Sport

Phillies trade Matt Vierling and Nick Maton to Tigers close Gregory Soto


The Phillies trade Vierling and Maton for a closer match to the Tigers, which first aired on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Phillies have picked up left-handed sidekick Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers, the latest in a series of additions to the rear end of their arena.

The Phils will send assistant man Nick Maton, outfielder Matt Vierling and catcher Donny Sands to Detroit for Soto and Roger’s son, plumber Kody Clemens.

Soto is a hard-shooting, highly leveraged left-back who has spent the last two seasons closer to the Tigers. During that time he saved 48 games with a 3.34 ERA in 126 games. He allowed multiple baserunners in both years, walking with a 1.36 WHIP in 74 in 124 innings, but also limiting the long ball, allowing only nine. Part of that was owed to the expansive dimensions of Comerica Park, a luxury Citizens Bank Park couldn’t afford.

Soto turns 28 in February. This is the off-season, the first three years of his refereeing qualification, and he is not ready to be a free agent until the end of the 2025 season. It earned $722,400 last season and is expected to hit the $3 million range this year.

The Phillies are traders who helped them win games at Vierling and Maton last season, but they’re also bringing back a talented sidekick at the peak of his career and under club control. Their revamped arena now features two solid right-backs, Seranthony Dominguez and Craig Kimbrel, and two tough lefts, Soto and Jose Alvarado. While Kimbrel, Alvarado, and Soto are all prone to bouts of frenzy more than the occasional or occasional one, there’s a lot of shake-and-miss and late game experience in this group.

The Phillies also have left-handed Matt Strahm, the first bullfighting team of the off-season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract. Dominguez, Kimbrel, Soto, Alvarado, Strahm and right-handers Connor Brogdon and Andrew Bellatti will likely take seven of the arena’s eight or nine points, excluding injury.

Others pictured include left-handed swappers Bailey Falter and Christopher Sanchez, longtime collaborators Nick Nelson, Sam Coonrod, and candidates Francisco Morales and Andrew Baker.

It is not clear who will close it. Dominguez and Alvarado saved games for the Phillies last season, Kimbrel is closer to a future Hall of Fame but lost his job at the Dodgers in September after a bumpy six months, and Soto was a season-and-a-half closer last season. The Phillies have spent most of the last two seasons with no defined convergence and can mix and match depending on the pairings and who shoots well.

This has been an extremely busy off-season for the Phillies after head of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the team lost to the Astros in six games in the World Series. Phils signed Trea Turner for $300 million, Taijuan Walker for $72 million, Strahm for $15 million, Kimbrel for $10 million and now adds Soto to their bullfighting mix.

The swap will increase the Phillies’ luxury tax payroll to approximately $254 million. The initial luxury tax threshold for 2023 is $233 million. The Phillies surpassed that last year, and this year they will be subject to a 30 percent tax on all surpluses. If they exceed the tax by more than $20 million, there is a 12.5 percent surcharge. Teams’ luxury tax bills are calculated at the end of the season.



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