Despite climbing back into the playoff race, the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade with the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners have traded the ace of their pitching staff David Price to the Tigers.
Detroit sent center fielder Austin Jackson to Seattle while the Rays will receive left-hander Drew Smyly and 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames from the Tigers and infielder Nick Franklin from the Mariners.
For weeks Price has said that he didn’t expect to be traded specifically since June 11 when the Rays began their 29-13 surge up the American League East ladder to climb within two games of a .500 record and just eight games back of the AL East leaders Baltimore Orioles.
Following the Rays 5-0 loss on Wednesday afternoon to the Milwaukee Brewers, Price along with manager Joe Maddon both said that come Friday expect him [Price] to still be with the Rays.
Well, come Friday that won’t be and no doubt this will sting many fans and of course the players, all of whom didn’t want this to happen. Unfortunately this market can’t sustain a player who undoubtedly will make close to $20 million next season.
It happened with James Shields, Matt Garza and way back in 2009 with Scott Kazmir – when the cost reaches the threshold of no return, the only way for a return is a trade to get something back and the deal with Price lands two major leaguers and one prospect.
Price is owed $14 million this year, is under arbitration control next season and can be a free agent after the 2015 season. He has spent his entire seven-year career with the Rays, where he compiled an 82-47 record in 175 appearances (170 starts} with a career 3.18 ERA, making four All-Star teams and winning the 2012 American League Cy Young Award.
Following a dismal start to the 2014 season in which Price went 4-4 with a 4.42 ERA, he has since thrown 12 consecutive quality starts raising his record to 11-8 with an ERA of 3.11 and currently leads the majors in innings pitched (170 2/3) and strikeouts (189).
Price joins a very explosive Tiger rotation that includes Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello. A rotation that includes the last three American League Cy Young Award winners – Max Scherzer, Price and Justin Verlander.
With the addition of Nick Franklin, there is a strong possibility that Ben Zobrist and or Sean Rodriguez could be traded as well. The San Francisco Giants have Zobrist high on their radar as the addition of second baseman Dan Uggla hasn’t worked out offensively or defensively – the question though remains is what the Rays want from the Giants.
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