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Tigers Trade Prospects For Rangers' Closer Soria
Thursday Jul 24, 2014 12:00am

(NEW YORK) - The first-place Detroit Tigers reinforced the back end of their shaky bullpen Wednesday night, acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers for pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson. The trade was completed during Texas' rain-shortened 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees. Soria said he was informed of the pending deal during the delay, and the Rangers announced the move after the game. Soria is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves in 19 chances during his first full season since 2011. Detroit has been looking to upgrade a relief corps that ranked 12th out of 15 American League teams with a 4.37 ERA. Soria was a two time All Star with Kansas City. He will be reunited with Joe Nathan, the closer he replaced in Texas this season. Nathan, who was with the Rangers from 2012-13, has a 5.89 ERA and 20 saves in 25 tries this year for Detroit. Texas signed Soria to an $8 million, two-year contract before last season as he was recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. The deal included a $7 million club option for 2015 with a $500,000 buyout The 22 year old Knebel had a 6.23 ERA in eight relief appearances for the Tigers this season. The Rangers said he will be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, and Thompson will be assigned to Double-A Frisco. Knebel was 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA and three saves in 25 combined relief outings with Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this season. The 20 year old Thompson is 7-4 with a 3.06 ERA combined in 16 starts for Class-A Lakeland and two with Double-A Erie this season. The right-hander was selected out of a Texas high school in the second round of the 2012 draft and has 208 strikeouts in 205 2/3 minor league innings.

Joakim Soria (photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
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