The Tigers made a move last week to upgrade their bullpen, adding late-inning reliever Joakim Soria from Texas. However, the Tigers weren't done.
But, it wasn't to add another reliever. Instead, the Tigers strengthened their starting rotation, arguably already the best starting rotation in baseball, by landing left-hander, and former Cy Young winner, David Price.
Price has a 3.11 ERA in 23 starts this season, with an FIP of 2.93. His K:BB ratio is over as he strikes out nearly ten batters per nine innings, and of course he won the Cy Young in 2012.
But the Tigers gave up a lot, and it wasn't in the form of prospects, but rather, in the form of Major League talent.
Drew Smyly is in the deal, to no one's surprise. The Rays wanted to get younger and add more cost certain players that wouldn't break the bank, and Smyly won't hit free agency until 2018. Smyly has a 3.93 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) for the Tigers this year having moved back to the rotation after working in relief in 2013.
But the big news of the deal is the inclusion of starting centerfielder and leadoff man Austin Jackson. The 27-year old had been a staple in the Tigers lineup since they traded for him in 2010, and has manned centerfield for the Tigers for the last five seasons. Jackson was hitting .270 with a .321 wOBA. Of more note was the decline in Jackson's defense, where he has gone from being a plus defender to being relatively average.
This of course creates a hole in centerfield, as the Tigers have not had a natural backup for Jackson in years, and Toledo's centerfeilder, Ezequiel Carrera, has struggled in his Major League opportunities over the past few seasons.
Willy Adames was not a well-known prospect entering the season, but shot up prospect charts when injuries forced his assignment to full-season A-ball with West Michigan, and then he more than held his own. He had a .774 OPS as an 18-year old for the Whitecaps, hitting for average, showing patience, and putting power on display at times, with 32 extra base hits.
Adames was ranked 10th in the 2014 TigsTown Midseason Top 10.
Stay tuned to TigsTown for more on this developing story.