Tigers trade Soria to Pirates for SS JaCoby Jones

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Joakim Soria

Strike two.

After starting the day with a huge deal that sent David Price to the Blue Jays for three pitching prospects, the Tigers continued selling off their marquee parts later Thursday.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, the Tigers finalized a deal to send closer Joakim Soria to the Pirates for minor-league shortstop JaCoby Jones.

Soria's agent, Oscar Suarez, confirmed the deal to The Detroit News.

"He appreciated his time there and will miss a lot of his teammates," Suarez told The News.

Jones, a third-round pick out of LSU two years ago, will be assigned to Double-A Erie.

The return for Soria wasn't significant, nor was it expected to be -- as the market for closers is slim this time around, unlike when the Tigers acquired him from the Rangers last July.

In Pittsburgh, Soria, 31, will be setting up for closer Mark Melancon, as he did for Joe Nathan when he came to Detroit last year.

In a little over a year with the Tigers, Soria saved 24 games, 23 this year after Nathan was lost to Tommy John surgery. He struggled last year in the setup role, though injuries played a role as he posted a 4.91 ERA in 13 regular-season games, then blew up in the playoffs, a three-game sweep by the Orioles.

Soria got back on track this season, with a 2.85 ERA and 1.049 ERA, numbers close to what he's posted throughout his eight-year career.

The Tigers gave up pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel in the trade with Texas last July, a steep price to pay, but one the Tigers were comfortable with, given their good shot to make another World Series.

The return is much lower, because of the market, and also because Soria is a rental player who will be a free agent this offseason.

The Pirates will be the fourth team for Soria, who began his career with an impressive five-year run with the Royals.

The Tigers continue to solicit offers from clubs for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and speedster Rajai Davis.

The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Friday.