As afternoon turned into early evening on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates added another piece to an already ironclad backend of their bullpen, trading with the Detroit Tigers to acquire closer Joakim Soria. Soria, 31, will join current Pirates closer Mark Melancon and setup man Tony Watson in what many will consider one of the finest late inning bullpen in the Majors.
Prior to being traded, the right-handed Soria racked up 23 saves in 43 appearances for the Tigers, while posting a 3-1 record, and a 2.85 ERA with a 1.049 WHIP. In his 8 year Major League career, which includes prior stints in Kansas City and Texas, Soria has accumulated a total of 201 saves in 415 appearances. It is believed that Soria will setup Melancon, and occasionally close when Melancon is unable to pitch.
In order to acquire Soria, the Pirates gave up middle infield prospect JaCoby Jones. Jones, 23, was promoted to AA Altoona on Monday, and appeared in 3 games for the Curve this week. In his 2+ seasons in the Pirates organization, Jones has appeared in 228 games, posting a .277 BA, with a .791 OPS. In 96 games this season, primarily in single A Bradenton, Jones hit 10 HR and drove in 60 RBI. At this time, it’s not known where Jones will begin his career in the Tigers organization.