After a 14-year career that spanned 771 appearances on nine different teams, relief pitcher Joakim Soria has decided to retire from his baseball playing career. His agent broke the news to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic late Wednesday night.
Soria came up in 2007 to immediate success and served as the Royals closer for most of his first five seasons, twice making the All-Star team and finishing 10th in AL Cy Young voting in 2010 when he had 43 saves and a 1.78 ERA. He had a down 2011, losing the role of closer at one point, but still nailed down 28 saves before the season ended. In 2012, however, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL in his right elbow.
Upon Soria's return in 2013, he became a bit of a journeyman who served as a late-inning reliever. Several times he was a closer who ended up being traded to a contender in July and then was moved into a setup role.
Through the course of his 14 seasons, Soria pitched to a 3.11 ERA (137 ERA+), 1.13 WHIP and 831 strikeouts against 213 unintentional walks in 763 innings in the regular season. He amassed 18.7 WAR.
Soria, 37, also pitched on four different playoff teams, getting to the 2018 NLCS with the Brewers. He was never on a team that won a pennant.
Soria has a chance to be on the Hall of Fame ballot in five years, but he'd obviously be a one-and-done type. That's not the biggest measure of a career, of course, as Soria had an admirable one. His most statistical similars on baseball-reference.com are Rod Beck, Armando Benitez, Sergio Romo and Keith Foulke. That's good company in quality relief.