The Detroit Tigers have parted ways with their closest.
Left-hander Gregory Soto, who has been closest to the Tigers the past two seasons, and utility player Kody Clemens were traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In exchange, the Tigers received three position players: Nick Maton, Matt Vierling and Donny Sands. All three players have MLB experience.
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Soto, who turns 28 in February, was 2-11 with a 3.28 ERA, 34 walks and 60 strikeouts in 60⅓ innings in 64 outings last season, making 30 saves in 33 opportunities .
Over the past two seasons, has a 3.34 ERA and recorded 48 saves in 52 opportunities for an elite save rate of 92.3%. He’s a two-time All-Star — but has two fatal flaws: 5.4 walks per nine innings and 14 losses in 2021-22.
His slider, in particular, faltered last season, going from a 43% swing-and-miss rate in 2021 to a 36.2% smell rate in 2022. He also throws a 98 lead, 1 mph and a 98.7 four-seam fastball, often hitting triple digits. on the radar gun. Opponents hit .195 with 28 strikeouts against his quadruple last season.
Soto becomes a free agent after the 2025 season.
The Tigers signed Soto out of the Dominican Republic on the international market in December 2012. He has a 4.13 ERA with a walk rate of 13.1% and a strikeout rate of 23% in 186 games ( seven starts) in games over four MLB seasons.
Clemens, a 2018 third-round pick and the son of Roger Clemens, made his MLB debut last season and played in 56 games. He hit .145 with five home runs, eight walks and 33 strikeouts. The 26-year-old performed best at Triple-A Toledo, hitting .274 with 13 homers, 20 walks and 71 strikeouts in 60 games.
Return of the Tigers
Maton, who turns 26 in February, played 86 games for the Phillies over the past two seasons, hitting .254 with seven homers, 20 walks (9.3% walk rate) and 68 strikeouts (walking rate). shrinkage of 31.5%). The left-handed hitter can handle second base, left field, right field, third base, and shortstop.
Vierling, 26, has played in 151 games over the past two seasons, hitting .260 with eight homers, 27 walks (6.2% walk rate) and 90 strikeouts (20 strikeout rate, 7%). He hits right-handed and is versatile defensively, with heavy reps in center field, right field, left field, third base and second base, plus two runs to first base.
Sands, 26, is the least experienced MLB player in the group, playing just three games in the 2022 season. He hit .309 with five homers, 38 walks (15.7% walk rate) and 44 strikeouts (18.2% strikeout rate) in 57 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season. Sands, a right-handed hitter, plays mostly catcher. He is the No. 21 prospect for the Phillies, according to MLB Pipeline.