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Royals, Joakim Soria finalizing 3-year, $25 million deal

The reliever heads back to Kansas City after drawing widespread interest throughout the league.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are finalizing a 3-year, $25 million contract with reliever Joakim Soria, according to a major-league source. The deal, which was first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, is pending the finalization of contractual details and a physical exam.

Soria's deal also includes performance bonuses and a mutual option for a fourth season, according to a source. The option is expected to be worth something in the $9-11 million range. Final contract language is complicated because the Royals are likely to use Soria as both a starter and reliever, and incentive clauses will be role-specific.

Soria drew strong interest from multiple teams this winter, with the Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers and Giants being among the most active suitors. His market was largely dependent on the market of fellow reliever Darren O'Day, who is likely to head back to Baltimore on a 4-year, $31 million contract. Soria is said to have chosen the Royals over the Tigers, who made a competitive offer in the same range as the Royals.

Soria is familiar with Kansas City, as he spent the first five years of his major league career there and was named an All-Star on two occasions. He will join Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera at the back end of a very strong bullpen, replacing Ryan Madson, who signed a 3-year deal with the Athletics on Sunday.

In eight major-league seasons with the Royals (2007-11), Rangers (2013-14), Tigers (2014-15) and Pirates (2015), Soria is the owner of a lifetime 2.57 ERA and 202 saves.