The Tigers and Blue Jays had been neck and neck in the Wild Card standings for much of the past month. After Thursday, one team is clearly in, and the other is clearly out as the Tigers ace pitcher, David Price, is heading to the Blue Jays.
Price, who is a free agent at the end of the season, was a good bet to command a contract on the open market the Tigers wouldn't be able to match, similar to what happened with former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer last off-season. With the Tigers moving further out of playoff contention, the decision was made to capitalize on the opportunity to cash him in for young talent. Price was 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA for the Tigers, logging 146 innings so far this year with 138 strikeouts and 29 walks.
In return, the Tigers are receiving a prospect package centered around left-hander Daniel Norris. Norris was ranked 23rd on Scout's MLB Top 100 Prospects list and has been pitching for Triple-A Buffalo this year. At Buffalo, he's 3-10 with a 4.27 ERA, with 78 strikeouts and 41 walks. Norris was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2nd round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of high school.
Also included in the deal are left-hander Matt Boyd, who has spent time in Double-A, Triple-A and the big leagues this season, and lefty Jairo Labourt.
Boyd is 24 and was dominant at both MiLB stops he was at this year, with a 1.10 ERA in Double-A New Hampshire and a 2.77 ERA with Buffalo. He posted nearly a strikeout per inning as well. He wasn't as successful in the big leagues though. His first start went fine, logging 6 2/3 innings while yielding four runs, but his second start was a disaster, giving up seven runs on six hits without recording an out. He returned to the minors after that start on July 2.
Labourt is another impressive lefty that has a 4.59 ERA in 18 starts for High-A Dunedin. He's struck out 70 in 80 innings of work, but has also walked 44. At 21, Labourt is a power left-hander that was selected to represent the Blue Jays in the Futures Game earlier in July during the All-Star game festivities. He pitched a clean inning for the World Team with two strikeouts.
Overall, it's a very strong return package for the Tigers losing an ace in Price. Norris is among the best pitching prospects in baseball, Boyd is a close-to big league ready arm that could slot into the rotation this season, and Labourt comes with tons of potential as a young, high-velocity left-hander.