Trade Central: Tigers Land Price In Three-Team Deal

THE DEAL

Negotiations went down to the wire, and it took two other teams to get a deal done, but the Rays found an agreeable package of young players for which to trade ace David Price. Tampa Bay sends the lefthander to the Tigers, who send major league southpaw Drew Smyly and low Class A shortstop Willy Adames to the Rays.

To acquire Price, Detroit agreed to sacrifice center fielder Austin Jackson to the Mariners, who in turn kick in young middle infielder Nick Franklin to the Rays.


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RAYS ACQUIRE

Drew Smyly, lhp
Age: 25

The man who replaced Doug Fister in the Tigers rotation now takes Price’s place in Tampa Bay. Smyly relies on a two-seamer (90 mph), a cutter (85) and a slider (78), pounding the strike zone and generating an above-average rate of strikeouts. (Velocities courtesy of Pitch f/x data at FanGraphs.) More than his raw stuff, Smyly is attractive to the Rays because he has ample big league experience (276 innings) but four years of team control remaining. He won’t be arbitration-eligible until after 2015.

Club (Lge) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Detroit (AL) MAJ 6 9 3.77 20 17 0 100 100 44 42 14 31 87

Nick Franklin, 2b/ss
Age: 23 Bats: B

Franklin exhausted his rookie eligibility during an extended callup to Seattle in 2013, but he has yet to establish himself in the majors, batting .214 with an excessive strikeout rate but solid power in 119 total games. In parts of three seasons at Triple-A Tacoma, Franklin has hit .281/.372/.443 with a .162 isolated slugging percentage and strikeout rate of 18 percent. Scouts who like him see a future average hitter (from the left side anyway) capable of spraying the ball around the field or pulling it for power when in advantage counts. He fits best at second base with good hands and range, but plus arm strength makes him at least playable at shortstop too.

Club (Lge) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Seattle (AL) MAJ .128 17 47 3 6 0 1 0 2 3 21 1 .192 .170
Tacoma (PCL) AAA .294 75 279 45 82 16 1 9 47 47 60 9 .392 .455

Willy Adames, ss
Age: 18 Bats: R

Signed by the Tigers for $420,000 out of the Dominican in 2012, Adames has exciting tools and athleticism, which are both evident with his performance as an 18-year-old at low Class A this season. Scouts don’t question his ability to stick at shortstop as he advances, and he shows present plus range and arm strength. Adames already drives the ball for gap power and takes his share of walks, though he’ll need to tone down his strikeouts. Regardless, he has the highest ceiling among the players the Rays acquired, though he’s also the farthest away.

Club (Lge) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
W.Michigan (MWL) LoA .269 98 353 40 95 14 12 6 50 39 96 3 .346 .428

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MARINERS ACQUIRE

Austin Jackson, cf
Age: 27 Bats: R

Jackson has followed a breakthrough 2012 season with a couple league-average ones at the plate, but he’s still miles better than Seattle’s current outfield rotation of Dustin Ackley, Endy Chavez, Chris Denorfia, Corey Hart and James Jones. A steady defensive center fielder, Jackson once appeared to be a future 20/20 player—he has four homers and nine steals this year—so maybe a change of scenery will reinvigorate him. He will qualify for free agency after the 2015 season and is eligible for arbitration for the final time this offseason.

Club (Lge) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Detroit (AL) MAJ .270 99 370 52 100 25 5 4 32 35 85 9 .330 .397

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TIGERS ACQUIRE

David Price, lhp
Age: 28

The Tigers add the AL leader in strikeouts and innings to a pitching staff whose 3.82 rotation ERA ranked just fifth in the league at the time of the trade, despite having Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and a resurgent Rick Porcello. Price doesn’t throw quite as hard as he did a couple years ago—he still averages 93 mph, though—but he throws with greater precision and mixes in a cutter and changeup much more frequently. He has struck a perfect balance this season with a ridiculous 8.2 SO/BB ratio, thanks to 10 strikeouts per nine innings and a miniscule walk rate. Price is arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason, coming off a year in which he earned $14 million.

Club (Lge) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Tampa Bay (AL) MAJ 11 8 3.16 23 23 0 171 156 68 60 20 23 189

Majors | #Austin Jackson #David Price #Detroit Tigers #Drew Smyly #Nick Franklin #Seattle Mariners #Tampa Bay Rays #Willy Adames

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