Now Commenting On:

Soria happy in new home, wishes Royals well


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joakim Soria was relaxing in the Texas clubhouse on Saturday morning, watching TV while waiting for a pre-workout card game to start. The former Royals closer looked quite at home with the Rangers.

"They treat me really good and everything is going smooth," Soria said.

Soria, his $8 million contract option for 2013 declined by the Royals, became a free agent and signed with the Rangers for $8 million over two years plus an option for 2015. He missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery at the end of Spring Training.

One factor favoring the Rangers was that Dallas is relatively close, a nine-hour drive, from his parents' home in Monclova, Mexico, and it likely means more family visits.

Soria's rehabilitation work is going well.

"I threw 45 pitches yesterday in the bullpen, and I expect to throw 45 again on Monday, with a changeup. Then I'll start throwing some breaking balls," he said. "And I've been feeling great."

This was the second time that Soria had the reconstructive elbow surgery.

"I know what to expect, I know how to pace myself throwing-wise, and I feel like I'm really close to going back," he said.

Soria wants to be ready for Major League competition by late May or early June. If that's the case, guess which team visits Texas on May 31-June 1-2? Yep, the Royals.

Although the Rangers and the Royals share the Surprise training complex, there's little interaction between the teams except when they play each other, and Soria hasn't seen much of his old teammates.

"I still have friends over there, I still have communications with them but I'm in a different jersey now. I'm a Texas Ranger and it's not fair to my new team for me to have something going on over there," Soria said.

"I loved Kansas City because they were great fans and they always were good to me, but now I've got a new club. That's the way baseball is, and I guess they understand that."

Soria knows the Royals well and kept up with their offseason moves.

"They have a really good team over there. They're young and they're talented and they want to get established in the Major Leagues," he said. "[New closer Greg] Holland did a great job last year and I just wish him the best; I wish whole team the best and I hope we see them in the playoffs."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español