. Why would he sign for much less? I guess we find out what the floor is this winter. I wish there would be a negotiated agreement on a percentage for players' salaries. A strike doesn't benefit any of us fans who missed a hundred games this year. Baseball likely needs a salary structure of sorts. Soria might fit but there are so many options this year: May, Treinen, and Hendriks for just a few options.

Fascinating to see the relievers that are being cut.Obviously the MLB owners are trying to reestablish the value and contracts for relievers and using Covid as their tool to correct their own over priced contracts.Why not bring Hand home to MN?