Detroit Tigers Trade Candidate 4: LHP Gregory Soto
Tigers fans like their closers to be absolutely perfect, and Gregory Soto isn’t that. His strikeout rate is pedestrian, and his relationship with the strike zone can be spotty. But he owns one of the best fastballs in baseball, he has plenty of experience late in games, and he has essentially stopped allowing home runs this year.
It’s unlikely a contender would bring Soto in to be their closer, but he would be a pretty valuable weapon as a power-armed setup man or lefty specialist. Now a two-time All-Star, what makes Soto particularly interesting is his contract status. He has three full years of team control remaining, which means he’s still relatively inexpensive.
Soto figures to be a particularly good fit for teams looking to contend over the next two seasons. The Tigers might think they qualify as one such team, however, so they might be seeking a hefty trade return to part with an inexpensive reliever in his prime. Soto isn’t quite good enough for teams to really pony up, so we think it’s more likely he sticks around for the rest of the year.
Chance to be traded: 40%
Potential fits: San Francisco, the New York Mets, Milwaukee, Tampa, and Philadelphia