TORONTO- The Toronto Blue Jays finally got pitching help. More importantly, they got their ace they’ve been looking for since Roy Halladay.
Just days after trading for Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays have acquired LHP David Price from Detroit Tigers for LHP Prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman was the first to report it. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed the deal.
Price was the top starter available on the trade market and will become a free agent following the 2015 season. It’s the second time in two years that Price has been traded prior to the deadline. Of course, he’s a pure rental with one function, driving his new team to end their 22-year playoff drought.
The 2012 AL CY Young Award winner pitched to a 2.53 ERA and striking out 138 over 146 innings this season. His salary is at $19.75 million, which approximately $6.6 million remains now that he is traded.
Price immediate improve the Blue Jays’ starting rotation, which have the 8th worst ERA at 4.32. The 5-time all star will the ace of the staff that includes R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada, Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle. Price is slated to make his Blue Jays debut either Sunday or Monday.
Last Tuesday, Alex Anthopoulos said that he’d prefer to acquire controllable players when possible. But when he heard that Price was available, he immediate called Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and made this deal done.
The centerpiece of the deal is Norris. The Tigers had been in the market for Major-League ready starting pitching and were really high on Norris. Norris’ stock slightly dropped this year because of command issues but has a bright future.
Boyd made his Major League debut earlier this season but didn’t pitch well. He appeared in two games for Toronto and in his final start he allowed seven runs on six hits and a walk while retiring just two batters. Boyd spend this season in Buffalo and New Hampshire and projects to be a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Labourt is a little farther away from the Majors. He was Toronto’s only representative at this year’s Futures Game and went 2-7 with a 4.59 ERA for Class-A Dunedin.
The Jays did pay a heavy price for a rental, but Anthopoulos felt that it was a rare opportunity to acquire one of the leagues’ best starters. Price is probably going to pitch for two or three months
Signing Price to an extension could be possible but the Blue Jays will want their newly acquired ace to focus on the task at hand and make him feel good about the situation in Toronto before he hits the open market.
The only concern that the Blue Jays may have is the starting pitching depth within the organization. By removing Norris and Boyd from Buffalo, that leaves Randy Wolf, Scott Copeland and Jeff Francis as the top depth guys in their system. With Aaron Sanchez now locked into the bullpen, they are an injury away from being in a pickle.
The Blue Jays gotten a lot better and they may not be done just yet. Anthopoulos is still looking to add more arms in the rotation, bullpen and left field.
Price is not a gamble. This extremely talented Blue Jays team will finally hit its stride. Hanging around the .500 mark, they will go down fighting and win a lot of ballgames. Remember, the Kansas City Royals were 50-50 after 100 games last season and made it to the World Series. Anything can happen in baseball.
Anthopoulos has done his job. Now it is up to the players to their part. The next 60 games is going to be very excited to watch for the remainder of the season. Let’s see if they can finally end their playoff drought.