NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Free-agent reliever Joakim Soria is close to agreeing on a contract with the Texas Rangers, a source confirmed. The source said the two sides are working on final details. It's likely to be a two-year deal.
Soria, 28, did not play in 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April and would not be available to start the 2013 season. But the Rangers are looking for bullpen pieces and Soria could be a key pickup late in the season and for 2014, if he's able to produce following the surgery.
Soria has a 2.40 career ERA -- all with the Kansas City Royals -- and 160 saves. He had a 1.78 ERA and 43 saves in 2010.
The Rangers are in need of relief help with so many free agents in the bullpen. They do know Joe Nathan is closing games, but must figure out who can help them pitch in the late innings and get the game to Nathan. Soria won't be able to do that right away, but could help a few months after the season begins, depending on how his rehab goes.
In general manager Jon Daniels' tenure, the Rangers have often taken chances on injured players, looking for value.
"We're not perfect. We've hit on a few -- Nathan, (Eric) Gagne. We've missed some, obviously Brandon Webb never pitched for us," said Daniels, addressing injured players in general and not just Soria. "Each situation is unique. I don't just mean the injury, but the individual. The makeup, work ethic, those things play big. It's not just getting back to being a big leaguer, but to their previous level. That comes down to makeup, about 99 percent (of the time)."