Milwaukee Brewers: Joakim Soria Trade Similar To Swarzak Deal Last Year
The Milwaukee Brewers have once again acquired a late inning reliever from the Chicago White Sox. This time, it’s Joakim Soria joining the Crew.
There are some very obvious similarities from the Milwaukee Brewers trade deadline of 2017 and what GM David Stearns has done so far in 2018. The Crew has had a similar record at this point in the season and their first move was trading for a reliever from the Chicago White Sox.
While the Brewers weren’t necessarily in desperate need for a bullpen arm this time around, adding another reliever with late inning experience never hurts.
The Brewers acquired Anthony Swarzak for outfield prospect Ryan Cordell. Cordell was blocked at the big league level and was considered a mid-tier prospect ranking in the 10-20 range on the Brewers prospect lists.
This year, Joakim Soria was acquired for pitching prospect Kodi Medeiros, who was also blocked at the big league level by several highly regarded pitching prospects. Medeiros also was ranked in the 10-20 range on most Brewers prospect lists.
The Brewers acquired Anthony Swarzak on July 26, 2017. Joakim Soria was acquired on July 26, 2018, exactly one year to the day after the Swarzak deal.
When Milwaukee acquired Swarzak, he had a 2.23 ERA on the season. Soria right now has an ERA of 2.56.
Swarzak was in the final year of his contract when acquired and Soria is in the final guaranteed year of his deal as well.
Soria, meanwhile, has a club option for the 2019 season. That option, should it be picked up, will pay him $10 million next year. Should the Brewers not pick it up, they owe Soria a $1 million buyout.
Because of that club option, the Milwaukee Brewers had to send an extra player to Chicago, opting for Wilber Perez, who was on the Brewers Dominican Summer League squad.
Swarzak was a setup man with the White Sox and he remained in that role in Milwaukee. Soria has been the closer all year and has 16 saves to his name. Soria also has the pedigree of a closer and has filled that role before. He has 220 saves in his career to this point. Swarzak has four.
While it’s not completely clear what role Soria will have in the Brewers bullpen, a setup role appears to be the most likely for now. With Knebel struggling on occasion, Craig Counsell may opt to go with Soria in certain situations.
Anthony Swarzak made a major impact on the Brewers down the stretch last season. The team was 23-6 in games that he appeared in. Although the one fans will remember most is Swarzak’s implosion against the Cardinals in the penultimate game of the season which ended up costing the Brewers a playoff spot.
Soria stands to make a similar impact on the Brewers, outside of the whole “implosion at the end of the season” thing. With the way Soria has performed this year, he’s been one of the better relievers in baseball.
Adding him to an already dominant bullpen will help this team during the playoffs where the starters have short leashes and the bullpen is the big difference between winning and losing.
The Milwaukee Brewers will make more moves before the deadline passes. David Stearns is engaged on a number of fronts.