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Report: Joakim Soria Willing To Accept Trade To Yankees

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Joakim Soria, outstanding closer for the Kansas City Royals, says forget the fact that there is a no-trade provision in his contract in which he would not accept a move to the New York Yankees. He says he would be "happy" to come and pitch in the Bronx.

"There is a no-trade clause to the Yankees in my contract, but did not put it in myself," Soria said. "My agent put it as a strategy, but if the Royals decide to move me to New York I would be happy to play with the Yankees or another team.

"I repeat, I would not block a trade to the Yankees. I like to play baseball and I would play with any team," Soria said.

Like Mick in Rocky II when Adrian tells her hubby to "win,' I have only one reaction. Hey, Yankee general manager Brian Cashman, "what are we waitin' fer?"

Soria, who will be 27 next season, is one of the game's best relief pitchers. In four seasons he has an ERA of 2.01, 132 saves for the lowly Royals, a career WHIP of 0.988 and an ERA+ of an other-worldly 219. Rivera's ERA for his 16-year career is 2.23 and his ERA+ is 205.

Rivera is now 41, and Soria would not only provide a great eighth-inning bridge to him but would also provide ninth-inning protection in the event of injury that the Yankees currently do not have.

Besides, having lost out on Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies, facing the probably retirement of Andy Pettitte and with a very unappealing market for remaining starting pitchers, perhaps the best strategy for the Cashman and the Yankees is to try and build a devastating bullpen.

The Yankees have already added lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano, looked into former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks before he signed with Boston and have been mentioned as a suitor for former Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano. Soria is better than either Jenks or Soriano, and adding him would go a long way toward helping the Yankees overcome the questions they have right now on the pitching staff -- both short- and long-term.

I have no idea what the Royals would want in return for Soria, or if they are even willing to trade him right now. It is, however, a no-brainer for Cashman to pick up the phone and find out.

2010 - Joakim Soria 1-2 66 0 0 0 43 3 65.2 53 13 13 4 16 71 1.78 1.05