It's official: David Price is on the market. The MLB trade deadline is just over 24 hours away, and with Cole Hamels now off the market, Price's suitors are lining up. There are currently five teams leading the rat race for Price: the Dodgers, Yankees, Giants, Blue Jays, and Astros. Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski is in a great position to play the market in his favor, with no other high-impact pitchers for contenders to fall back on.
With the whole deadline at his fingertips, what will Dombrowski look for? Here are a few players that have been mentioned recently.
Luis Severino - New York Yankees
Severino is one of the Yankees' top prospects, and just missed out on Keith Law's midseason top-50 prospects list. A 21-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic, Severino has rapidly risen through the minors. He dominated his start in Triple-A on Wednesday, striking out 10 while allowing just one hit in six innings. Overall, he has a 1.91 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 11 Triple-A starts. The Yankees would be hesitant to trade Severino for nothing but a rental, but if Detroit let the Yankees negotiate with Price on an extension, it's possible the slim righty could be in the Tigers' 2016 rotation.
Daniel Norris - Toronto Blue Jays
Norris is the crown of the Toronto farm system. A left-hander drafted in the second round in 2011, Norris was a consensus top-30 prospect in all of baseball entering the season. He would very likely be untouchable, but Norris has struggled in Triple-A this year after losing his job in Toronto's rotation early on. His walk rate sits over four batters per nine innings, but his stuff -- a good fastball, and excellent breaking pitches -- is ace-caliber. It would seem that the Blue Jays wouldn't want to sacrifice Norris for a rental, but the market may do weird things.
Matt Boyd - Toronto Blue Jays
If the Tigers would rather put a high stock in a pitcher who is succeeding in Triple-A, Matt Boyd is rising through the Toronto system. At 24 years old, he is nearing his prospect "graduation," but there's still time for him to break into the major leagues. Boyd has an excellent 4.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio across two minor league levels this season. If that uptick is for real, he could be a great find for the Tigers. No doubt the Tigers could land him (and others) for Price.
Tyler Beede - San Francisco Giants
We've already taken a look at Beede, and our friends at Minor League Ball have produced an excellent scouting report on the 22-year-old righthander. Beede's primary concern is his readiness. He only has eight Double-A starts under his belt, and won't be ready to take a spot in a major league rotation for another year or so. He could potentially be part of a bigger deal for Price.
Alex Wood - Atlanta Braves (for the moment)
Wood isn't a prospect anymore, but he's a young, cost-controlled pitcher that the Tigers would do well to acquire. The Braves are currently working on a deal that would send Wood to the Dodgers, and many are speculating that the Dodgers could potentially flip Wood to Detroit for Price. The 24-year-old Wood holds a major league ERA of 3.10 and has already accumulated 6.4 fWAR in 368 2/3 career innings. Wood's strikeout rate has dipped this year with the Braves, from 8.91 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014 to just 6.79 per nine this year. Hopefully, this is just a blip and he continues to provide value -- with four years of team control left, he has the potential to be a rotation fixture.
Julio Urias - Los Angeles Dodgers
If the Dodgers really get desperate, we may see left-handed phenom Julio Urias enter the picture. Just 18 years old and already dominating Double-A ball, Urias was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball in Keith Law's midseason rankings. With a mid-90s fastball and a mature arsenal of secondary pitches, Urias has an arm to dream on. He probably won't be ready for prime time in 2016 -- the Dodgers have been carefully managing his workload to avoid burnout -- but if the Tigers were somehow able to pry him away from Los Angeles, he would be well worth the wait. Bob Nightengale of the USA Today thinks it's a possibility, so don't brush this one off.
Jose De Leon - Los Angeles Dodgers
If the Tigers are unable to land Urias (or Wood), De Leon could be a nice consolation prize. A 22-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic, De Leon has put up some startling strikeout totals throughout his time in the minor leagues. He only has 56 1/3 innings of Double-A ball on his resume, but has 74 strikeouts during that span. His fastball and slider are ahead of his changeup at this point, but the former 24th round pick has mid-rotation upside.
Lance McCullers - Houston Astros
Originally projected as a mid-rotation starter who could ultimately end up in the bullpen, McCullers has dominated the major leagues in 13 starts, posting a 2.48 ERA. He has struck out over a batter per inning along the way, resulting in an excellent 2.76 FIP. The Astros may have been more inclined to move McCullers for Price prior to this breakout, and it's hard to see them parting with such an important piece of their 2015 roster (let alone their future) for a marginal improvement over 10-12 starts.
Mark Appel - Houston Astros
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, Appel has endured a rocky start to his professional career. He was tagged for a 6.91 ERA in 83 1/3 innings across two levels last season, and has only marginally improved to a 4.57 ERA at Double and Triple-A in 2015. Appel has also seen a significant drop in his strikeout rate, fanning just 67 batters (to 34 walks) in 88 2/3 innings this season. He still landed on Baseball Prospectus' midseason top-50 prospects list, but it's a high-risk, high-reward profile at this point.