While just about any team in need of bullpen help would love to get its hands on Tigers closer Gregory Soto, Detroit is setting a lofty asking price, tweets Jon Morosi of MLB.com. The Tigers are seeking multiple MLB-ready or nearly MLB-ready pieces and will surely be focused on players with several years of club control remaining, given that Soto himself has three years of team control beyond the current campaign. The 27-year-old is averaging a massive 98.6 mph on his heater and has pitched to a 2.36 ERA with a 25.5% strikeout rate, a 10.3% walk rate, a 46.5% ground-ball rate and 19 saves so far in 2022. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that the Astros are among the clubs with interest. Houston hasn’t had a single left-handed reliever eclipse ten innings this season, so it’s no surprise they’d have their eyes on a high-end southpaw like Soto.
More rumblings on the bullpen market…
- The White Sox picked up Jake Diekman in a deal with the Red Sox this evening, but they’re still on the hunt for relief help. Bruce Levine of 670 the Score reports that the Sox are among the clubs with interest in Cubs reliever Mychal Givens (Twitter link). The veteran righty is quite likely to move by tomorrow evening’s deadline, as he’s on track to hit free agency after the season. Givens’ deal contains a 2023 mutual option, but those are rarely exercised by both sides. The righty is due what remains on a $3.5MM salary for this season, plus a $1.5MM buyout on the option. Givens, who signed with the Cubs over the offseason, has a 2.66 ERA across 40 2/3 innings. He’s punched out an excellent 29.7% of opponents, although his 11% walk rate is a bit higher than ideal. Nevertheless, a relatively affordable middle reliever with a strong track record and Givens’ bat-missing abilities should attract interest from contenders.
- As part of an overview on the Rangers deadline outlook, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News posits that reliever Matt Moore is the most likely player on the club to be traded. MLBTR’s Steve Adams explored Moore’s trade candidacy a few weeks ago, noting that the veteran southpaw has adapted well to a bullpen conversion after a career as a primary starter. Signed to a minor league deal over the winter, Moore made the big league roster two weeks into the season. He’s followed with 48 2/3 innings over 36 outings, posting a 1.66 ERA with an above-average 26.1% strikeout rate and a huge 52.5% grounder rate. An elevated walk percentage (12.1%) stands as a bit of a black mark on his record, but that combination of strikeouts and grounders will no doubt appeal to contending clubs. Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote last night that Moore — as well as Tigers reliever Michael Fulmer — was on the Yankees radar, but it’s not clear whether those hurlers are still on the wish list after New York brought in Scott Effross and Lou Trivino in separate deals this afternoon.