We already knew that the Tigers were interested adding in Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria to bolster their bullpen, but Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the Tigers and Rangers are currently discussing a deal.
Tigers are having ongoing discussions with the Rangers about reliever Joakim Soria, sources say. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 18, 2014
Earlier this week, Patrick detailed how the Tigers' bullpen has performed in 2014. Spoiler alert: not well.
The Tigers' relief corps ranked 12th of 15 American League teams in ERA last year, and they rank the same this season. Nothing remarkably different stands out in the ratios. They are still fairly mediocre as a group, with a save percentage that is actually ahead of last year's pace. Comparatively, they haven't let many leads slip away after the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Soria has quietly put together one of the best seasons of his career for a middling Rangers team. In 30 1/3 innings, Soria has tallied 16 saves in 17 chances with a 2.67 ERA. He has a spectacular 10.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio, resulting in a microscopic 0.90 FIP. His 0.78 WHIP ranks eighth among qualified MLB relievers, while his 1.66 SIERA is ninth.
The Tigers have also shown interest in Joaquin Benoit per Ken Rosenthal, but Soria is the cheaper option. With under $3 million left on this year's contract and a $7 million team option for 2015, Soria's price tag is lower than the $10-11 million Benoit is owed through next season. Benoit also has an $8 million team option for 2016 with a $1.5 million buyout.
Tigers fans will be familiar with Soria, who was the Kansas City Royals' closer from 2007 to 2011. Soria tallied 160 saves in 315 1/3 innings for the Royals. He struck out over a batter per inning with a 3.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.04 WHIP.