Barely hours after hearing that the Detroit Tigers were taking calls on closer Joakim Soria, the Pittsburgh Pirates were said to be closing in on a deal for him. Not long after, the deal was was reported done, pending physicals. Now it's official.
The Tigers will receive shortstop/center fielder JaCoby Jones, a 23-year-old, third-round pick out of LSU in the 2013 MLB Draft. He was recently promoted to the Double-A level. In 96 minor league games this year, Jones has hit .277/.336/.455 with 18 doubles, 60 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and 32 walks.
Soria becomes the second Tiger traded following the blockbuster deal that sent David Price's to the Blue Jays earlier today, and the third reported interest involving a Tiger -- Yoenis Cespedes being the other.
The Tigers aren't pulling any punches, going ahead at full speed as sellers. Soria coming off the trade market leaves Cespedes as the last big name on the Tigers who hasn't yet been traded, and is in his walk-year.
Since being traded to the Tigers in 2014, Soria has put up a collective 3.29 ERA, maintaining a 2.85 ERA in 2015 with Detroit. He has recorded 23 saves in 26 opportunities, including the 200th save of his career.
Soria's decline in strikeouts has been a concern, as well as his walk-rate and average home runs per nine. His FIP of 4.81 has been uncharacteristically high.
The Pirates will pick up all of Soria's remaining salary in 2015, which is approximately $2.6 million.