For a team coming off a World Series appearances, the New York Mets sure have a lot of question marks. There is this feeling that the big bat of Yoenis Cespedes, who was largely responsible for that torrid stretch the team was on August and September is all but gone. Same goes for Daniel Murphy, who declined the Mets’ qualifying offer. Late-season pickups Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe will be heading elsewhere as well. How will the Mets score any runs? Will 2016 turn out like what much of 2015 was: great pitching, no offense? However, if you are not keen on Austin Jackson, Dexter Fowler, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ian Desmond, there really isn’t a bat out there that could satisfy this once-again dormant offense. Where to go? How about shoring, the set up spot in the bullpen, another area in 2015 that was fairly weak? There are a few arms out there that could serve as a bridge to Jeurys Familia. There might be none more attractive than Joakim Soria.
Let’s face it, if the team does not sign a quality bat or two, it will be involved in a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 contests. What better way to ensure these victories than to have a tremendous one-two punch in the back of the bullpen? Soria was a two-time All-Star for the Kansas City Royals before shoulder surgery robbed him of the 2012 season. Since his recovery, the only time he has faltered was at the end of the 2014 season after he was dealt from the Texas Rangers to the Detroit Tigers. In 2015, Soria rebounded quite nicely in Motown with 23 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 23 games. He was then dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trading deadline and he flourished in a setup role. The 31-year old Soria registered a 2.03 ERA in 29 games for the playoff-bound Pirates, striking out 28 batters in 26 2/3 innings of work. For his career, the right-hander has 202 saves and 2.57 ERA with 481 strikeouts in 451 innings pitched.
Dollars and length of contract should not be an issue here for the Mets. I wouldn’t expect them to give out more than two years for Soria though the money might be higher than the $6 million dollars per year the Houston Astros gave to Luke Gregerson. I am not sure how much competition will be out there for his services because it seems as though certain teams may address their bullpen issues via trade with Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel both rumored to be on the block. For a team that should be thinking World Series again, the signing of Soria is almost a no-brainer, particularly if you believe New York will do next-to-nothing to upgrade the offense. They should then concentrate on having the most fearsome pitching staff in the game. Signing Joakim Soria would go a long way in establishing that.