Royals decline option on closer Joakim Soria

The Royals have declined their 2013 option on Joakim Soria after

he missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, making

the former All-Star closer a free agent.

The Royals chose to exercise a $750,000 buyout clause on the

right-hander Wednesday rather than the $8 million option for next

season. Even though Soria is a free agent, both sides have

expressed interest in working out a new contract.

Soria missed the 2003 season with his first Tommy John surgery.

He was chosen by the Royals in the Rule 5 draft in 2006, and

evolved into one of the league’s top closers, saving 160 games and

putting together a 2.40 ERA in parts of five seasons.

He was voted to the All-Star game in 2008 and 2010.