Tigers acquire closer Soria from Rangers

Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos (61) congratulates Rangers relief pitcher Joakim Soria (28) after Soria closed out the Rangers 4-2 defeat of the New York Yankees in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 21, 2014.
Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos (61) congratulates Rangers relief pitcher Joakim Soria (28) after Soria closed out the Rangers 4-2 defeat of the New York Yankees in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 21, 2014.

NEW YORK (AP) — The first-place Detroit Tigers have reinforced the back end of their shaky bullpen, acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers for minor league pitchers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.

The trade was completed Wednesday night during Texas’ rain-shortened loss to the New York Yankees. Soria says he was informed of the deal during the delay at Yankee Stadium.

Soria is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves in 19 chances. Detroit has been looking to upgrade a relief corps that ranked 12th out of 15 American League teams with a 4.37 ERA.

Soria moves from the last-place Rangers to the AL Central-leading Tigers and gets reunited with the closer he replaced in Texas this season. Joe Nathan, a Rangers reliever from 2012-13, has a 5.89 ERA and 20 saves in 25 tries this year for Detroit.

Both of Thompson and Knebel played for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2013.

NBC Sports says Thompson, only 20, was a second-round pick in 2012. He was having a solid year with Double-A Erie. Knebel was a first-round pick in 2013 and has registered a dominant 1.26 ERA in 64 1/3 professional innings. The 22-year-old was called up to Detroit on July 19.

The trade was first reported by Scout.com and FOXSports.com.

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