Source: #Tigers get Price.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
While the details of the trade are still fuzzy, Austin Jackson and Drew Smyly appear to be on the move. Jackson was removed from center field in the middle of the top of the seventh inning during today's game. He will head to Seattle, while Smyly is destined for Tampa. The Rays will also get Nick Franklin from the Mariners. Franklin is a promising young second baseman who was blocked by Robinson Cano and his 10 year, $240 million contract. Tony Paul of the Detroit News reports that shortstop prospect Willy Adames is also part of the three-team trade.
Price is in the middle of one of his best seasons of his career. He is currently 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA and 2.93 FIP, and leads the American League with 170 2/3 innings pitched. He also leads the league with 189 strikeouts and 20 home runs allowed, but has only walked 23 batters all season. Price is currently in his penultimate year of club control, with one more arbitration-eligible season remaining in 2015.
The biggest piece of this trade from the Tigers' side of things is Jackson, who has been entrenched as the team's center fielder since arriving from the New York Yankees' farm system in 2009. Jackson has accumulated 15.7 WAR as the team's center fielder, but has been worth just 1.7 WAR this year. However, he has picked things up lately, hitting .343/.386/.505 in July with 18 runs scored.
Smyly's departure in the trade is not surprising, as the lefty is under club control through the 2018 season. After spending all of 2013 in the bullpen, Smyly has made a solid transition to the rotation in 2014. He was 6-9 with a 3.77 ERA and 4.17 FIP heading into today's game, where he allowed four runs in five innings of work. Smyly has also tallied 89 strikeouts to 31 walks this year, including today's numbers.
Adames is an 18 year old shortstop prospect who blossomed out of nowhere with Single-A West Michigan in 2014. He is hitting .269/.346/.428 in 400 plate appearances for the Whitecaps, and by all accounts has the chops to stick at shortstop as he progresses. Adames was not ranked in our preseason top 30 rankings, but likely would have cracked the top five had a midseason list been published.
With Price joining the fold, the Tigers now have the last three American League Cy Young winners in their rotation. The last team to have three consecutive Cy Young winners won by multiple pitchers in their rotation was the Atlanta Braves in the mid-1990s. Randy Johnson won four consecutive Cy Youngs with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999 to 2002.