Tigers to pick up Joakim Soria’s option

The Tigers have a lot of sorting out to do with their bullpen. The simplest part, Joakim Soria’s contract option for 2015, is now out of the way. The team has decided to pick up Soria’s $7 million option, MLB.com has learned, thus keeping Soria off the free-agent market and in its bullpen mix.

Anthony Fenech first reported the move Friday morning. The Tigers have not confirmed, but are expected to make an official announcement later Friday.

The Tigers had until shortly after the World Series to make the move, but the decision had been expected for the past couple weeks. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, while not announcing a decision earlier this month, strongly hinted at it during his end-of-season media session, saying they acquired Soria from Texas in July with next season in mind, as well as this one.

A left oblique strain in early August threw a wrench into Soria’s 2014 impact. He returned a month later, but suffered from a lack of a set role, working everywhere from seventh-inning setup to fill-in closer on days the Tigers rested Joe Nathan. Soria performed well in September, allowing a run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings, but struggled mightily in two Division Series appearances at Baltimore.

The Tigers traded two of their top prospects, right-handed starter Jake Thompson and potential future closer Corey Knebel, to acquire Soria from Texas on July 23. To decline the option would’ve meant giving up that talent for a contribution that amounted to -0.1 Wins Above Replacement this year. By contrast, Jason Frasor had a 0.2 WAR for Kansas City after joining the Royals in early July, also from Texas.

Soria is expected to serve as Detroit’s eighth-inning setup man next season, a role Joba Chamberlain handled for most of this past season. Chamberlain is a free agent. Bruce Rondon, who was supposed to handle setup work last year, is expected to be ready for Spring Training after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, but the hard-throwing 23-year-old has just 30 appearances in his Major League career.

12 Comments

Good.

‘Rondon…is expected to be ready’ that punchline never gets old

True. I’m not holding my breath.

Makes sense, Soria will be an important part of the bullpen next year. Hopefully his performace in the playoffs was a result of the oblique injury and he will resemble the pitcher from the first half. He is a reliever that does much better starting an inning, and Ausmus would be wise to give him the 8th.

I am floored that management allowed Dirks and McCoy to be taken off waivers. I am braced to have a very frustrating offseason.

I agree with you on Mccoy,but dirks can’t stay healthy.He has never had a season when he wasn’t hurt.

today, we lost an excellent defender in left field. tomorrow, we probably sign a poor defender to replace him, for more money. very disappointed.

I see Rondon as not ready for opening day but a possible impact addition midseason. If he’s not injury prone, that is. That Zumaya ghost hangs heavy around here.
.
It appears that Dirks has become an injury reclamation project.

I’d feel better about losing McCoy and Dirks if DD was also picking up equivalent-type pieces.

“equivalent-type pieces” hopefully to come. Will Moya or Collins be possibilities?

I wish Dirks whereever you may end up GOOD LUCK. Rondon I also wish him GOOD LUCK. I hope he revents himself in locating his pitches at a (slower) pace.

It’s late….I cannot believe we’re keeping ‘Sorry Soria’, my goodness, what in the world
do they need , other than his p— poor performance during games he’s blown(important ones) at that….those games would have kept us the playoffs,
DD probably gave up on the team anyway…..

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