On July 23rd, 2014 the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers would find themseleves trade partners once again. Last season the Tigers' bullpen was pretty awful and they were looking to add some help to strength the bullpen for down the stretch. The Tigers would send minor league prospects, Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel to the Texas Rangers for Joakim Soria.
When the trade first went down I will admit I wasn't really thrilled. Knebel did see some major league action, but was really rushed to the majors due to the lack of quality in the bullpen for the Tigers and Thompson was a top starting pitching prospect for the Tigers. I would have given up one or the other for Soria. I tend to believe reliever are hit and miss. You might strike gold with them or they might be a big flop. The way Soria started for the Tigers I was starting to think I was right. He went on the DL and ended up only pitching a handful of innings for the Tigers last season.
Well he has proven me wrong so far this season. Soria came out of spring training being the setup guy for Joe Nathan, who was extremely shaky last year for the Tigers. After the first game against the Twins with Nathan getting the save he would find himself on the DL and eventually headed for another Tommy John surgery. Soria stepped up and took the closer role. So far this season he is 14 out of 15 save opportunities with a 1.33 ERA and a 309 ERA+. Now this is only through the first 47 games of the year. Small sample size, but compared to what the Tigers' closers have done in recent years this is like a miracle.