Royals pitcher Soria agrees to 3-year, $8.75M extension

MIAMI -- Joakim Soria and the Kansas City Royals agreed to an $8.75 million, three-year contract extension Saturday, a deal that includes three club options that could raise the value to about $32.75 million.

"It's a big deal for me, for my career and my family," said Soria, who turns 24 on Sunday. "It's a lot of security for me and my family."

Soria allowed a run for the first time this season Friday when he gave up a two-run homer by the Florida Marlins' Jeremy Hermida, but he struck out Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu for his 11th save. Soria threw 16 2-3 scoreless innings to start the season, one-third shy of the Royals record, and has an ERA of 1.04.

The right-hander was picked up when the San Diego Padres left him unprotected in the 2006 winter meeting draft. He had a 2.48 ERA last year, third among major league rookies, and was 17-for-21 in save chances.

Soria, who is making $426,500 this season, gets $1 million in 2009, $3 million in 2010 and $4 million in 2011, and would receive a $750,000 buyout if the 2012 option is declined. His salaries in the option years depend on whether he remains a reliever or becomes a starter. If he remains a reliever, the options could raise the value to about $30 million.

"I'm hoping I'm around for that whole contract," manager Trey Hillman said. "It would be fun to watch him pitch that long for the Kansas City Royals."

The 2012 option would become guaranteed at $6 million if he has 55 appearances in 2011 or 110 in 2010-11 combined. It would become guaranteed at $6.5 million if he pitches 400 innings over the previous two seasons.