Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers received insurance for the back end of their bullpen by acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers Wednesday night.
The Rangers, who have the worst record (40-61) in the majors, will obtain pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.
Soria has pitched to a 1-3 mark and a 2.70 ERA with 17 saves in 35 appearances this season. The 30-year-old right-hander has compiled a 15-18 mark with a 2.51 ERA and 177 saves in 359 contests.
The two-time All-Star began his career in Kansas City in 2007 and was signed as a free agent by the Rangers prior to the 2013 season.
By acquiring Soria, the Tigers have a team option of $7 million on him for the 2015 season.
The deal for the Tigers is big considering closer Joe Nathan has an ERA of 5.89 this season. He's saved 20 games in 39 appearances this season, but has also blown five save chances. That's a big difference from 2013 when Nathan had a 1.39 ERA and 43 saves and just three blown chances over 67 appearances.
The Tigers are in first place in the AL Central and hold a 6 1/2-game lead on second-place Cleveland.
Knebel, a 22-year-old righty, has pitched in eight games this year and was 0-0 with a 6.23 ERA. The Rangers announced he will be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
Thompson, a 20-year-old right-hander, has a combined mark of 6-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 17 games having pitched as high as the Double-A level. The Rangers said Thompson will be assigned from Double-A Erie to Double-A Frisco.