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Rangers trade Joakim Soria to Tigers

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers have traded closer Joakim Soria to the Tigers for pitchers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel.

Soria had previously been connected to the Pirates, but I'm not sure it was ever likely that they would get someone like Soria or Huston Street. Soria is a much better pitcher than Street -- this year, at least, he's been dominant. But Soria also had Street's Proven-Closer problem, meaning that his reputation for getting saves would likely have forced the Pirates to pay handsomely.

Or ... well, we'll see. Thompson is a 20-year-old starter who has a good fastball and an excellent breaking pitch and has already worked his way up to Double-A. Knebel is a reliever, but he's a 22-year-old first-round pick from last year's draft who's already made it to the big leagues by coasting through the minor leagues with a mid-90s fastball and a terrific curveball. He has some work to do with his control, but he could be a future closer.

These aren't top-100 guys, but they probably aren't far off, especially Thompson, who would rank somewhere between Nick Kingham and Adrian Sampson on the Pirates' prospect lists. I'm not sure that's a great return for a pitcher as good as Soria, especially given Soria's reasonable 2015 option, but I still think there was no good reason for the Pirates to trade two guys who'd fit somewhere around the back end of their top 10 prospects for a veteran reliever. They should be able to trade a lot less and still get someone helpful.