Tigers Acquire Joakim Soria

10:25pm: The Tigers have announced the deal, making it official.

9:23pm: The Tigers have agreed to acquire reliever Joakim Soria from the Rangers in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, Kyle Bogenschutz of Scout.com was first to report on Twitter. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirmed that an agreement is in place (via Twitter).

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers

With the acquisition of Soria, the Tigers now possess both of the Rangers’ most recent closers (having signed Joe Nathan as a free agent over the offseason). It appears that Nathan will retain the closer’s mantle for the time being, but regardless the team will now have an additional premium arm to throw into high-leverage situations. At the moment, the team owns the fifth-worst relief ERA in baseball.

Soria, a 30-year-old righty, owns a 2.70 ERA with a spectacular strikeout to walk ratio of 11.3 K/9 against only 1.1 BB/9. Indeed, his FIP stands at a miserly 1.07, which handily leads all pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings. Other ERA estimators (2.25 xFIP; 1.84 SIERA) concur in Soria’s excellence to date in 2014.

He is playing out the back end of the two-year, $8MM deal he signed to join the Rangers after Tommy John surgery led to the end of his tenure with the Royals. But Soria also comes with a seemingly reasonable $7MM club option. (That option would increase to $8MM if he finishes 55 games; he is sitting on 32 at present. The contract also includes performance bonuses.)

The return would appear to be substantial. Both Thompson and Knebel rated among Detroit’s ten best prospects coming into the year, per Baseball America, with the former landing at fourth and the latter at sixth on BA’s list. If anything, their stock has risen since that time.

Thompson, a 20-year-old starter, just earned a promotion to Double-A after posting a 3.14 ERA over 83 innings with 8.6 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 at the High-A level. Baseball America says he has mid-rotation upside. He has a low-to-mid 90s fastball and promising slider, but profiles as a mid-rotation arm if he can develop a consistent third pitch from amongst his other offerings (curve and circle change).

The 22-year-old Knebel, meanwhile, has already made his big league debut after being selected 39th overall in last year’s draft. Though he surrendered six earned runs in 8 2/3 MLB frames, he also notched 11 strikeouts against just three walks and has dominated minor league hitters. He profiles as a potential future closer, says BA, though Detroit had weighed the possibility of trying him as a starter.

With Soria and Huston Street now taken, the relief market now lacks somewhat for obviously available closers. Jonathan Papelbon is surely available, but of course comes with a still-sizable contract. The Padres will presumably listen on Joaquin Benoit, but may want a large return to part with him after dealing Street. And it remains to be seen whether names like Koji Uehara and Steve Cishek could be had.


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172 Comments on "Tigers Acquire Joakim Soria"


JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

My God… when you thought the Fister trade was the worst trade Dombrowski would make this year, here comes this.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

Thompson is a prospect. I understand his high ceiling but we needed another arm.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

You don’t further ruin and already bare farm system for a RP. That’s my problem with it. I’m fine if it’s more than Soria, not alright if it’s just him.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

And how do you propose the bullpen get better than?

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

Finding cheaper options. I’m sure they could have traded for Bastardo for cheaper than this.

1 year 5 days ago

I would hope so, Bastardo isn’t even very good.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

Possibly but Soria is postseason tested, more reliable and his numbers are superb

1 year 4 days ago

Postseason tested???

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

Especially when we need more than just one arm.

Butcher
1 year 5 days ago

Benoit or another reliever should have been brought in during the offseason.

I would have rather brought Knebel back up then to give him away.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

Exactly.

Jason
1 year 5 days ago

Getting Soria is giving him away? Really? You realize that Knebel won’t be able to close games out this year right?

1 year 5 days ago

Make a counter-offer that doesn’t put arguably your top prospect in a trade for a relief pitcher. Oh and don’t include your best RP prospect on top of that. Horrible value.

TheBigNice
1 year 5 days ago

It doesn’t matter where he ranks in the Tigers system, only where he stands among all prospects in the game. Texas could care less where he ranks among Tigers prospects.

Jim Johnson
1 year 5 days ago

How much less?

jb226
1 year 5 days ago

At what point (if any) does it not matter anymore? Having one good prospect doesn’t seem like much of an advantage over having zero, at least not if that prospect isn’t named Mike Trout.

The Tigers are at the point where they are going to need a tear-down to truly rebuild. They have little on the farm, and while they have a handful of good major league players and an exceptionally strong payroll, free agency only holds a few answers in any given year. They’re choosing to use what they have right now to extend and enhance their contention window before that tear-down.

If you’re arguing that they didn’t get enough for him, that’s fine. But if you’re arguing they should have kept himbecause otherwise the farm is extra bare I’m not sure it’s a problem.

Andrew m
1 year 5 days ago

This seems very similar to what happened to my team in Philly. Hopefully Detroit doesn’t try to hang on too long like rube when things eventually fall apart.

Joe Valenti
1 year 4 days ago

Actually this situation is completely different. Philly kept signing older guys and making questionable decisions. A lot of the Tigers roster is actually relatively young, especially when yu compare them to the Phillies in recent years.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

I’m arguing for both sides. No way is Soria enough for both of them and it further kills the farm system.

And that’s all without going into detail about how they still need another RP.

BlueMich
1 year 5 days ago

DD’s record trading “prospects” speaks for itself. Jurjjens, Miller, Maybin, Gorkys Hernandez, Turner. Can we really say any of these guys lived up to their hype?

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

And Maybin was just suspended. Turner and Maybin resulted us in Miguel Cabrera equalling a GREAT TRADE

Heliosphan
1 year 5 days ago

It was Andrew Miller and Maybin (plus De La Cruz, Rabelo, Badenhop, and Trahern) for Miggy. Turner (with Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn) netted us Anibal and Infante.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 days ago

The Tigers are trying to get to the next level. They’ve hit a wall in the playoffs and this is the kind of move that can help them achieve that. And if they can’t extend Scherzer then they’ll have money to go out and fortify their bullpen in the offseason. Just because a team has a thin farm system doesn’t mean they can’t plug potential holes that might be vacant later on from dealing young players. They have the money to bypass that.

1 year 5 days ago

As a Ranger fan can you guys enlighten me about the two prospects y’all gave us for Soria? Did this trade even come close to evening out the Kinsler/Fielder trade?

gammaraze
1 year 5 days ago

1) The Kinsler/Fielder trade is lopsided for 2014, but it will take multiple years (outside of some unexpected career ending injury) to see who really won that trade.
2) Corey Knebel was selected in LAST YEAR’s draft and has already seen MLB action, and owns a 3.52 ERA outside of his Major League debut (facing the Rangers, when they were still competitive).
3) Jake Thompson is a Rockwall native that just earned a promotion to AA, and just tweeted that he’s “coming home”. Provided the Rangers assign him to AA Frisco, his commute to the park will be all of 32 miles. He owns a 2.96 ERA in the minors and was selected in the 2nd round of 2012’s draft. He was the arbitrary winner of the Futures game and will be teammates with the Futures game MVP.

There’s a lot of potential in these 2 guys, and it may very well balance out the Kinsler/Fielder trade, or if Fielder bounces back like I expect, make it really lopsided exclusive of 2014.

Alexander Childress
1 year 5 days ago

I don’t like this trade, and obviously its a big “if”, but if the Tigers actually do win the WS and Soria contributes…no one will care. I despise bad trades, but I know as much as anybody that this year is the window (whether we like it or not). Considering how much Street went for, this isn’t a world ending scenario.

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

It’s not that bad, look at the Street trade.

JerryTheScholar
1 year 5 days ago

Thompson and Knebel >>>>> whatever the Angels gave up..

Pawsdeep
1 year 5 days ago

Wrong. Lindsey, Alvarez, Morris, and Rondon was an infinitely better haul. Not that knebel isn’t going to be an excellent bullpen arm going forward, but that’s it. He’s a RP. Thompson will probably never reach his MLB potential, anyways so I’m not seeing how a fringe SP and a bullpen arm is a steeper price than a SP, RP, and two SS prospect, one of which be a top 100 prospect

Robbieb7
1 year 5 days ago

Street>Soria

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

Look at the Peripheral stats and you will think otherwise.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 days ago

They both off set each other with Street being better in some peripherals and Soria better in a few others. But what Street has on Soria is that he’s younger and overall is much better at preventing base runners.

Lethal423
1 year 5 days ago

BTW Soria is a few months younger than Street and has more of a history of being a dominant closer

David Coonce
1 year 5 days ago

Street’s peripherals were greatly helped by pitching in Petco the last two years while Soria pitched in a hitter’s park. Street always gets hurt. And Soria is younger. The haul for the two is probably equal – Padres got back a fringy 2B starter, a possible everyday shortstop and two midle relievers, while Detroit got back a possible starter and a probable back-end bullpen guy. Both were good returns for a closer, which is basically a fungible asset on any team and usually overrated.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 days ago

That trade wasn’t bad at all. None of the pieces the Angels gave up really had much of a future with the Halos. And they were most likely going to be role players at best. And don’t forget that it was a 4-for-2 deal. I find it interesting that one minute the Angels have no farm system, and then the next minute they overpaid for Street. This trade was no better or worse. Both teams got what they were in dire need of to get to the playoffs, and then go deep. Both clubs did exactly what they needed to do.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 5 days ago

The angels overpaid. You can think they didn’t but they did. The angels need young infield depth. They are reluctant to trade Cron cause he’s going to replace Pujols. But in the next 2-3 years they’ll need to have guys ready to take over for Freese, Kendrick, Aybar in AA even AAA. Aybar will be 33 in 3 years, Kendrick in 2. Rondon will be ready by that time. Lindsey could have taken over for Freese after this year. Definitely a cheaper option. They currently don’t and have nothing of value left to acquire that kind of help on the trade market. Teams don’t want Shuck, Navarro, Jimenez ESP not in 2/3 years to give up a quality infielder who’s younger.

Far as Alvarez- you’ve got bullpen issues the past couple years. Short term solutions fix the problems short term. The free agent market next 2 years isn’t promising for relievers. So you’ll overpay for a veteran instead of a cheap in house guy in Alvarez.

letsgogiants
1 year 5 days ago

As much as it is important to focus on the future, if you’re a winning ball club, you have to do everything to try and win now. The Angels right now are one of the best teams in the majors, and they needed a lights out reliever to help shore up what appears to be a resurgent bullpen.

Having a very good bullpen come playoffs is crucial if you want to advance. Ex. look at the 2013 Tigers. Their starters did an excellent job in the ALCS. However their bullpen hurt them in giving up late inning runs in tight ball games. Had their bullpen been a bit better, then I could have definitely seen that series go seven games.

Karkat
1 year 5 days ago

Or if the Sox pen had been worse, same thing. People undervalue the importance of ti all the time, but a good bullpen is always crucial in the playoffs because unlike the regular season, you can’t just fudge it if your started only lasts 4.1.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 5 days ago

I agree the angels mortgaged the future to win now. That not the debate. The debate was him saying the deal was fair not an overpay because what they have up didn’t have a future with the angels. Which is completely bogus. Lindsey and Rondon certainly had a future as being the heirs to Kendrick and Aybar. If they win a WS trade is justified. If they don’t win a WS in the next 2 years with street. Then the trade isn’t justified to match what they gave up.

A=MT2
1 year 5 days ago

The Angels have Kaleb Cowart (#1 prospect on the Angels) at third. They still have depth at 2B. Alex Yarbrough! Personally, I like Yarbrough more than Lindsey. Having watched the twos, Yarbrough puts up better stats and at bats in the minors. His defense needs a little work but he’s known to be a hard worker. I like Rondon as a future starter but this trade was necessary! You have to give up talent to get talent – even if it is a little overpaid.

David Coonce
1 year 5 days ago

No scouting report on Lindsey has suggested he could play third base. He has a fringy throwing arm, so I’m guessing it’s second base or nothing, since his bat won’t play in the outfield or first.

Jason
1 year 5 days ago

Good trade. We aren’t going to get a closer for a crisp new five dollar bill.

Pei Kang
1 year 5 days ago

definitely a steep price for Soria…

jury_rigger
1 year 5 days ago

Is Soria under contract beyond this season?

Nathan Fenstemaker
1 year 5 days ago

He has a 7.5m team option

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Not so often a player gets traded in the middle of a rain delay.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 days ago

Gotta find something to do. Might as well make a trade while they’re waiting.

ChrisV
1 year 5 days ago

Trading Soria for the Tigers #3 and #5 prospects…I’ll take it. Thanks Dombrowski.

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

Like most teams 8 and 12

ChrisV
1 year 5 days ago

Maybe, but even still that is good for a RP whose contract ends this season unless the option is picked up.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

His option will be picked up it’s only 7.5 million

Ausome7
1 year 5 days ago

That’s what we said about Veras…

Pawsdeep
1 year 5 days ago

And obviously DD knew better.

How’d he work out for the cubs again?

ChrisV
1 year 5 days ago

After the season he’s had, it probably will be.

letsgogiants
1 year 5 days ago

It’s 7 million according to Baseball Reference. 7 million is a lot to pay for a reliever who might not even close. Not a sure fire thing to get his option picked up unless he dominates from here on out.

asovermann
1 year 5 days ago

Chances are a first round draft pick from last season and someone pitching as well as Thompson would be higher than 8 and 12 in most farms.

TheBigNice
1 year 5 days ago

Forget where they rank in the Tigers system. Are these guys top 100 prospects in MLB? They’re not that highly touted. With Soria’s option it’s a fair trade for both teams. Tigers need a top quality arm in their pen badly and that’s the going rate. The Tigers do not stand to get better in the coming years. Win now.

Ben Cerutti
1 year 5 days ago

That links to Jake Thompson in the Rays’ org., not the one formerly in Detroit’s system.

FOmeOLS
1 year 5 days ago

Are these prospects any good, or did Daniels sell low again?

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

Both have high ceiling but there prospects

Chase Johnston
1 year 5 days ago

Sell low? lol

ChrisV
1 year 5 days ago

The prospects where rated #3 and #5 in the Tigers farm at the beginning of the season. Thompson project to be possible a #2 or #3 starter and Knebel projects to be a pretty good closer. They are just prospects, but a good haul by Daniels. At first glance, I love the trade. Also, both are from Texas.

SlyderZ
1 year 5 days ago

Tiger Fans~ don’t get all caught up with “prospects” lost/traded for a winner, as Soria. Rangers FARM has been highly rated, since Daniels has been with the reformation of the Rangers. With MLB player injuries this 2014 season, we’ve thrown every prospect we’ve coveted up to the BigZ and we’re in last place. There are some keepers in field/on mound, but 2015 looks to be another long growing for honing young “high prospect skills”.

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

A bit of an overpay but Thompson might become a good 3/ okay 2 and Knebel is a good relief prospect. Tigers also have Mercedes and Smith for the future and a whole bunch of RP/SP prospects in West Michigan.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

A agree a lot of panic over the name Thompson what about Moya, McCann, Ray, Suarez, Crawford, Hill, Fields do you want me to keep naming some?

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

Travis, Maciel, Mercedes, And Smith.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

I could continue VerHagen, Rondon, Leyba, Perez, Ziomek

IZZONE
1 year 5 days ago

Yeah and Greiner.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

Well it looks like we both pay attention to Baseball America and the Tigers farm system.

Houptie
1 year 5 days ago

Fun fact for you. Verhagen and Thompson played in high school together. I know cause I was on the team lol

Connor
1 year 5 days ago

Good haul for Texas, and Detroit got their closer

bobbleheadguru
1 year 5 days ago

Will be interesting to see who is closer at this point!

dishnet34
1 year 5 days ago

Sadly, Nathan will still be the closer. Ausmus isn’t budging on that.

Bill Couch
1 year 5 days ago

how well do the Tigers prospects do when traded? And I dont want to here 1987 John Smoltz.Tigers need to win now

1 year 5 days ago

It’s not 100% about how well they do when traded. This is about not trading your top prospect and another top-5 organizational prospect for one reliever.

Doug Bare
1 year 5 days ago

It is about how they do after the trade. Look at the yankees for all the years they have traded away best prospect after best prospect, and how many of those ever panned out. Look at Cliff Lee of the like 11 prospects in his trade 1 or 2 are average players. The Tigers needed bullpen help for a playoff run, not prospects for 2+ years down the line, the owner wants a world series asap.

1 year 5 days ago

You’re not fully reading my comment. I said it’s not ALL about how they do after the trade. A decent portion of a prospect’s value is his trade value. Overpaying for a guy who you’re not even going to use as your closer is a terrible move. Thompson’s a top-5 prospect in most organizations, and Knebel is an MLB-ready, 22 year old RP. They could both tank and the Tigers would still have overpaid.

Alexander Childress
1 year 5 days ago

Kevin…yes and no. Value is also based on how important a piece is to a certain team. A very good bullpen arm may literally be life saving for the Tigers…had we had one last year we may have a WS to speak of. This year is the window, making a high end reliever very valuable.

Phillyfan425
1 year 5 days ago

Welp, now I’m depressed. Pap + cash to Detroit for Nathan + Thompson was the deal I was hoping for. Not sure where Pap fits in now.

Also, brilliant job by Texas. As said by Dave Cameron – “Let Joe Nathan leave, watch him implode in Detroit, sell them a new closer to replace Joe Nathan.”

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

We still may get Pap you watch.

Jeff Miller
1 year 5 days ago

Not sure there’s really another option right now unless someone goes down. Maybe the Orioles. The Dodgers could use a late inning reliever, but probably a set up guy.

Jbruns318
1 year 5 days ago

O’s won’t do it because the Phillies want one of their top pitching prospects and that is never going to happen.

Jeff Miller
1 year 5 days ago

Probably. Ruben needs to temper his expectations with trades.

Jim Johnson
1 year 5 days ago

The Orioles would demand that Philly eat so much money to get Paps’ contract within their price range, I’d probably demand a top prospect too if I was Philly.

Jeff Miller
1 year 5 days ago

I’d probably deal Papelbon, Burnett and pay 3/4 their guaranteed salary (about $15M or so) plus half their options to get Bundy or Harvey and Jon Keller.

Jim Johnson
1 year 5 days ago

And the problem with that is the O’s would think that was too much to give up for Paps and Burnett (which I would agree).
The Phillies and O’s just don’t make sense as trade partners. Baltimore can’t send the prospects it is comfortable with in the deal, because it can’t take on even half of the money owed on these contracts. And Philly isn’t going to eat the money without the prospects Baltimore isn’t comfortable giving up.

Kingmojo101
1 year 5 days ago

Pap may go to Seattle or possibly a 2nd place divisional rival.

Jon Becker
1 year 5 days ago

Looks like the wrong Jake Thompson is linked, you have the Rays minor leaguer, not the Tigers.

Travis2014
1 year 5 days ago

And somewhere Doug Melvin(Brewers GM) is just chilling and eating popcorn as all the good relievers get traded.

Then again if this is what it takes to get one no thanks.

Nathan Justice
1 year 5 days ago

eh you guys are still in 1st

Travis2014
1 year 5 days ago

Look at their schedule the rest of the year. It is brutal. Cardinals have a pretty easy schedule, but I also think they have way more problems. The Pirates schedule is way too tough for them in my opinion and I don’t consider the Reds much of a threat.

They need some additions to make the postseason and to make noise once they are there.

Chris Koch
1 year 5 days ago

13games vs. the Cubs is not Brutal with 60games remaining. I’d expect a 10-3 record vs. the Cubs at worst so there’s 67wins with 47 other games to just play .500 ball to get to 89/90wins

Travis2014
1 year 5 days ago

They only play the Cubs 10 times, but they play multiple series vs. Reds, Dodgers, Giants, series vs. Blue Jays and the hot Rays.

Just in September they will play 13 games vs. the Reds and Cardinals, two teams they always have trouble beating.(minus this last Reds series, but who knows if they can repeat that.)

The Brewers don’t need a huge move, but getting a utility man that can hit and another RHP for the bullpen could do wonders. Brewers need to make another duo like they had in 2011 where if it got to the bullpen it was game over.

KCBandit
1 year 5 days ago

Texas did a good job on selling high with Soria to a team in real need of late inning relief. Both prospects should be in the Ranger’s plans for the future, of course though there is no guarantee for either to pan out, Soria wasn’t helping the team out in any pennant race right now.

rchambers711
1 year 5 days ago

Its a gamble…..but ill takw it…..our windows slamming shut…..we will pick up extra picks if sherzer walks and/or v mart as well….n we have tons of arms

Guest
1 year 5 days ago

Your move, Mariners

ChrisSEA84
1 year 5 days ago

What does this deal have to do with the Mariners?

Hello it's Dick again
1 year 5 days ago

I’m fine with the trade. It is basically Soria for Thompson. Knebel lacks command and appeared to throw a straight ball that got hammered.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

To us Tiger fans just remember Game 2 ALCS up four runs in the 8th, David Ortiz up; that’s why we did this to WIN the World Series; not the division or pennant.

Michael
1 year 5 days ago

Amen. Still scared about the two kids we gave up, they were highly thought of in the system and throughout baseball.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

I am also but this team’s window is closing and we need to WIN NOW!!!

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Up 4 runs….but who’s counting.

Michael
1 year 5 days ago

The Mexecutioner is finally a Tiger!! Tired of seeing him dominate us from the other end

Hello it's Dick again
1 year 5 days ago

Be careful thats what we said about Nathan

1 year 5 days ago

So, who takes over the closer role in Texas? Feliz or Cotts?

Robbieb7
1 year 5 days ago

Likely Feliz

KCBandit
1 year 5 days ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Cotts ends up being traded soon, so most likely Feliz if he can even come close to how used to close for the Rangers.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 5 days ago

Tigers top prospects are like other team’s mid-level prospects.

Still, I think the price was high.

Happy that they did not have to give up Ray or anyone on their 40 man roster.

With Smyly in the bullpen for the playoffs, they should have 3 good righties (Nathan, Soria and Chamberlain) plus Smyly as their top lefty. They don’t have to worry about Coke or Al Al finding it.

Hello it's Dick again
1 year 5 days ago

I would have rather given up Ray then Thompson. Texas probably didn’t want him

bobbleheadguru
1 year 5 days ago

I suppose I trust Dombrowski. He really wanted Ray.

cgriffith
1 year 5 days ago

Not many over the years but some have had really good careers, even HOF careers possibly.. (Tigers prospects)

bobbleheadguru
1 year 5 days ago

Tigers have been competitive for the last 8+ years with a weak farm system. As long long as you have a reasonably large budget, it is possible to stay relevant without that many home grown players.

Troy
1 year 5 days ago

Knebel was on the Big league roster. I think both will be top arms in the big leagues. Knebel will be a closer for sure.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 5 days ago

Thanks… did not know. You mean 40 man roster, right?

… He is actually on the Major League Roster, isn’t he?

Troy
1 year 5 days ago

yep. Good K/B numbers but he gave up some runs.
6.23 ERA 11ks in 8.2 innings 3BB

EightMileCats
1 year 5 days ago

Bad luck with BABIP. It’ll normalize. He was gonna contribute. Would’ve rather kept him (more so than Thompson) given the tigers are in a WS window noe