Royals trade relievers Soria, Alexander in three-team swap

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals traded a pair of veteran relievers Thursday in a three-team swap that will help the team both rebuild its farm system and cut expenses.

 

The Royals sent left-handed reliever Scott Alexander to the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and shipped Joakim Soria to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor leaguers Trevor Oaks, a right-handed pitcher, and Erick Mejia, an infielder.

Oaks is a 24-year-old starter who went 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA at Triple-A for the Dodgers. Mejia is 23-year-old switch-hitter who spent most of the season at Double-A for Los Angeles, batting .278 with 28 stolen bases overall in the minors.

The White Sox also got reliever Luis Avilan and cash in the deal, while the Dodgers obtained minor league infielder Jake Peter in addition to Alexander.

Avilan, a 28-year-old lefty, was 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 61 games last season for the Dodgers, striking out 52 in 46 innings. Peter, 24, hit a combined .279 at Double-A and Triple-A in the White Sox organization.

The 28-year-old Alexander emerged as a key pitcher for the Royals last season, going 5-4 with four saves and a 2.48 ERA in 58 games. The Dodgers lost durable Brandon Morrow from their bullpen when he signed with the Chicago Cubs, and lefty Tony Watson became a free agent.

Soria was 4-3 with one save and a 3.70 ERA in 59 games for the Royals last season. The 33-year-old righty will bring 204 career saves to the White Sox.

The Kansas City Star reported that the Royals will save $9 million in 2018 by sending Soria to Chicago, as Kansas City will have to pay only a $1 million buyout of the $10 million Soria is owed.

What the Royals do with the savings remains to be seen. The USA Today reported Wednesday that KC offered first baseman Eric Hosmer a 7-year, $147 million contract.

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