File this in the “they’d be stupid if they didn’t” department, but the Detroit Tigers are reportedly picking up relieve Joakim Soria‘s option for the 2015 season.
The Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech had the story first.
The Tigers HAD to do this. With the asking prices of relievers everywhere skyrocketing (see Koji Uehara’s two-year, $18 million deal). Joba Chamberlain seems destined to test the free agency market and with Soria under contract for a reasonable $7 million, and Bruce Rondon (hopefully) returning next season, there is really no need to try to keep Joba.
Soria’s role with the Tigers was murky after the July 23 trade that sent him to Detroit in exchange for Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel. It just didn’t seem like Brad Ausmus and Dave Dombrowski were on the same page with this trade and Soria, between misuse and injury, pitched in only 13 regular season games, going 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA and a WHIP of 1.364.
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Make no mistake, Soria will have a prominent role in rebuilding the Tigers’ tattered bullpen. He most assuredly will be handed Chamberlain’s eighth inning role, freeing Rondon up for middle relief or perhaps closer if circumstances arise.
The announcement of Soria’s contact status is likely the first of many announcements for the Tigers and players on their roster. They will announce similar options and if they will be extending qualifying offers to free agents, including the most prominent names of Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, and Torii Hunter.
Stay tuned to Motor City Bengals in the coming days and weeks for in-depth coverage of the Tigers’ off-season.