Dave Dombrowski On Joakim Soria, Future Moves

Last night, the Tigers landed one of the top available relievers on the trade market in Rangers right-hander Joakim Soria.  While Soria should go a long way towards shoring up Detroit’s bullpen, many have wondered if Detroit might continue to work the phones for an additional relief option, particularly given the struggles of left-handers Phil Coke and Ian Krol.  I asked Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski earlier today if he might go after a southpaw in the next week.

I don’t know I would get into what we’re specifically addressing, but we’re open-minded to different thought processes.  Our bullpen has struggled at times and we want to have people that put up zeroes out there,” Dombrowski said.  “We’ve tried a lot of guys at that and we remain open-minded if something makes sense to make us better before the trade deadline.”

The Tigers have been in need of bullpen reinforcements for some time and Dombrowski has been focused on Soria “for a while.”  The GM said that he started chatting with Rangers GM Jon Daniels in June and things picked up more and more with time.  And while Soria didn’t come cheap — he cost the Tigers promising pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel —  he believed that it was a price they could afford to pay thanks to their pitching depth.  Soria’s affordable $7MM club option also helped Dombrowski to pull the trigger since he will likely be more than just a rental.

I don’t think it made the deal, but it was a real plus for us,” the GM said.

Of course, if things went differently for the Tigers this season, they might not have had to make a trade like this at all.  Dombrowski acknowledged that he’d be in a “different situation” if Bruce Rondon was with the club.  They’re also “not counting” on a 2014 return for Joel Hanrahan and the odds were termed as being “highly unlikely.”

While Soria has a long history as a successful closer, Dombrowski is insistent that Joe Nathan will continue to pitch in the ninth-inning despite his struggles this season.  When asked what it might take for Soria to possible leapfrog Nathan and close out games, the Tigers GM declined to speculate or set expectations for the 39-year-old.  For now, Soria is there to help build a better bridge to Nathan and the veteran appears to be all for it.  Before pulling the trigger on the deal, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and pitching coach Jeff Jones asked Nathan and Ian Kinsler about how they feel Soria might fit in with the team.  One of the replies they got back was, “Why don’t we have him yet?’

10 Responses to Dave Dombrowski On Joakim Soria, Future Moves Leave a Reply

  1. no one 12 months ago

    I guess the one who asked “why don’t we have him yet?” was Kinsler, LOL.
    Seriously, I respect Nathan, but I really expect Soria overtaking Nathan as Tigers closer in a few weeks…

    • MiggyCabby24 12 months ago

      I agree, and to think Nathan is owed 10 million dollars this year is mind blowing.

  2. Curt Green 12 months ago

    Nathan has began to feel his age. I thought this might happen when they got him.

  3. sourbob 12 months ago

    What else would the Tigers be looking to upgrade? Probably they could find a nice role player, I guess. But they look mostly set.

    • cgriffith 12 months ago

      Possibly another left-handed arm for the bullpen, and a possible left-handed bat.

      Creates flexibility with Phil Coke & Drew Smyly (playoffs only)

      LH batters (V. Martinez switch hitter, Avila, and Kelly)

  4. Randy Smith 12 months ago

    Worst case scenario Soria will be the closer next year. Maybe having him breathing down his neck will make Nathan pitch better.

  5. mmiller54 12 months ago

    Oliver Perez sounds like a good fit for the Tigers.

  6. cgriffith 12 months ago

    I think we still get either James Marshall or Bastardo from the Phillies

    • MiggyCabby24 12 months ago

      Bastardo would be the icing on the cake. They’re left handed bullpen options leave a lot to be desired. Smyly should go back to the pen IMO. He’s better as a reliever.

      • EightMileCats 12 months ago

        Smyly has been fine as a starter. And we have no one to replace him.

        We do need a lhp for the pen. My preference is for Wright or Perez personally, but have no qualms with anyone on this list

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