Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On the Tigers trading for Rangers closer Joakim Soria

It was a steep prize the Tigers paid to acquire bullpen closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. Pitcher Jake Thompson is a  high-end prospect, a 6-4, 235-pound right-hander with a power arm. I did the Baseball America top-rated prospects list for many years on the Tigers, and based on right now, he'd either be No.1 or No.2 on my list of Tigers' prospects. He's got outstanding "stuff" and to be that successful in high-
Joakim Soria: Should be worth
A ball at Lakeland at 20 (3.2 years younger than average age of player in the league) is a sign of a high ceiling. I also would have put Corey Knebel in my Top 5. He has a good arm, a big curveball and a bit of a quirky motion. It's possible he will be solid a big league closer down the road or a good late-inning guy.
But Soria, even though he has never closed for a contender, should help the Tigers immensely. He is missing a lot more bats this season. If he's not the Tigers' closer, eventually replacing struggling veteran Joe Nathan, he definitely will help the late-inning match up game in the postseason, which is so important. His contract his reasonable. There is a club option for $7 million next season with a $500,000 buyout.
As for the planning part, the window of opportunity will never be wider for the Tigers. There is no dominant team in MLB this season. Max Scherzer is about to become a free agent, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander aren't getting any younger, Certainly Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter aren't, either.
Sure, ultimately this trade could come back to haunt the Tigers. We all the John Smoltz deal in this town, right? Chances are it won't, though. The idea for teams is to get in a position to be able to go for it. I can't blame the Tigers for doing so under the circumstances. Actually, I commend them for the deal. No risk, no reward.

My column. The story of Lou D'Annunzio and how a scout changed the course of Detroit Tigers' history:

My Column. Matthew Stafford, the Detroit Lions and why there are no more excuses:


Blogger Barry said...

Pat, trade had to be done and the price is steep. I am surprise A Miller is not getting a lot of buzz.

11:43 AM 

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