July 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

What they're saying: Reactions to the Tigers' trade for Joakim Soria

Tigers gave up pitchers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson to acquire Rangers closer Joakim Soria. (Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

A look at what people around the country are saying in the wake of Wednesday night’s trade that brought closer Joakim Soria to the Tigers from the Rangers:

“Most owners speak about long-term asset building and the importance of healthy balance sheets. (Owner Mike) Ilitch simply wanted his general manager, Dave Dombrowski, to find a relief pitcher capable of securing the last out of the season, in light of Joe Nathan’s season-long struggles and the Detroit bullpen’s haunting episodes at Fenway Park in last year’s ALCS. Thus, Soria (2.70 ERA, 17 saves) is a Tiger.”

— Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports

“If Brad Ausmus learns from the mistakes Jim Leyland made last postseason ... and aggressively uses Soria this October, this trade could end up being a significant difference maker for the Tigers. The idea that relievers don’t really matter that much holds up to scrutiny in the regular season, but the postseason is a different game, and it’s one where guys like Joakim Soria can matter a lot more.”

— Dave Cameron, Fangraphs.com

— Jim Bowden, ESPN baseball analyst

“The Detroit Tigers’ bullpen has perennially been a crutch to their chances of winning a World Series and this year has been no different. But the AL Central division leaders are taking a step to remedy that problem. On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers acquired Rangers closer Joakim Soria in exchange for pitchers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.”

— Greg Garno, The Sporting News

— Jerry Crasnick, ESPN baseball writer

“Maybe the Tigers could have muddled their way into the playoffs with the bullpen that they have. It’s true that a pitcher who will throw maybe 25 to 30 innings the rest of this season may not, at face value, be worth two of the organization’s top pitching prospects. But this isn’t about the regular season. It’s about a few critical innings in October.”

— Patrick OKennedy, Bless You Boys

“The Tigers have picked up a proven option in the ninth inning, which has been a dicey proposition this season with Joe Nathan continuing to struggle. While they hadn’t been looking to replace Nathan, it’ll certainly be difficult not turning to a guy who owns a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 42:4 K:BB ratio after trading two of the team’s top-five prospects (according to MLB.com). Even if Soria isn’t immediately used in the ninth inning, it would be surprising if he didn’t make his way into the closer role quickly.”

— R.J. White, CBS Sports

“...things that weren’t supposed to happen to the Rangers have happened at an alarmingly regular rate this season. So, if there was any doubt after posting a .400 winning percentage through the first 100 games, (Rangers GM Jon) Daniels made his most significant surrender move of the season.”

— Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News

— Jim Callis, MLB.com

“Soria will likely become the Tigers’ setup man ahead of their closer, Joe Nathan. Soria said that he is grateful for the Rangers rescuing him after the second Tommy John operation of his career, and excited to go from the worst team in the majors to one of the best. Daniels, meanwhile, was thrilled with the return for Soria, and should be. The Rangers received a power arm in Knebel, who pitched for the Texas Longhorns in 2011-13 and shot through the Tigers’ system, and a starter “built for innings” in Thompson.”

— Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram