Brewers GM David Stearns has slung his first deal of this year’s trade season, and it’s for someone the team hadn’t been rumored to be pursuing until the deal was announced — former All-Star closer Joakim Soria.
RHP Joakim Soria has been acquired from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for LHP Kodi Medeiros and RHP Wilber Pérez. pic.twitter.com/uueKGrrdG7— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 26, 2018
The 34-year-old Soria has appeared in 40 games for the White Sox this year, putting up a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings, with 49 strikeouts and just 10 walks. Recently, he’s been even better:
Newly-acquired Joakim Soria has posted a 0.74 ERA over his last 25 appearances (24.1ip, 2er) while holding opponents to a .161 batting average (32k). #Brewers— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) July 26, 2018
Soria is making $9 million this year, with $1 million already being paid by the Kansas City Royals as part of the trade that sent him to Chicago in January.
He’s also not necessarily a rental — he has a $10 million mutual option for the 2019 season. If the Brewers aren’t interesting in picking that up, he has a $1 million buyout.
Medeiros was drafted 12th overall by the Brewers in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft. He struggled for much of his first three seasons in the organization before finding better results this season as a 22-year-old in Double-A. It’s dangerous to scout the stat line, but the left-hander had a 3.14 ERA in 20 appearances (15 starts) for the Shuckers, striking out 107 in 103.1 innings so far. Control has been a problem for him for much of his professional career, and that still continues to be true with a 3.9 BB/9. As seen with the strikeout numbers, though, he’s proven to be effectively wild much of the time against minor-league hitters.
Perez is a 20-year-old right-hander still in the Dominican Summer League. He’s struck out 47 in 40.1 innings while walking 13 in 8 starts. While that’s impressive, he’s also old for the level -- more than 1.5 years older than the average player in that league.
MLB Pipeline ranked Medeiros as the Brewers’ 18th-best prospect before their most recent update today, when they ranked him 13th. Our Brad Ford ranked him 20th on his midseason Top 30 list. Perez is not a ranked prospect.
As many will note, the Brewers struck a deal with the White Sox for a reliever last year, too. Ryan Cordell was the team’s 17th-ranked prospect when he was dealt to Chicago almost a year ago today in the team’s first deadline deal.
According to Stearns, Matt Albers is expected back any day now, too, which should make the back end of the Brewers’ bullpen even better.
Second straight season #Brewers made deal with White Sox to strengthen back of bullpen. Last year, it was Anthony Swarzak. Stearns said he expects Albers will come off DL in next day or two, adding yet another arm. #Brewers back to having monster bullpen.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 26, 2018
As for other trades, Stearns gave some pretty strong GM speak, but it seems like it would be a surprise if this was the only move the team made before the end of the month:
Stearns says remains "active and engaged" with teams on a number of fronts. Says confident in depth of farm system to have prospects to make further details.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 26, 2018
The White Sox are chipping in $1 million as part of the deal, which coincidentally is what it would take for the Brewers to opt out of their half of the mutual option.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference