How Tigers pulled off a stunning deadline deal

The Tigers didn’t have the prospects to beat out teams like the Pirates, Cardinals or even the Dodgers for David Price. If another team decided it was willing to go all-out to get him from Tampa Bay, the Tigers didn’t stand much of a chance. Teams like Pittsburgh could give up too many prospects for Tampa Bay to turn down and still have a rich system.

That didn’t happen. And while teams in desperate need of starting help either hesitated or moved on to other options, the Tigers added to their star-studded rotation by getting creative.

If they couldn’t match other teams on prospects, they could offer young, cost-controlled talent. Drew Smyly is eligible for arbitration this winter, but he has four more seasons before he hits free agency. Austin Jackson isn’t cost-controlled with free agency looming after next season, but his trade to Seattle drew the Rays a young infielder in Nick Franklin, who fits the profile.

The one prospect the Tigers dealt from their system, shortstop Willy Adames, is a high-riser at age 18, but comes from a position of relative strength in the system, the middle infield.

“The way we looked at it,” president/GM Dave Dombrowski said, “the question that we asked ourselves is, ‘What gives us the best chance of winning a World Championship this year?’ We have to get there. We know that. It’s getting there but also trying to win a World Championship. We felt that adding him to our rotation gives us the best chance of getting that. We think with the addition of Joakim and David Price, that that really does help our ballclub.

“We traded two players from the big-league level that we like a great deal. We just thought that it would give us a better chance to win with David Price taking the ball the rest of the season.”

That part, giving up not only big-league players but key ones, was a twist in the deadline deals, one which Pirates general manager Neal Huntington noted.

“It was interesting, in that the majority of impact players went for Major League talent instead of teams trying to grab the best prospects they can, as has been the case in recent years,” Huntington told’s Tom Singer and reporters in Arizona for the Pirates series against the Diamondbacks. “We engaged teams for the top guys on a lot of fronts, and didn’t find the right situation for us.”

For Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, the focus was always on the prospects.

“Winning and developing at the same time is not always easy to do,” Colletti told’s Ken Gurnick and other Dodgers writers. “We’re trying to do both. This is the first time in maybe eight or nine years we think we have the prospects that can be everyday or even star players.”

The flip side of that, of course, is filling the holes left by the players traded. The A’s traded Yoenis Cespedes, but received outfielder Jonny Gomes as part of the return. The Tigers received nothing to fill the void in center field left by Jackson’s trade.

“It’s difficult, but I think you have to weigh it,” Dombrowski said. “We don’t make that deal unless Austin’s involved. We think Rajai [Davis] and [Ezequiel] Carrera will do a solid job for us out there. Correra’s done a real nice job for us in Triple-A. We’ve actually struggled on how to get him up to the big-league club at times. We’ve said this guy could help us now, he’s hitting .300, he’s a base stealer, he’s a very good defensive outfielder. He’s a left-handed hitter. Even if we brought him up, we didn’t really have a place to play him.

“We like Correra and we think Rajai, between the two of them, will give us solid work out there in center field. We’ll still get some offense out there.”



Price will replace Scherzer , more or less the amount on money but they have chance to extend him and is younger
Jackson will be a FA after 2015, Boras is his agent so he could come back
There is a month to fill the CF if neither Carrera not the OF in the Minors cant. There is a huge chance the Dodgers will put on waivers their surplus of OF.Or the Phillies will since they were unable to sell as they had to

jane lee who covers (oakland As) tweeted:

“Re: Price to Tigers, Beane “had a feeling it was going to happen.” Dombrowski jokingly texted, “You have 1 minute to acquire Chris Sale””

this pisses me off. the trade has significant problems b/c

DD didnt need to “upgrade” our 5th pitcher to get in the playoffs
DD didn’t address BP problems
DD weakened playoff-BP by trading away leftie Smyly
DD weakened the outfield
DD weakened our bats.

yesterday was more about Dombrowski’s ego

Everything else aside, the personnel moved in this deal was equitable. I can see how the GMs agreed to it. You had to know that the Rays would want Smyly; that fits their M.O. to a tee. I’m a little surprised that Jackson was included along with Adames. It’s a steep price for Price.
In the Tigers’ current situation, it would appear that adding David Price won’t really address the team’s issues. Those issues still need to be resolved; not through personnel changes but through a better brand of baseball being played. It’s been hard to watch lately, because everybody knows they’re better than this.
At this time, we still have two rookies on the left side of the infield. We still have a shaky bullpen. We still have Alex Avila behind the plate, and I am seriously questioning his future as a big league receiver. If nothing else, I’m tired of watching all the various ways he plays out his “death scene” with every foul tip. Saw another new one yesterday. That’s unfair of me, but it casts a pall on the game each time it happens.
All that said, another 5-game winnning streak would quiet these doubts.
It was a crazy day for me personally because I pretty much called the Price trade at 12:30 and that it would be a 3-team deal about 90 minutes later, both before I heard about any of it on Twitter. I ignore rumors, so this came from deductive reasoning….I guess.

The time to trade AJ was right. In this day and age of “contract control”, arbitration and free agency, there wasn’t a more opportune time to maximize his value.
AJ was a frustrating ball player for me personally. I actually thought he had extrastar quality if not superstar. He just seemed to not have that fire inside to make it happen. In my mind he was a constant under-achiever. That does not make him a bad guy nor a bad ballplayer. It was always comforting to see him lineup in CF never an “OH NO look who’s in the lineup today” feeling.
Smyly is a different kettle of fish. That left arm, developing cutter, great slider on the back foot were all attributes of a possible top line pitcher. I’m not sure he will ever develop the supreme confidence to become dominating though. It was a huge advantage to have him in the post-season. Now we have really no LHP “weapon” too thwart post season sluggers in the pen.
JV could become (I hope) the Tim Lincecum of a couple of years ago when the playoffs roll around, though I expect Ricky P will be the one management “demotes”–he does have that ground ball ability for later innings.
What was not addressed, obviously, was the immediate fixing of the bullpen. It has, once again, been left to magically discover itself. No Sipp, no Miller, no Perez, no Bastardo, no lefty. I hate to break it to DD but McCoy is not the answer. Neither is Coke. Hardy will be, at best, a mediocre, sometimes solution but not an imposing “in your face” shutdown lefty. I expect DD is not so obtuse so as to believe the “Hope & Dream” philosophy for the bullpen is at all relevant. It is thoroughly employed already with the offense. They think Avila is going to hit, that Miggy is going to go on an uncontrollable slugging tear, that VMart will return to his pre-All Star game pace, that JD will protect both of them, that Suarez will continue to work out.
Good luck with that DD.
We will need Price to throw shut-outs and 1 or 2 run outings just about every time to make this work. Since he will be a factor in a dozen (if that) or so of our remaining games.
Lot’s of pressure on Ezequiel. I’ve been wondering why he wasn’t here before with the un-used and under-used Don Kelly on our bench and the right-handedness of a defensively challenged outfield. I hope he is able to excite our offense. He will cover the territory well and he will lay himself out in order to pick up his team. That part will be good.
Dombrowski has made the rest of our season very interesting, to be sure.
Let’s welcome the new guys and hope for the best.

2. Kinsler
3. Cabrera
4. Martinez
5. Hunter
6. Martinez
7. Castellanos
8. Holaday
9. Suarez

Hasn’t been this quiet here since January. Everybody still stunned?
So the local Nationals now have my favorite, Doug Fister, and one of my least favorites, Asdrubel Cabrera.

There’s been so much coverage between all the blogs, newspapers, twitter, etc. that it just takes time to keep up.. All the news outlets reporting the supposed test to Beane re Chris Sale. It was hard on both Austin and especially, Drew. They will overcome because almost all major leaguers with any experience and/or longevity goes through it. I’ve enjoyed reading some of the comments on the Free Press an Detroit News. David Price just pitched against us just a few weeks ago and he was fabulous!

I’m getting now that Beane sent the text to Dave. It’s cool either way.

McClendon’s take on Jackson: “I think defensively he’s one of the top three center fielders in all of baseball,” McClendon said. “He gets those kinds of jumps and he plays in the biggest center field in all of baseball in Detroit. Offensively, if you look at his numbers, this guy is pretty accomplished. In a couple of years, he’s had close to 200 hits. He’s good at the top of the order. He can steal bases. He’s a veteran hitter now…He’ll be great in that clubhouse and his teammates will love him,” McClendon said. “Right now I think we are getting him at the optimal time.”

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Seattle GM said they had talked about the deal for 3 weeks.

Yeah, I think we’ll miss those jumps in CF. After watching Quntin Berry it demonstrated how good Austin is at that. He made it look so easy that it went almost unnoticed. The flip side will be guys who may be better at taking away the bloopers. We’ll see.

And as hot as AJ would get (and boy could he sting the ball for those periods of time) the offset would be the inevitable 1 for 27 slump with 17 Ks.
Rich is right about the bloopers, AJ never took many of those away and almost never threw a runner out when coming in on a ball. He often allowed runners to take 3rd when they had no business doing so. He was not a perfect CFer. I may be letting nostalgia interfere with my thinking here, but I do remember listening to Tiger games on the radio in the late 60’s and early 70’s and when ever I heard Ernie say there was a ball hit to CF—-I relaxed.
I hope AJ becomes an All Star for Seattle. I don’t think he would have here.

JV, seems pleased about the flyouts so far. He better start getting the ball down after preserving his pitch count and getting away with the 1st two innings.
They will get him if he thinks what he is doing so far will keep working.
We really need JV to be a stopper again.

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I love this trade and most of the moves that the Tigers have made in the last 3-4 years. I have one major issue with the Tigers roster, why do they keep Alex Avila as the starter? I’ve been watching every game I can, and there are two impressions I get from Alex; 1) He strikes out every time there is a chance to drive in runs (mostly with only 1 out and runner on 3rd), and 2) every time there is a play at the plate, he drops the throw or never even gets the ball in the glove. Promote a prospect or pick up someone like Carlos Ruiz or Miguel Montero. I remember having the same feelings for Brandon Inge years ago, and they finally got rid of him and nobody else wanted him. Putting up with their pathetic games while waiting for that one HR every week does not make sense to me. I could live with the good defender argument, but I see gaps in his performance there. At least put him in the 9th spot in the lineup to stop killing rallies.

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