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Yankees Shift Focus To Bullpen, Joakim Soria

With top starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Dan Haren off the market, the New York Yankees seem to have shifted their trade deadline focus to bullpen help. Once the Yankees strong point, the bullpen is a bit of a mess right now outside of closer Mariano Rivera.

With top starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Dan Haren off the market, the New York Yankees seem to have shifted their trade deadline focus to bullpen help. Once the Yankees strong point, the bullpen is a bit of a mess right now outside of closer Mariano Rivera.

Joba Chamberlain has struggled this season in his eight inning role. For the Yankees to go deep into the playoffs, they will likely need someone to step into that role and be a shut down type pitcher. Thoughts of David Robertson taking over the job have come up lately.

There are also some outside options and one inparticular the Yankees seem interested in. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Yankees and Royals have been discussing a deal that would send Joakim Soria to the Bronx.

New York made a “big proposal” to the Royals for the 26 year old righty. Some reports even state the Yankees offered big time prospect Jesus Montero but the Royals were not interested.

Soria would fill a major void in the Yankees bullpen. The current Royals closer would likely take the eight inning job away from the struggling Chamberlain and instantly give the Yankees a dominant late inning tandem. Similar to the late 90’s.

Soria would also give the Yankees a closer in waiting. Joba Chamberlain was thought to be the guy that would take over for Mariano Rivera whenever Mo decides to hang up his cleats. However, Joba has struggled this season, raising some doubts.

The Royals closer has been excellent so far in his career and would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.

Soria has 116 saves in 128 chances so far in his career that began in 2007. Soria has a career ERA of 2.12 and opponents have hit just .200 against him.  He has struck out 257 batters in 229.1 innings.

The righty would definitely be a major upgrade in the Yankees bullpen both this year and in the future. If a deal can be worked out between the Yankees and Royals, I am all for fitting Joakim Soria in pinstripes.

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