The Detroit Tigers have acquired left-hander David Price in a three-team deal with the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported just before the trade deadline.
Austin Jackson (from Tigers) and minor league shortstop Willy Adames (from Rays) will head to Seattle, while Drew Smyly (from Detroit) and Nick Franklin (from Seattle) will be heading to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 28-year-old Price was the highlight of the trade deadline this season, as many teams were interested in acquiring him from the Rays. The St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and Pittsburgh Pirates were all mentioned as suitors for Price during his time on the market. The favorite fluctuated between many different teams, but the Tigers came out of nowhere to get him today.
All the buzz for Price was for good reason. The Tennessee native is 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA, a 2.93 FIP, and a 189 to 23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 170 2/3 innings pitched thus far for the Rays. Over his seven year career, the 2012 American League Cy Young award winner is 82-47 with a 3.18 ERA, 3.33 FIP, and a 1,065 to 309 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 1,143 2/3 innings pitched in seven seasons, all with Tampa Bay.
Here is what Price tweeted after finding out that he was dealt to Detroit:
"wow...what a day!! Rays fans THANK YOU!! Great Chapter of my life just ended...ready to start a new one with the Tigers!! Thanks again"
Another reason as to why Price was so valuable is because unlike Jon Lester, another top pitching target on the trade market, Price is under contract for more than just the 2014 season. Price still has an entire year left on his contract, of which he is arbitration-eligible for his fourth season. He was a Super Two player, so his arbitration-eligibility kicked in a year early in 2012.
While Price is the main piece in this deal, there are a lot of moving parts. One of the more interesting moving pieces is Drew Smyly, a 25-year-old lefty that is 6-9 with a 3.77 ERA, 4.17 FIP, and a 87 to 31 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 100 1/3 innings pitched for Detroit on the year. He heads to Tampa Bay.
Also heading to Tampa Bay is Seattle Mariners' 2009 first round pick is Nick Franklin, who, in 464 career major league plate appearances, is hitting a .214/.291/.358 triple-slash line with 12 home runs and 45 runs batted in. The 23-year-old is loaded with potential, but has yet to turn it into results in limited major league action. He may be provided with a better opportunity with the Rays.
Austin Jackson, the outfielder that the Mariners have coveted this trade deadline, will be headed out to Seattle. Jackson, who is not that old himself at age 27, is hitting .270/.330/.397 with four home runs and 32 runs batted in in 416 plate appearances. He was removed from the Tigers' afternoon game against the White Sox today, and gave hugs to his team as he left the field. He is now a member of the Mariners.
Everyone got what they wanted in this deal: the Tigers got the starter they coveted, the Rays got some intriguing prospects from both teams, and the Mariners get the outfielder they have wanted this deadline season. It is good for everyone in this major blockbuster.
The New York Yankees made two moves at the deadline to help bolster their offense and their infield, by acquiring shortstop Stephen Drew from the Boston Red Sox for Kelly Johnson and acquiring Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks for catching prospect Peter O'Brien.
Drew, 31, was signed by the Boston Red Sox after the 2014 season opened, due to the fact that he had received a qualifying offer the prior season. Nobody wanted to lose a draft pick for Drew, so he held out waiting for the contract that he wanted. On May 21, 2014, Drew signed with the Red Sox for a one-year, $10.1 million deal. He has yet to perform well. He is currently hitting .176/.255/.328 with four home runs and 11 runs batted in. Maybe a move to New York will benefit him.
The 30-year-old Prado is signed through the 2016 season, which makes him a valuable move for the Yankees. He can play anywhere in the infield and in the corner outfield, so his versatility will help New York as well. On the season, he is hitting .270/.317/.370 with five home runs and 42 runs batted in. This has come in 436 plate appearances.
The Baltimore Orioles have acquired left-hander Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. In return, the Red Sox will be receiving pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, according to Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet.
Rodriguez is a fantastic return for the Red Sox, who have made a handful of good moves today. Prior to the season, the 21-year-old was ranked by Baseball America as the 65th-best prospect in the minor leagues. In 16 starts for Double-A Bowie, Rodriguez is 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA and a 1.440 WHIP. This comes in 82 2/3 innings pitched. He has a fastball in the 91-94 mph range, change-up in the 81-86 mph range, and a slider in the 82-86 mph range. His ceiling is probably a number two or three starter.
The Orioles are getting the premium lefty on the trade market in Andrew Miller. The 29-year-old has a good repertoire with two plus pitches; the fastball and the slider. He has only allowed 25 hits in 42 1/3 innings pitched on the year, walking only 13. This is good for a 0.898 WHIP. He is 3-5 with a 2.34 ERA, 1.69 FIP, and a 69 to 13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Miller's neutral ERA (adjusted by park factors) is 68% better than the average pitcher, as he has a 168 ERA+ on the year.
Besides closer Zach Britton, the Orioles only have one left-hander in their bullpen in Brian Matusz, who has a 4.14 ERA and a 96 ERA+ in 37 innings pitched. Acquiring Miller does fill a need for the team, but giving up Rodriguez may be too much for them. The Orioles are currently in first place in the American League East, by a 2.5 game lead. Miller and Britton will be a shutdown combination in the 8th and 9th innings for Baltimore the rest of the way. However, Miller is a free agent at the season's end.
The Orioles get their man in Andrew Miller, but not after they give up pretty good prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. But when going for a World Series championship, you have to make those risky moves and worry about later when later comes. We will have to see if Miller is a difference-maker down the stretch.
The Cleveland Indians have traded shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, according to Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Cabrera is headed to the Washington Nationals, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. They will be receiving shortstop Zach Walters from the Nationals, according to Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100.
I recently wrote about why the Indians should have dealt the shortstop, noting that they have Francisco Lindor as a very good replacement for him, while also getting perhaps a good return for him. While Zach Walters is not a fantastic return, he does have some major league experience and perhaps could help the Indians out at third base or even in the outfield, as Michael Bourn is on the disabled list.
The 24-year-old Walters has seen limited action in the major leagues with the Nationals, making only four starts in the 40 games he has played in, and only appearing in the field 12 times. Over his brief 52 plate appearances, Walters is hitting a triple-slash line of .234/.308/.489 with three home runs and six runs batted in. Walters is a traditional shortstop, but has seen time at second, third, and in the outfield at the minor league level. It will be interesting to see how the Indians utilize him.
The Nationals will be getting their man in Asdrubal Cabrera to help fill in during Ryan Zimmerman's disabled list stay with a grade three hamstring strain. It appears as if Cabrera will slide over to second base, and Anthony Rendon will fill in at third. On the season, in 416 plate appearances, Cabrera is hitting a triple-slash line of .246/.305/.386 with nine home runs and 40 runs driven in. In his 1341 2/3 innings at second base, Cabrera has registered a higher UZR/150 (-1.7) than in his 6,300 1/3 innings at shortstop (-10.4). By moving him back to second, the Nationals may be getting a better defender.
Cabrera, along with Justin Masterson, were the two Indians that had an expiring contract after this season. While the Indians did not get an overwhelming return for either of them, getting a return in general is better than getting nothing at all. For the Nationals, they will be getting three months of Asdrubal Cabrera and then may see him head elsewhere. But for now, he is in Washington to win a World Series.