D-backs agree to 1-year deal with Soria

February 7th, 2021

The D-backs agreed to a one-year deal with veteran reliever , the team announced on Saturday. The deal is worth $3.5 million with $500,000 in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Soria, 36, could be a strong veteran candidate for the D-backs’ closer role. He has earned 223 saves in his 13-year career, including two last year in the second of his two seasons with the A's. The right-hander, a two-time All-Star, has a 3.01 ERA across 725 2/3 career innings.

While Soria’s All-Star Game nods came in his earlier days with the Royals, he proved in 2020 that he can still be a valuable back-end contributor. The Mexico native finished the abbreviated campaign with a 2.82 ERA in 22 appearances, allowing just one homer across 96 batters faced for Oakland’s MLB-best bullpen. Soria also stood out when it came to advanced metrics; he finished among baseball’s top 10 percent of qualified pitchers in Statcast’s barrel rate against, expected weighted on-base (xwOBA) and expected ERA metrics.

The D-backs had been seeking relief help, having dealt closer Archie Bradley to the Reds and Andrew Chafin to the Cubs just before last year's Trade Deadline. Arizona also did not pick up the contract options on Hector Rondón and Junior Guerra.

To make room for Soria on the 40-man roster, the D-backs designated LHP Taylor Guilbeau for assignment.