Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Idea: Chamberlain for Soria

In an effort to generate discussion, I'm going to attempt to keep this entry fairly short. I've done a fair deal of tinkering with the numbers and players involved, but I'm very curious to see how the SIH Community reacts to this, with the hope that I'll garner a fair amount of input. That being said - why not offer Chamberlain and some extras to the Royals for Joakim Soria?

There are countless positives to be had here, in my mind. Soria provides the Yankees with the best set-up man in the business at a relatively low cost, while also waiting in the wings for the inevitable day that Rivera rides off into the sunset. It also keeps Robertson in the seventh and Park out of high-leverage situations, while generating more set roles for the bullpen in general. I suppose there could be issues with Soria changing his role, but I'm sure that that could be balanced out nicely with a transition to a winning team.

The main caveat with this potential return lay in Soria's relatively cheap contract (he's owed $4 M in 2011 and $22.75 M in club options from 2012 throught 2014) and the relative volatility of relievers. The Royals may be loath to deal one of their most recognizable players at such a value, but they do appear to be a team with a steady eye on the future. As for volatility, I trust Soria going forward - he has four solid pitches and a fairly clean injury history, which is more than one could say about most other options.

In terms of Chamberlain, the Yankees would be selling low ... he didn't perform too well as a starter in 2009 and his "baseball card" stats aren't good this season, either. His peripherals point to better days, but I'm not sure that many front offices would buy that argument. I, for one, am fairly certain that Chamberlain could flourish elsewhere - but I do believe that that change of scenery may be necessary. Moving to a small market team a stone's throw from his home may be the jolt that Chamberlain needs to succeed.

Overall, I don't see this as a pipe dream, either. Chamberlain makes sense for the Royals - he's team controlled for four more years (and his arbitration reward isn't likely to top $1.5 M this offseason) and has the stuff to be a dominant closer or solid starter. While Chamberlain alone isn't likely enough for Soria, the Royals have several needs - David Adams, Melky Mesa, Zach McAllister, and Ivan Nova could sweeten the pot a fair bit. Chamberlain and Eduardo Nunez plus a couple of extras may make it a done deal.

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