The addition of Joakim Soria bolsters the Tigers bullpen
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Two years removed from Tommy John Surgery, the 30-year-old Soria is once again one of the best relievers in the game posting a 2.70 ERA and fantastic 42/4 strikeout to walk ratio in 33 1/3 innings so far this year. He has not allowed a home run and leads all major league relievers with a 1.07 FIP.
I would guess that Soria will set up the struggling Joe Nathan initially, but could end up as the Tigers closer pretty quickly, maybe as quickly as Nathan's next blown save. Soria will most likely be more than just two-month rental as the Tigers now hold a $7 million option for 2015 which they will almost surely pick up.
The hard-throwing Knebel, a supplemental first round pick in 2013, moved very quickly through the system making it to the majors for a couple of stints this year. He was viewed as a potential future closer, but he was not ready to make any impact on Tigers this year. Jake Thompson was a second round pick in 2012 and has impressed enough to make it to Double-A Erie at age 20.
Both Knebel and Thompson were consensus top five prospects in the Tigers minor league system, so it was a steep price to pay, but Soria is one of the most dominant relievers in the business. I approve of this trade.