Detroit Tigers Land The Mexicutioner
By Tom Smith
With our deepest sympathy going out to the t-shirt guys at PNC Park, the Detroit Tigers landed Joakim Soria–the Mexicutioner–in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Soria was without question the best bullpen arm rumored to be available at the trade deadline. Just how serious are the Tigers about winning? The club gave up two pitchers in order to get the 30-year old–Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.
While Thompson and Knebel aren’t top 100 prospects, they are the best the Tigers had in their stable. Baseball America had them both pegged as among the best Tigers prospects heading into the 2014 season–fourth and sixth respectively. So in Pirates prespective, not quite Nick Kingham, but Adrian Sampson wouldn’t get the deal done.
Both pitchers are very young–Thompson is 20 and pitched 80 plus innings at A ball before recently getting promoted.
The 22-year old Knebel was the 39th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. As the Tigers love to do, Knebel has made his debut in the bigs already. The strikeouts have come easily with 11 in 8.2 innings while giving up six runs. Most scouts see him as a future closer in the big leagues.
If the Bucs could rewind the clock, you might say Vic Black would be comparable to Knebel and maybe if you squint hard enough Sampson could have been enough–but that’s over, so it’s back to the bullpen chalkboard for Neal Huntington.
Meanwhile about Detroit.
Soria cost the Tigers a nice price, I don’t know just how much it really is, but that wasn’t over the top. As we wrote in our trade rumors piece, Soria was perfect for the Bucs–dominant, affordable, nasty andddddd….. the upside is the massive black market economic impact of all those damn Mexicutioner shirt sales.
As always when The Mexicutioner is mentioned, we must tip our hats to the founding father of the nickname RanyonRoyals