Starting pitchers were on the move today. The Oakland Athletics traded for Jon Lester to assemble a strong postseason rotation with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, and Jeff Samardzija. Losing to the Tigers in consecutive postseasons made Billy Beane rather aggressive. Never count Dave Dombrowski out, though. After acquiring the top relief pitcher on the trade market, Dombrowski also added the top starting pitcher.
The addition of David Price gives the Tigers a rotation for the ages. Last year's five starters were historically good, but replacing Doug Fister with Drew Smyly was a step back. Replacing Smyly with Price -- and, in effect, Fister with Price -- is two steps forward.
Here is your new rotation, in order of projected WAR from Fangraphs.
David Price, 5.8
Price won the 2012 Cy Young Award, and finally provides the Tigers with a dominating southpaw to match up with teams loaded with left-handed bats in the playoffs. Price pitched for Vanderbilt, and perhaps can connect with a number of Tiger pitching prospects also from Vanderbilt.
Max Scherzer, 5.2
Max won the Cy Young Award in 2013, and is currently leading the league in wins. While he is a free agent at the end of the season, Price has one more year of team control.
Anibal Sanchez, 4.4
Anibal led the league with a 2.39 ERA iu 2013, and has improved his WHIP to 1.10 this year. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting last year.
Justin Verlander, 3.7
Verlander won the Cy Young Award in 2011, but has struggled in the past couple years. Is he now the fifth starter?
Rick Porcello, 3.5
Porcello is finally having his long-anticipated breakout season, and is second in the league with 12 wins. Is he the odd man out in the playoffs?
The Tigers have every Cy Young award winner since Felix Hernandez won in 2010. The Mariners showed no hard feelings over the Fister trade, willing to deal with Detroit to complete the deal for Price. Perhaps they will be out of the playoff hunt this time next year, and King Felix will be available.