After much speculation, the Tampa Bay Rays traded ace lefthander David Price to the Detroit Tigers just minutes before Thursday's 4 p.m. Eastern non-waiver deadline, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network. It is a three-team trade also involving the Seattle Mariners, who acquired Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson in the deal.
Price has spent his entire seven-year career with the Rays, who drafted him first overall out of Vanderbilt in 2007. He closed out the 2008 American League Championship Series as a relief pitcher and emerged as an ace in 2010, when he finished second in the AL Cy Young race. Price won the award two years later, going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA. He is 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA this season and a major-league-best 189 strikeouts.
Price joins Justin Verlander (2011) and Max Scherzer (2013) to give the Tigers a rotation featuring the last three AL Cy Young winners.
Jackson, Detroit's starting centerfielder since arriving as part of a different three-team blockbuster trade with the Diamondbacks and Yankees in December 2009, was removed from the Tigers' game with the Chicago White Sox to cheers from the crowd at Comerica Park.
The Rays are getting Drew Smyly, a lefthanded swingman, and Willy Adames, a minor league shortstop, from Detroit and infielder Nick Franklin from Seattle. Smyly is 6-9 with a 3.77 ERA in 17 starts and three relief appearances for Detroit. Adames, an 18-year-old in his second professional season, is batting .269 at High A. Franklin, a first-round pick in 2009, is hitting .294 at Triple A after struggling to a .128 average with the Mariners.