With just about three and a half weeks left until the trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers are looking for answers to a bullpen that is still questionable. The Tigers’ pen ranks 28th in all of baseball in total ERA and is the Achilles heel of their World Series title hopes.
Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria could be that answer to provide some stability to a Tigers’ bullpen that has been anything but.
At 30 years old, Soria has a lot of experience that could fare well for the Tigers as they look to address the issues looming around the bullpen.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has been on record saying that they are actively looking to trade for help in the middle of that bullpen. Even with the struggles of current Tigers’ closer Joe Nathan, Dombrowski and Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus have stated that they are going to stick with the 39-year-old pitcher.
Bringing in Soria, however, could be another option to close out games for the Tigers if Nathan continues to struggle.
Soria currently has an ERA of 2.76 and has 16 saves this season on 17 attempts. That is a much better average than Nathan who has 17 saves on 22 opportunities. Soria would not be asked to come in and be the closer right away and would most likely be put into that seventh or eighth inning role, being rotated with current relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain, who currently is the Tigers’ setup man in the bullpen.
If Nathan can find his grove however, the Tigers could be in business.
While the Tigers’ starting rotation has been up and down this season, they would still be considered one of the best in the game as far as pedigree is concerned. If Ausmus can get six good innings out of the rotation with, then go with a combination of Soria, Chamberlain, and Nathan, it could be scary for opposing teams in the playoffs.
For the Rangers, they are on the verge of throwing in the towel as they have a record of 38-51 and currently sit in fourth place in the American League West where the top two teams are the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels.
In order to make a trade happen, the Tigers would have to be willing to give up a few top prospects in the farm system which I am sure they are OK with doing in order to get Soria in a Detroit uniform.
With the Rangers potentially being one of the teams that could be selling, and the Tigers are a team that is looking to buy and their first purchase this season could involve Soria.