Kurt: Let's talk trade deadline! So you know where we have to start: David Price. Did you even expect this trade was possible? Not me. I laughed at the thought when it came up weeks ago. And yet her we are. David Price a Tiger. Thoughts?
Sean: David Price has always been one of my favorite non-Tigers. I have seen him pitch a handful of times in Tampa, and he is truly electric. My one knock against him was that I thought he didn't pitch deep enough into games, and this year he has put that to rest. He is the definition of an Ace. I am ecstatic.
But then I watch the AJax standing ovation and I just want everything to be back to normal.
K: I was excited all afternoon for the possibility of trading for Price. It seemed more and more likely it would be the Tigers doing it, too. I didn't know how, but they get things done. And then, of all people, YOU told me it was Jackson who was traded. Better to hear it from a friend I guess! And then he came off the field, in what can only be described as a great and sadder-than-hell moment. And then I was no longer excited about Price. I suppose that'll change the first time he pitches in Detroit, but it's hard right now.
Beyond the emotional part of it, how do you grade the trade from the Tigers' standpoint?
S: Sorry, man.
Objectively, I believe the Tigers are significantly better. Yes, they needed a bullpen arm. Yes, they now have a terrible defensive outfield. But we're looking at a team with Justin Verlander as their worst starting pitcher at the moment. In terms of (Fangraphs') WAR, Price is having his best season. Highest strikeout rate of his career. Going deep into games. He and Max Scherzer have to be the most formidable 1-2 in all of baseball, save for Kershaw and Grienke.
I think all three teams made good transactions. I have read/heard a lot of talk about (Rays GM Andrew) Friedman making a bad trade, especially here in Florida, but I actually disagree with that based on the situation. That's probably an argument for another time time.
K: My first reaction was that the Rays didn't get enough. Usually my gut reaction on most trades is "this is awful" no matter the side. But looking at it from the perspective of Price's surplus value, well, there wasn't a whole lot. I agree all three teams got what they wanted out of it, there really weren't any losers.
The next question is, did the Tigers do what they had to before the deadline or would you have liked to see them do more or something different?
S: To say that I wanted them to do more when they acquired a top-5 pitcher in the game would be disrespectful to Dombrowski. It was reported that the Tigers were close on Andrew Miller and another reliever would have been welcomed with open arms, but no, I am not going to say I would have liked to see more.
Joakim Soria will be fine. I think Robbie Ray makes his way to Detroit soon, and Blaine Hardy has actually been great. When the playoffs start Rick Porcello can go to the pen. I'm content.
Does the baseball purist in you get excited at the prospect of some elite playoff pitching matchups?
K: If the A's and Tigers meet in the playoffs -- and baseball being baseball, no matter how good the teams look, there's no guarantee -- fans are in for a real treat. This is like a throwback to a different era. You're matching up players with ERAs in the 2s or low-3s nearly nightly. And who would believe the weakest link is JUSTIN FREAKIN VERLANDER? Casual viewers may give the Tigers the edge based on name recognition, but the A's pitchers are just really damn good. How is anyone going to score a run?
Speaking of Oakland, what did you think of the price they paid for Lester? Seems steep to me.
S: You think that seems steep? Remember that time Beane dealt Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street for half a year of Matt Holliday?
I respect the hell out of Billy Beane. They're going for it. Everyone knows they have a small window, and I think he did what he needed to do. If they win the World Series, and it's very possible they will, no one will care about Yoenis Cespedes being traded. Honestly, I don't think he is THAT good. Great tools, but by the time he figures them all out they won't be able to afford him anyway.
Any chance the Tigers pick up a CF for the playoffs through waivers?
K: There's always Matt Kemp! I KID.
The Tigers' center field situation is definitely unsettling -- and maybe unsettled. I don't think the dropoff from Jackson is going to be really steep, but it's also difficult to feel confidence in Rajai Davis or Ezequiel Carrera as solutions. So, we'll see.
Speaking of, what's your take on Carrera? He didn't seem impressive during spring training when I watched him, but the Tigers seemed happy with him down there and he put up good numbers in Toledo.
S: At least Matt Kemp can hit.*
I don't think Rajai will be that bad either, I'm just underwhelmed. Carrera doesn't impress me much. I saw him in spring training, too, and I remember thinking that he would be nothing more than a fourth outfielder. I was actually fairly surprised when Dombrowski shot down the idea of Dirks in center. Seems like he would be adequate based on his LF defensive metrics.
*In no way am I advocating for Matt Kemp.
K: Don't worry, no one thinks we're that crazy. I think. Well, some of the commenters might.
Let's close with a prediction: Who's coming out of the AL this October?
S: How can I bet against Detroit?
Price and Jon Lester will meet in Game 7 of the ALCS. Tigers will win 1-0 in the ninth on a pinch-hit, game-winning home run by Don Kelly. Jim Leyland will be on hand and will weep publicly and then moonwalk away from the camera as to not hog the spotlight. Miguel Cabrera will win series MVP, and when presented with the trophy he will raise it above his head in one hand , while wrapping Mike Illitch in close with his other arm.
K: This team has the horses to get it done but the inconsistency scares the crap out of me. Also, a series against the Athletics has the potential to send asprin and Maalox sales through the roof.
But you can't pick against the Tigers. Just can't.