With less than 20 minutes until the non-waiver trade deadline ticked by, the Tampa Bay Rays finally pulled the trigger on a trade for David Price.
The team that finally lands Price? The Detroit Tigers. A contender the Tigers are, clearly, but they were hardly even mentioned as a suitor for Price in the months’ worth of rumors that led up to the deadline.
In recent days it seemed more and more likely that the Rays would keep Price, especially with a recent winning streak creating the belief that this team still has a playoff run in them this season. But with the deal that sent Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics happening on Thursday morning, it might be that the Rays simply felt they had no choice but to make a deal now when they saw the potential return.
A Price trade has been inevitable for a while now, after all. It was just a matter of the Rays picking the moment when they would get the most value to make a deal. With the market and how it shaped up, the Rays have decided that time is now.
As for the details of the deal, it is a three-team trade involving the Rays, the Tigers, and the Seattle Mariners, and it is a blockbuster. Ken Rosenthal had the initial report.
Source: #Tigers get Price.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
The centerpiece for the Rays in their return will apparently be Detroit pitcher Drew Smyly. Center fielder Austin Jackson is headed to the Mariners, filling a big need for them, while the Rays also get coveted infielder Nick Franklin.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has been all over the terms of the deal as the details emerge.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 31, 2014
What is interesting about this deal is the fact that it does not involve some huge package of prospects. Like the aforementioned Lester deal, this is big league players on the move. The Rays get two in Smyly and Franklin, while the Mariners get a much-needed center fielder and some offensive help in Jackson.