When the Texas Rangers gave 28-year-old relief pitcher Joakim Soria a two-year deal for $8 million with a club option for a third year during the winter meetings, they did so with the understanding that Soria is coming off his second Tommy John surgery and won't be ready when the Rangers start the regular season on March 31 in Houston.
Soria comes from Kansas City where he's been a great shutdown reliever in the past and was brought into to eventually replace Mike Adams as the team's set-up man once he's healthy and maybe eventually replace Joe Nathan as the team's closer if he can regain his old form.
Soria said Thursday night that he's eyeing a return in early-June after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time last April.
"I'd like to start when the season begins in April, but that's not realistic," Soria told ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett. "I'm still looking at late May, but it's probably more like the first few days of June. It depends how it goes with the bullpens. I'm doing everything possible to get ready as soon as I can. My goal is to be with the team and help them."