The Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers Wednesday afternoon, according to 97.1 The Ticket. This move could shake up saves for both teams, which always intrigues fantasy baseball owners.
Detroit reportedly sends pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson back to Texas in the deal.
Joe Nathan, the current Tigers closer, has struggled at times this season, with a 5.89 ERA in his first season in Motown. His ERA is at a career high, as is his 1.527 WHIP, and he has allowed five earned runs in his past nine outings (nine innings, 5.00 ERA).
Nathan was the closer for the past two seasons in Texas, and the two shared the bullpen a bit last season, as Soria worked to come back from Tommy John surgery.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski noted that Nathan will remain the closer.
Our guess, though, is that Soria and his 2.70 ERA, with an even more impressive 0.870 WHIP, will end up earning the saves and closing games for the Tigers sooner than later.
In Texas, it appears Neftali Feliz will be handed the ball in the ninth, with Neal Cotts also moving up in the saves order.
Feliz spent some time in the minors this season, working to figure things out. He has a 2.61 ERA now, and the Rangers should try him again as their closer.