Closer Derby: Who Will It Be? - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Red Fever
Complete coverage of the Texas Rangers

Closer Derby: Who Will It Be?

This is why the Rangers signed Joakim Soria



    Joe Nathan will not be back with the Rangers in 2014, leaving a void at the closer position. Fortunately, the Rangers have plenty of internal options.

    Candidate: Joakim Soria, RHP

    2013 stats: 1-0, 3.80 ERA, 28 strikeouts, 14 walks, 23 2/3 innings

    The Rangers took one of their low-risk fliers on Soria last winter, signing the former all-star closer to a two-year deal for just $8 million and a third-year team option. They did that knowing Soria wouldn't be available for a few months at the beginning of the 2013 season, and it ended up taking him longer than expected to get back from his Tommy John rehab. Soria did start to see his velocity return and he had a nice K:9 ratio of 10.6. Soria, remember, has three seasons under his belt of more than 30 saves, and a fourth with 28 saves as a member of the Kansas City Royals. He seems to be the odds-on favorite to assume Nathan's role with a leg up on Scheppers due to his better strikeout rate.