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.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.