Going the other way in the deal are reliever Corey Knebel and pitcher Jake Thompson, both natives of Texas. Knebel had been with the Tigers briefly during May and June, and Thompson just won the futures game while pitching for Single-A Lakeland. Each have posted decent statistics, with Knebel maintaining a 6.76 ERA and collecting eight major league strikeouts, and Thompson going 6-4 with a 3.14 ERA before being moved to Double-A Erie.
In any situation like this, the move made is about the present. Soria's electric statistics in 2014—which include a 2.70 ERA, 42 strikeouts to only four walks and no home runs in 33 1/3 innings—will help Detroit immensely. Save for Joba Chamberlain, the Tigers have struggled with walks and home runs in late innings, and have the fifth-worst bullpen in baseball with an ugly 4.36 ERA.
Now, Detroit has some insurance for the later innings and specifically Joe Nathan, who has been shaky the past few months. While Dave Dombrowski confirmed to MLB.com's Jason Beck that Nathan would indeed remain in the closer's role, it's nice for the Tigers to have someone else capable of stepping in as a closer if the need or situation should present itself.
With 17 saves and electric stuff, Soria certainly does fit that bill. Detroit's bullpen now features two former recent Central Division closers, of the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins respectively. The move should help the Tigers prevent plenty of the late game meltdowns which have plagued the team this season, and cost them plenty of wins in the standings.
Are the Tigers finished dealing post Soria? With regards to current and former closers, probably. Don't bet against Dombrowski staying active on other fronts, however. The team has been linked with reliever Antonio Bastardo in recent days, and might also be looking at other pitchers dependent on cost.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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Tags: Baseball, Corey Knebel, Dave Dombrowski, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Jake Thompson, Joakim Soria, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Nathan, MLB
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