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All-Star Gregory Soto Traded to Phillies from Tigers for Matt Vierling, More

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2023

DETROIT, MI -  OCTOBER 1:  Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on October 1, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers traded reliever Gregory Soto and utility infielder Kody Clemens to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in exchange for utility player Nick Maton, outfielder Matt Vierling and catcher Donny Sands.

Soto was an All-Star each of the last two years with the Tigers, though that was more a product of Detroit's on-field struggles than any dominance from the lefty. He went 2-11 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last season while setting a career high with 30 saves.

Command has been a major issue over the course of Soto's career. He's never averaged fewer than five walks per nine innings, and he hit seven batters in 60.1 innings last season.

The Tigers' development of his electric stuff has helped turn him into a quality reliever, but his appearances are often stress-inducing for fans.

Philadelphia may be banking on its staff having the same positive impact it had on José Alvarado, another fire-throwing lefty who arrived in the City of Brotherly Love with extreme command issues. Alvarado cut his walks per nine down to 4.2 last season, setting the stage for the most dominant year of his career.

If the Phillies can develop Soto in the same fashion, they'll be equipped with arguably the two most electric left-handed relievers in baseball.

Soto and Alvarado will be joined in the bullpen by Craig Kimbrel and Matt Strahm, who also signed in Philadelphia this offseason.