Pitching Notes: Soria, Zimmermann, Sale, Price, LeBlanc (www.mlbtraderumors.com)

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It seems veteran hurler Joakim Soria is drawing quite a lot of interest from the American League West. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that the AngelsAstrosAthletics, and Rangers are all pursuing Soria to some degree. Of course, most teams could stand to add an experienced late-inning reliever coming off of a quality season, so it stands to reason that just about every club in a competitive division would give a look. Soria, 36, registered a strong 2.82 ERA last year in Oakland, though that’s hardly a determinative measure on its own for a reliever in a shortened season. The well-traveled hurler managed only a 9.6% swinging-strike rate, his lowest in quite some time, and suddenly shifted to being a heavy flyball pitcher (though he wasn’t punished with many home runs in the short sample).

More from the pitching market:

  • After wrapping up a greatly disappointing tenure with the Tigers, Jordan Zimmermann is taking quite a different free agent journey than his first one. It’s fair to wonder whether he’d consider retiring, but the 34-year-old tells MLB.com’s Jason Beck (Twitter link) that he’s instead preparing for another campaign. Zimmermann is sure to draw interest, but not on a guaranteed big-league pact. He has largely been ineffective since coming to Detroit five seasons back and is now also recovering from a forearm injury.
  • The Red Sox could soon get a good sense of the return timeline for star lefty Chris Sale. Per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter), Sale is expected to throw from a mound at some point in the next two weeks or so — if all goes as planned. It’s promising that he’s already nearing that milestone, having undergone his Tommy John procedure at the end of March of 2020. It is hard to imagine that Sale will be ready for the start of the season, but perhaps he could resume competitive pitching relatively early in the 2021 campaign.
  • Also on his way back is Sale’s former teammate David Price. He posted a video on Twitter showing that he’s hard at work preparing for the upcoming season. The Dodgers will surely be interested to see how the ball is coming out of the once-great lefty’s hand after a long respite. Price, who was acquired in a blockbuster nearly one year ago, has yet to take the ball with his new team. He opted out of the 2020 season.
  • Teams looking for a spot starter and long reliever will soon have another option to consider. Southpaw Wade LeBlanc is still plugging away despite suffering a tough elbow injury last year. Per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link), LeBlanc is in good enough form that he’s now preparing for a showcase. LeBlanc posted a resurgent 2018 season but has struggled more recently, so he’s sure to land a non-guaranteed deal when he does sign.

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