MLB News

Tigers trade closer Gregory Soto, UT Kody Clemens to Phillies for three players

Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto pitches in the eighth inning of the Tigers' 5-3 loss in 10 innings on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Minneapolis.

The Detroit Tigers have parted ways with their closer.

Left-hander Gregory Soto, who has served as the Tigers’ closer for the past two seasons, and utility player Kody Clemens have been 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.

Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto pitches in the eighth inning of the Tigers’ 5-3 loss in 10 innings on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Minneapolis.

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Soto, who turns 28 in February, posted a 2-11 record with a 3.28 ERA, 34 walks and 60 strikeouts in 60⅓ innings across 64 outings last season, earning 30 saves in 33 opportunities.

Over the past two seasons, has a 3.34 ERA and has recorded 48 saves in 52 opportunities for an elite 92.3% save rate. He is a two-time All-Star — but comes with two fatal flaws: 5.4 walks per nine innings and 14 losses in 2021-22.

His slider, in particular, faltered last season, from a 43% swing-and-miss rate in 2021 to a 36.2% whiff rate in 2022. He also throws a 98.1 mph sinker and a 98.7 four-seam fastball, often reaching triple digits on the radar gun. Opponents hit .195 with 28 strikeouts against his four-seamer 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 13.1% walk rate and 23% strikeout rate across 186 games (seven starts) in parts of four MLB seasons.

Clemens, a third-round draft pick in 2018 and the son of Roger Clemens, made his MLB debut last season and played 56 games. He hit .145 with five home runs, eight walks and 33 strikeouts. The 26-year-old performed better in Triple-A Toledo, hitting .274 with 13 homers, 20 walks and 71 strikeouts in 60 games.

The Tigers return

Maton, who turns 26 in February, has played 86 games for the Phillies across the past two seasons, hitting .254 with seven home runs, 20 walks (9.3% walk rate) and 68 strikeouts (31.5% strikeout rate). The left-handed hitter can handle second base, left field, right field, third base and shortstop.

Vierling, 26, has played 151 games over the past two seasons, hitting .260 with eight homers, 27 walks (6.2% walk rate) and 90 strikeouts (20.7% strikeout rate). He bats right-handed and is versatile defensively, with significant reps in center field, right field, left field, third base and second…

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