This is especially the case when you consider that they’re several games behind the Oakland A’s in the race for the American League’s best record. They are also neck and neck with AL East leader Baltimore for the league’s second-best record. So what did Detroit go out and do? Give their starting rotation a jolt by adding former Cy Young winner David Price.
The left-hander was brought over from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal that also involved the Seattle Mariners. Before we discuss Price’s impact on Detroit, let’s take a quick look at the breakdown of this three-team trade:
– Rays get infielder Nick Franklin from the Mariners and left-hander Drew Smyly from the Tigers. They also receive 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames from Detroit.
– Seattle receives outfielder Austin Jackson from Detroit.
– The Tigers get Price from Tampa Bay.
This was definitely an important move for Detroit, which recently watched the A’s add left-hander Jon Lester through a trade with the Boston Red Sox. Oakland also picked up Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija in early July, which will make them even tougher should they hold on to their division (and AL) lead.
Detroit now boasts a starting rotation that includes Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Price – all former Cy Young winners. So from a pitching perspective, they will match up very well with the A’s, should the two teams meet in the postseason. One might even consider the Tigers to be favorites to win the AL, and maybe even the World Series, since they boast an extremely strong starting rotation.
Looking at Price individually, he’ll replace Smyly and add another ace to the pitching staff. He leads the AL in both strikeouts (189) and innings pitched (170.2), and he’s third in strikeouts per walk and seventh in WHIP (1.05). Price also boasts a 3.11 ERA and a record of 11-8. The latter figures to improve now that the 28-year-old is playing on a team with better bats, with Detroit averaging 4.7 runs per game.
Based on everything that Price brings to the table, one might favor the Tigers to win the World Series. Of course, there are still over 40 games left in the regular season, which is a long time before the postseason. So it’ll be a while before we see how everything plays out.
One thing that is for sure, though, is how the Price deal also makes sense beyond this season. Scherzer can be a free agent at the end of the year, and he’s already turned down a 6-year, $144 million extension from Detroit. So there’s definitely a chance that he’ll be in a different uniform next season. As for Price, he won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season. And if Detroit can’t convince Scherzer to come back, they could use that extra money to extend Price. Combined with Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello, that makes for one strong rotation moving into the future.