The Milwaukee Brewers made a move to strengthen their bullpen, anchored by Josh Hader, by acquiring Joakim Soria from the Chicago White Sox. While the Brewers pen is good on paper, and so far all season, relief pitching has been moving fast this month, and Milwaukee was not going to be caught failing to deepen their pen and have a little extra security that comes with having an experienced closer in reserve. If the Brewers plan to stay competitive, Soria was the kind of player they needed to add. Soria was ranked 12 on this year’s trade deadline candidates list, maintained by MLB Trade Rumors.
There has been a feeling going around since the All-Star game that the Brewers need for help in the pen, particularly a closer, was more imminent than ever. Hader has been dealing with some self-inflicted issues regarding comments made on his Twitter account when he was younger, and it was thought that may prove to be a distraction for him, as reported by MLB Daily Dish. Add to that the fact that although solid, the bullpen hasn’t been as sharp as it was just a month ago. In fact, some analysts have alluded to the pen slipping a notch, which is still statistically stronger than many not just in the league, but in the game.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 26, 2018
What Soria brings the Brewers is a guy that can close, and close effectively. Although his numbers have been all over the board since his heyday, so has the way he has been used. He’s closed, set-up, mopped-up, and done pretty much everything but spot-start. For a lights-out closer, that can be a difficult adjustment. This season, however, Soria has been looking more like his old self. Ignore the 0-3 record, and check out the 2.56 ERA paired with a 1.116 WHIP and 16 saves. He’s even on pace to have his second highest strikeouts per 9 inning ratio of his career at 11.4, according to Baseball Reference.
Source: Brewers getting Joakim Soria.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 26, 2018
To make the deal happen, the Brewers absorb the remainder of Soria’s contract this year, which comes with a $10 million club option for next season. They send the ChiSox lefty Kodi Medeiros and right hander Wilber Perez. There is also an undisclosed cash consideration to the White Sox. A million dollars of Soria’s contract is being picked up by the Dodgers as a part of the three-way deal that sent him to Chicago. Medeiros was ranked as the Brewers 13 best prospect according to MLB Trade Rumors, and the 20-year-old Perez is in his second season in the minors.