The Detroit Tigers appear to be in the market for a relief pitcher. Joakim Soria might be available. Could the Tigers trade for Soria?
But they’ll have plenty of competition.
After the struggles of the Tigers bullpen prior to their recent hot streak, the club is rumored to be looking to bring in new talent to shore up the inconsistencies before the July 31, MLB trade deadline.
Plenty of names are included in the Tigers trade rumors, however Texas Rangers relief pitcher, Joakim Soria’s name has been coming up more and more often as of late. Jon Morosi of Foxsports.com reported it on his Twitter account Friday:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 11, 2014
The Tigers’ bullpen ranks 27th out of 30 big-league teams in bullpen ERA at 4.32, and only one team – Houston – has allowed a better batting average to opponents (.268). The bullpen is easily the team’s weakest link. Nonetheless, it looks better now that Joe Nathan and Phil Coke are pitching better.
Soria, 30, throws right-handed and has been closing games for the better part of his seven-year career. The closer has a 2.76 ERA with 16 saves in 17 opportunities and has struck out 40 batters in 29 1/3 innings.
Considering all things, I believe it is unlikely that the Tigers land Soria.
I do however, believe they add someone else. Names like Joaquin Benoit, Huston Street and Chad Qualls are all rumored to be available and have been linked to Detroit. It seems likely that the Tigers will lean toward a guy who won’t cost them a ton of assets in a trade or a ton of salary.
Thinking in terms of affordability, former Tigers set-up pitcher and current San Diego Padre, Joaquin Benoit’s $6 million in 2014, $8 million in 2015, club option with good-sized buyout in 2016 are a less likely option than Soria ($5.5 million in 2014, club option with a small buyout in 2015).
With a reasonable club option for 2015, there is also the chance of Soria not going anywhere. The Rangers aren’t in the playoff hunt this season, but they have been devastated by injuries and expect to compete next season.
Either way, until he is traded or the deadline passes, expect to see his name linked to the Tigers throughout the month.