A source has confirmed that the Rangers and right-handed reliever Joakim Soria are close to agreeing on a two-year deal, pending a physical exam.
Soria, the former closer in Kansas City, had Tommy John surgery in early April for the second time in his career. But he fits the mold of players general manager Jon Daniels often tries to sign: a high-risk, a high-reward player at value. Joe Nathan, the Rangers' current closer, is the latest example.
"We've hit on a few. … We've missed on a couple guys," Daniels said. "I think each situation is unique, and I don’t just mean the injury but the individual. The makeup, the work ethic, those things play in big as far as a guy's ability to get back."
The Rangers entered the winter meetings with three bullpen spots to fill, all right-handers. Mike Adams and Koji Uehara are free agents, and Alexi Ogando was moved into the starting rotation. Soria won't be ready for the start of the season, but he hopes to be throwing off a mound in January and ready to pitch in big-league games in late April or early May. He will be a set-up piece that could close should Nathan need a night off.
-- Jeff Wilson