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Gregory Soto: Phillies give up Vierling, Maton in trade for LHP

Gregory Soto: Phillies give up Vierling, Maton in trade for LHP g
Gregory Soto: Phillies give up Vierling, Maton in trade for LHP g 00:22

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The hard-throwing reliever Gregory Soto is joining the Philadelphia Phillies after a trade with the Detroit Tigers, the teams announced Saturday.

Soto, 27, has been an American League All-Star in the past two seasons. He made 30 saves in 33 opportunities for the Tigers last season, and struck out 60 batters.

Soto has a cannon of an arm. Last season, he led all MLB lefties with an average four-seam fastball speed of 98.7 mph.

He also throws a sinker averaging 98.1 mph, third among all MLB lefties. The only ones ahead of him are Aroldis Chapman, who averages 100.2 mph, and Soto's new teammate José Alvarado, whose sinker clocks in at 99.6 mph.

Soto's save percentage of 92.3% ranks second in the majors behind Milwaukee's Josh Hader.

Soto, a native of the Dominican Republic, was signed as a Tiger in 2012.

The Phillies are also getting utility player Kody Clemens in the package deal. Clemens is 26 and spent time in the minors and in Detroit. He made his MLB debut last year. He's made defensive appearances mostly at the corner infield.

Clemens is the son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.

Who the Phillies traded for Soto

The Phillies gave up infielder Nick Maton, outfielder Matt Vierling and catcher Donny Sands for Soto and Clemens.

Vierling, a 2018 Phillies draft pick, batted .260 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in two seasons with the team. Maton, a 2017 Phillies draft pick, appeared in 86 regular season games in the last two seasons.

Sands was acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade in November 2021. He spent most of the 2022 season with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and appeared in three games for the Phillies.

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