Detroit Tigers: 4 options to replace Gregory Soto as the team's closer in 2023

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Who will be the Detroit Tigers' closer in 2023 now that Gregory Soto has been traded?

Gregory Soto had been the Detroit Tigers' closer the last two seasons, pitching 124 innings, racking up a 3.34 ERA and 48 saves in 52 chances. He was an All-Star in both seasons.

This past weekend, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. The 27-year-old had three years of control left. The Phillies will likely not use him as a closer with the likes of Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, and Craig Kimbrel in their bullpen, but he'll still be a very useful arm for them.

The Tigers' bullpen, which was ranked eighth in the majors in ERA in 2022, has undergone massive turnover this offseason. Soto, Joe Jimenez, and Andrew Chafin are all gone, though Chafin could technically still return, as could Michael Fulmer.

With all those pieces gone, this bullpen is going to look much different in 2023. The team doesn't have a true closer anymore. With Soto gone, let's take a look at some in-house options to replace him as the Tigers' closer.

Alex Lange

If we're going purely off the reliever with the best stuff, it's gotta be Alex Lange. That fastball/curveball combination of his is utterly disgusting. He was his issues with control as well, but he's more consistent than Soto was.

He'll mix in a changeup as well, making him even more lethal. He had 3.41 ERA and 11.65 K/9 in 63.1 IP in 2022.

Want to know just how nasty he is? He led the league in whiff rate in 2022. He was also near the top of the league in chase rate and average exit velocity according to Baseball Savant. Simply put, when he's on, he's unhittable.

He appeared in a high leverage situation in 42 games last year according to Baseball Reference, and in 98 plate appearances, batters slashed .287/.367/.402 with two home runs. They also struck out 26 times compared to 11 walks. He'll have to improve a bit in those situations, but he's got the stuff to do it.

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