The expected exodus of free agents is continuing for the Oakland A’s. Given their refusal to spend money this offseason, and how they have yet to sign anyone for more than a minor league contract, it is difficult to imagine that anyone will be returning.
On Wednesday, Joakim Soria became the latest player to officially depart. He has signed a one year deal worth upwards of $4 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Presumably, Soria would compete for the Diamondbacks’ closer role. Their previous closer, Archie Bradley, had been sent to the Reds at the trade deadline, leaving Stefan Crichton and Yoan Lopez as Soria’s likely competition.
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Soria had a solid year for the A’s in 2020, re-establishing himself as a viable late inning reliever. He posted a 2.82 ERA and a 1.254 WHiP over his 22.1 innings, striking out 24 batters with ten walks. While his usually solid command was inconsistent, the 36 year old continued to miss bats without seeing a dropoff in velocity.
He also provides Arizona with a proven closer in their bullpen. Although he may not be the All Star that he had been in years past, Soria has closed for several teams over his career, most recently with the White Sox in 2018. He has notched 223 saves in his career as he has typically been a dependable weapon.
This is another defection that hurts. Oakland could have used Soria for the 2021 season, giving them a proven closer to step into their own void. A $4 million contract is not an egregious sum. However, their refusal to sign anyone beyond a minor league contract has led to his departure.
Joakim Soria is now the most recent free agent to leave the Oakland A’s. Chances are, he will not be the last one.