The bullpen has been the Royals source of power the last two years, because the three-headed monster of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland was able to shorten games to six- and sometimes even five-inning affairs. The Royals also had a knack for getting the most out of forgotten players or players that had injury history. For example, last year the Royals had Ryan Madson under contract and the now 35-year-old gave them a 2.13 ERA in 63 innings. However, Madson’s success with the Royals landed him a $22 million contract with the Oakland A’s. Former All-Star closer Greg Holland has since left the team while dealing with injury problems.
Those departures left the Royals with a major hole in their ‘pen. General manager Dayton Moore knew where the team won its games though, and was able to keep the Monster intact, as he signed Joakim Soria to a three-year, $25 million deal. The signing or Soria (2.53 ERA in 67 innings last year) will allow the Royals to keep shortening games substantially and will keep their biggest strength.