Rangers reach deal with reliever Soria, keep Soto
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — While waiting to find out whether there will be more talks with Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers agreed to a two-year contract with free-agent reliever Joakim Soria and reached a deal to keep catcher Geovany Soto.
Soria, a two-time All-Star with Kansas City, is recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery on April 3. The 28-year-old right-hander also had the ligament replaced in 2003.
His agreement was revealed Monday by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced. The person said the contract includes an option for 2015.
Soria's agent, Oscar Suarez, would say only "we're very close to a deal with the Texas Rangers."
Texas general manager Jon Daniels wouldn't confirm an agreement and wouldn't even say whether medical reports suggest Soria will recover by May or the All-Star game.
"I'm not going to comment on him at this time," Daniels said. "I've got to protect the organization."
On the day starting catcher Mike Napoli agreed to a $39 million, three-year contract with Boston, a deal subject to a physical, Texas retained Soto for a $2.75 million, one-year agreement. He can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses.
Soto, who turns 30 next month, hit .196 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 47 games last season. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2008 when he batted .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs for the Chicago Cubs.
"It was not a great catching market to begin with," Daniels said. "It's a tough position to fill in the game right now."
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