Tigers pick up contract talks with Soria, but no offer yet

The Tigers’ search for a closer might well be in the middle innings at this point. With teams gauging interest for their late-inning relievers on the trade market as a shallower free-agent market lingers, the same could be said of many clubs.

The Tigers have picked up negotiations with Soria’s agent since their face-to-face meeting at last week’s GM Meetings, but have yet to present an offer, an industry source told MLB.com. That could come later this week.

While interest is strong in the 31-year-old right-hander, who racked up 24 saves between Detroit and Pittsburgh this past season, the market has been slow to move, save for an early offer from an unnamed club. One perception among some industry observers is that trade chatter involving late-inning relievers, even after Craig Kimbrel’s trade to Boston for prospects, is having an impact on what was a relatively quick-moving relief market last offseason.

That market could include Rays closer Brad Boxberger and left-hander Jake McGee if the return is big enough. The Tigers are among the teams that expressed interest, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Unlike All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, another reliever the Tigers have checked in on, Boxberger and McGee both have multiple years before they’re eligible for free agency — two years away for McGee, four for Boxberger. Chapman can hit the free-agent market next winter. With the Reds believed to be seeking a hefty return — Major League ready talent, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark — the value for a club could hinge on winning now and/or signing Chapman long-term.

Other closers rumored to be up for trade discussion include Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon, Texas’ Shawn Tolleson, Philadelphia’s Ken Giles, Washington’s tandem of Jonathan Papelbon and Drew Storen, and Yankees closer Andrew Miller, though the Yankees would reportedly have to be overwhelmed by an offer with young pitching to part with Miller with three years left on his contract.

Part of the problem the Tigers encounter on the trade market is their competition. Other clubs reportedly seeking closers, such as the Astros, have deeper farm systems that can shed a prospect or two without much long-term impact. The Red Sox are out of the market after trading for Kimbrel, but gave up enough of a package to impact expectations for other clubs on what they could get for their closer. Detroit, meanwhile, is in the midst of rebuilding the farm system and needs a good share of the young Major League-ready pitching it has.

Meanwhile, Soria appears to be in position to let trade talks play out and wait for the market to come to him. The same could be said of fellow free-agent reliever Darren O’Day, who has not been a full-time closer but is seen by many as closer potential after six saves this past season and 12 over the last three years. The combination could leave the Tigers in a holding pattern to fill what was expected to be the first task on new general manager Al Avila’s to-do list.


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of the list possibly available in trade, seems Papelbon is most likely to go, just has the one year remaining before free agency. wonder also about Steve Cishek who moved to St. Louis from Miami. he’s a setup guy there, but will be earning almost closer pay.

Jason, could you post a list of Tigers who are out of options? I believe Bryan Holaday is one but are there any others?

According to Iott, Holaday is out of option. But the Tigers have a 4th option . He has less the 5 years of experience and hads been optioned 3 times then there is a 4th option

Iglesias and Romine are out of options

Al Avila is acting like HE is out of options. Dinking around with the bullpen situation again and likely heading to mid-tier veterans instead of going for broke. Dinking around with platoon RHB to complement an unproven and unpolished Tyler Collins?

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Collins projection for 2016:
264 .319 .425 .744 . Not great for a LF but
They will give him a chance. That is the new trend, rookies accounted for a good part of the success of Cubs, Houston and Twins

The Hot Stove seems to be on simmer for almost all the teams. Long and drawn out at this rate,. The Dodgers don’t even have a manager yet. Do they?

Dan, outside of you I pretty feel like the Lone Ranger with my comments on this blog. Some people may have hated DD, but he made a splash with even his more recent acquisitions like Sanchez, Iggy, Fielder (who turned into Kinsler), JD, Hunter and Nathan (who was considered by most to be a premium acquisition at the time). I just don’t see how Avila figures to make a championship team out of a loser by adding mid-range talent.

Whoops! And Price.

it’s so very early in the offseason. pass judgment on the new GM’s approach when it’s over, and then do so cautiously because as we know what looks good/bad on paper can be different on the field. i’ll invoke a Leylandism here: ‘it’s a good trade (acquisition) if the player plays well.’

Woody, you are so right. We won’t know what kind of team Avila has put together until we see them play. We can be elated about some moves Avila makes, but things can go south quickly. The eye test will tell the story.

My eyes are failing me! Yes, we should reserve some of the criticism for AA but from the public comments so far as to to the direction and how to get there I am leaning towards mediocrity and more hope and dream.

Well, I’m not afraid to make predictions. Off hand, this year, I called DD’s mini-sale weeks before it was even news, asked for Price to be locked up before it could become an issue, saw Fielder as the Comeback Player of the year, figured the trade of Cepedes to the Mets weeks before it came to light and proposed Neftali as a possible BP bargain (which idea Beck agreed with, but still needs time to resolve itself). So, I predict Avila and the Tigers will NOT compete at a championship level unless he targets impact players to fill the holes on a team that has a solid core. And I also predict that will take more than $45M to accomplish unless a package or packages of prospects are dealt.

I thought the Tigers would have made a move, ANY move, by now. I think at this point, fans would be happy with a competitive team with a few solid prospects for the future.

Dombrowski was/is aggressive in the market. I suppose Tiger fans are conditioned to expect the same in his absence.

really, the winter meetings haven’t occurred, no free agent has signed with a new team, and a handful of trades have been made. some high profile trades, but still few moves across MLB

I guess we all can agree that they need more talent. whether it’s acquired by a big splash signing or ho-hum minor league free agent who goes on to have a career year. GM does have to weigh his moves both for the imminent season as well as the future…a difficult balancing act if the goal is to be competitive every year.

Until the December meeting ,neither Price nor Greinke is expected to sign. Until they sign, there is no starters market.
Relievers should be signed by now but as Beck wrote above, the market is slow this time. Thanks to DD for raising the price.

fWAR: Collins 0.3, Goose 0.4 Castellanos -0.3
wOBA: 318. NC 311. AG: 304. McCann: 297
He was aheadof them in wRC too
And a higger ISO than Kinsler
He is not the biggest problem of the team.

DBacks tried ,and failed,to trade for Shelby Miller. He would be a really good addition but Braves wants MLB ready players. Do the Tigers have the chips?

Miguel in Maracaibo:
“Después del final de temporada no salí a un hospital para una cirugía y eso me da chance para prepararme mejor para el año que viene y fortalecer lo que deba fortalecer, así podré tener un año saludable”
“After the season, I did not run to a hospital and that give me the opportunity of getting myself ready and strengthening what I have to make stronger, so I will be able to have a healthy year”
“Un anillo para Detroit, un campeonato de Serie Mundial es lo que va a hacer que mi carrera se complete en esa ciudad”.
“A ring for Detroit, a World Series championship is what will make my career fulfilled in that city”

People close to Parra: he has been contacted by O´s, Seattle, Mets and KC.

I like Parra. As I have noted before, he is young, fairly cheap and can hit with some pop. Plus, he already has 2 GGs to his credit, I last heard KC was looking pretty hard at him as a replacement for Gordon.

“Sources: #Tigers have inquired on closers available in trade (Chapman, A. Miller, etc.). Not comfortable with asking prices.”

This is a very insightful article:
A huge part of of the reason Tiger rallies seem to fizzle out in the middle innings all year.
We had horrible pitching last year too. Jeff Jones is gone.
We had brutal base-running (Ian Kinsler should be included) too. As much as I admire Omar Vizquel there is something dreadfully wrong here.

Of the worst offenders , only Iglesias has speed. Speed and instict cant be taught. Fundamentals? Minors league are for that. ST? that just chat for the fans . MLB players make a lot of money and they now it all

arguably, Andy Dirks and Tyler Collins are similar players. Dirks made a good first impression, fans want him to play more, criticize manager for not writing him in everyday. Collins first impression not as strong but decent, deemed not good enough even for a platoon. the pendulum of popular opinion does swing wildly sometimes.

looking back on the Dombrowski years, some of his biggest mistakes were counting heavily on young unproven players. tapping Scott Sizemore to take over at 2b and Bruce Rondon at closer (Zumaya an exception). the rhetoric that Avila has used so far suggests that he wants increased minor league development time for prospects.

Kennedy ,19 HR at home. The most pitcher friendly park in MLB

“Brooks Robinson .. was a very good talker. He´d come down and he´d carry on a conversation with you”
“I liked first very much because you had the second base…and you go to talk to the players when they´d come down to first base”

Harmon Killebrew. We would have played for nothing, Vincent, Fay ( ed)

Can’t have everything. If they want smart baserunners, they’ll have to acquire smart baserunners. If they want Miggy, Victor, Castellanos, etc., they’ll have to live with it. As ET says, this stuff is supposed to be learned before making the big leagues.

And K-Rod finally becomes a Tiger.


I’ll reply to that after mentioning that getting KRod for a lower (than Machado or Jones) middle infielder is the first great deal AA has done. Kudos.
As to base-runing. You have actually have team meetings to discuss situations with the whole roster. It can’t be just on the field piecemeal and individualized.
You don’t have to have a roster of smart base-runners you just need all your base-runners to recognize and instantly interpret a situation where the ball is hit and to whom. Better lead-offs and secondary leads can also be taught thru instruction in the clubhouse. Coaches have to know when to send someone as well. Victor will be able to take an extra base only a handful of times (one hand) all year.
The already smart base-runners like Miggy need to be reminded about their lack of speed as well as the potential for lower body injuries when pushing too hard.
Kinsler needs to have Omar say two words to him when at 1st: “Pay Attention”.
Castellanos and Iggy do need individual instruction on top of the above.
Just my two cents.
I won’t even go into our LHB going to left-field or bunting agains extreme shifting. Mosty because we don’t have any LHB. OK that is being a little facetious.

When that above information is presented to the players, they have to be smart enough to listen and comprehend. That’s what I meant by smart baserunners.
My comments have been overly cryptic this winter for some reason.

K-Rod, I’ll be darned.

6 MM
9.8 K/9 1.7 BB/9
2.21 ERA 2.91 FIP 2.63 xFIP. Like against every pitcher in MLB, FB were flying in 2015
83.7 % LOB
Saved 38 in 40. Only 7 IR, none scored
He should fell comfortable in the clubhouse

Let’s hope he’s not seen his best days with 82 saves in previous 2 seasons. Tigers need a strong 38+ save closer for 2016! Wow, 386 career saves.

He is the active leadr in saves after he surpassed .. Nathan

I am very happy with this move. Proven closer. Not exorbitantly paid. Under contract for two years. Low level minor leaguer and PTBNL was the price.
— Bob

Miguel Cabrera on Francisco Rodriguez, per @WilmerReina: “It’s great. We were waiting for years to have a quality closer (like) the ‘Kid.
NB: Miguel showed, more than once, impatience with Valverde

This probably means Soria will not be pursued. They should be looking for a solid lefty now. Besides the overarching dreams of Tiger fans everywhere, I think we can forget about Miller and Chapman. With all the rhetoric of Illitch’s money and how magnanimous he is to spend it on his baseball club, the truth is they will cheap out and the likes of journeymen like Perez and Bastardo will need to be considered.

The likely LH target is Sipp.

The KRod deal appears to be that good, you wonder what the Brewers know that we don’t know.
Really love the Tig pitching farm is left intact.
KRod for 2yrs/$13.5m compared to Kimbrels 2yrs/$24m or 3yrs/$37m with the 2018 option and 4 Redsox farm prospects gone of which 2 are in MLB top 100 prospects.
Interesting to see how Avila uses the savings – ups the ante on starters or hopefully another proven late innings pitcher.

I’m wondering if they’re still interested in Soria. You get that 8th and 9th inning locked down and the rest of the pen kind of creates itself with the number of options on hand.

I would think they are but I suspect they have a budget in mind for late inning relievers.
I think Soria would be a very good fit but his salary could impact what is really needed to fill out the rotation

I don’t usually delve in rumors but since I brought up Soria……..word is that he wants 3 yrs @ @27 mil. Way too much at this point. Closer money.

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