Joakim Soria, Relief Pitcher, Kansas City Royals, #48
Date of Birth: 5/18/1984
Birthplace: Monclova, Mexico
Current Salary: $8,000,000
Joakim Soria, relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, was first signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in October, 2001. After three years in their minor league system, the Dodgers released him in October, 2004. He played in the Mexican Baseball League in 2005.
The San Diego Padres signed Soria in December, 2005. He spent 2006 in the Padres' minor league system and in the Mexican Baseball League. On December 9, 2006, he pitched a perfect game in the Mexican Winter League. Later that month, the Royals acquired him in the Rule 5 draft.
Soria pitched in 62 games with the Royals in 2007. He had a 2.48 ERA, 17 saves, and career highs in innings pitched (69.0) and strikeouts (75 to just 19 walks).
Soria signed a three-year, $8.75 million contract extension with the Royals on May 17, 2008. As their closer in 2008, he had 42 saves and a career low ERA of 1.60 in 67.1 innings in 63 games. The following season, he spent time on the DL with a sore right shoulder. He finished the 2009 season with a 2.21 ERA in 47 games.
In 2010, Soria had a career high 43 saves and a 1.78 ERA in 66 games with the Royals. The following season, he had a 4.03 ERA in 60 games.
Soria had Tommy John surgery in March, 2012, and he missed the entire 2012 season. He became a free agent after the season ended and he signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Texas Rangers on December 4, 2012. He spent time on the DL in 2013, recovering from TJ surgery. He finished the season with a 3.80 ERA in 26 games.
The Rangers traded Soria to the Detroit Tigers on July 23, 2014. He spent time on the DL with an oblique strain in 2014, and his playing time was limited to 44.1 innings in 35 games with the Rangers and 13 games with the Tigers. He had a 3.25 ERA.
Soria lasted just a year with the Tigers, being traded on July 30, 2015, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished the 2015 season with a 2.53 ERA in 43 games with the Tigers and 29 games with the Pirates.
Soria became a free agent on November 2, 2015. A month later, on December 10th, he agreed to return to the Royals on a three-year, $25 million contract. In 2016, he had a career high ERA of 4.05 in 70 games. He finished the season with 5 wins and 8 losses, 1 save, and 68 strikeouts to 27 walks in 66.2 innings.
Career pitching statistics for Soria through 2016 include:
- 514 games played
- 517.2 innings pitched
- 24-28 win-loss record
- 203 saves
- 549 strikeouts to 153 walks
- 2.76 ERA