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Royals trade Soria, Alexander for prospects

Oaks ranked 14th in Dodgers' system; Mejia a 'plus-plus defender'
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' rebuilding process kick-started Thursday when they traded veteran right-hander Joakim Soria and emerging bullpen star left-hander Scott Alexander in a three-team deal with the Dodgers and White Sox while acquiring right-handed prospect Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia.

Alexander, 28, pitched in 58 games with the Royals last season and posted a 2.48 ERA. He was sent to the Dodgers.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' rebuilding process kick-started Thursday when they traded veteran right-hander Joakim Soria and emerging bullpen star left-hander Scott Alexander in a three-team deal with the Dodgers and White Sox while acquiring right-handed prospect Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia.

Alexander, 28, pitched in 58 games with the Royals last season and posted a 2.48 ERA. He was sent to the Dodgers.

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"I'm really going to miss Kansas City and the fans," Alexander told MLB.com. "I wish I could have done better when they were rising to the World Series. But I'm so thankful to the organization. It's all I've known since I was 20 years old."

Video: Oaks discusses being traded to Royals

Soria was in the final year of a three-year, $25 million deal and was owed $10 million. He was sent to the White Sox. A source told MLB.com that the Royals only had to pick up his $1 million buyout for 2019; thus the Royals saved $9 million on payroll by trading him. Soria had a 3.70 ERA in 59 games last season.

"It was hard to let those guys go," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com. "But it's the process we're in."

Oaks, 24, was immediately added to the Royals' 40-man roster and Moore said he expects him to compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training.

Oaks pitched for the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City in 2017, going 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA over 15 starts and one relief appearance. He allowed only 18 walks in 84 innings while striking out 72. Oaks was the Dodgers' seventh-round pick in the 2014 Draft out of California Baptist University and was No. 14 on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 list of Dodgers prospects.

Oaks recently was added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

"As you know, the Dodgers have a pretty deep system and yet they thought to protect him," Moore said. "We believe he is a guy with great makeup and is a great competitor who can compete for a spot in our rotation."

Video: Royals adds potential starters in Oaks, Mejia

Mejia, 23, is a switch-hitting middle infielder who can play outfield, though Moore indicated the Royals likely will keep Mejia on the infield for now. He played mostly at Double-A Tulsa last season and hit .289 with 17 doubles, three triples and seven home runs while stealing 25 bases in 29 attempts.

"He's a guy who fits our makeup of players," Moore said. "He's a plus-plus runner who is a good defender. We've got a guy in Nicky Lopez and he is somewhat like him."

Soria had seven blown saves last season but also had 20 holds in an up-and-down season.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Erick Mejia, Trevor Oaks