Now that the Tigers are officially open for business as sellers and David Price is headed to Toronto this comes as no surprise: Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Detroit is “working to trade” closer Joakim Soria.
Soria was acquired from the Rangers in a trade deadline deal last year and has fared well stepping into the Tigers’ closer role for the injured Joe Nathan this season, saving 23 games with a 2.85 ERA and 36/11 K/BB ratio in 41 innings.
Soria has a lengthy track record of bullpen excellence dating back to his days with the Royals, but he’s also a 31-year-old impending free agent whose overall numbers aren’t quite as fantastic as they used to be.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.