2015 MLB Trade Deadline: Toronto Blue Jays Acquire David Price
It’s Christmas for those of us in the fantasy baseball industry. The Winter Meetings and Non-waiver trade deadline are the two most exciting times of year. The excitement continued when the Toronto Blue Jays traded three prospects to the Tigers in exchange for ace David Price. The Blue Jays are clearly doubling down on their Troy Tulowitzki trade and the Tigers have clearly signaled that more veterans might be on the move.
The Blue Jays Get
SP David Price
The Tigers Get
SP Jairo Labourt
SP Matt Boyd
Why do the Blue Jays make this trade?
The Blue Jays have been desperate for pitching all season. They have been flirting with every girl in the room, but did good to hold out for Price. Price is the best pitcher on the market and even though his contract is up after the season, he gives the Blue Jays the best chance to win. Daniel Norris is a very good prospect, but he is the only good prospect to move the other direction. Boyd had a pair of shaky starts at the big league level, but he was never highly thought of like Norris. Labourt is in the same boat.
R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle were solid, but neither was able to hold the mantle as the ace of the staff. Now, both get to fall back into a secondary role. Price will likely take Drew Hutchinson’s spot in the rotation to give the Blue Jays four starters with ERAs at or below 4.00. Hutchinson has been durable, so he may keep his slot, but at any rate, this gives the Blue Jays six starters to work with the rest of the way.
Why do the Tigers make this trade?
David Price’s fate was likely sealed the minute Max Scherzer signed his 210 million dollar contract last season. If Scherzer is worth 210 million then Price is easily worth 200 million as well. The Tigers couldn’t afford to throw down that kind of money after committing huge dollars to Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez. So, the minute they felt they were out of the race they decided to get what they could for Price.
Unlike the recent Cole Hamels deal, Dave Drombowski didn’t get a king’s ransom for Price. He had to accept less since the Blue Jays are also unlikely to sign Price to a long-term deal. However, they did do well to get Daniel Norris. He is close to being ready to take a permanent spot in their rotation. The other two arms could become end of the rotation arms or middle relievers down the road. Yoenis Cespedes might be the next to be traded as Drombowski seeks to clear the decks.
What the deal means for you
There are always two numbers to consider when a pitcher changes teams. The first number is the ballpark effects of both home stadiums. According to baseball-reference.com they are as follows:
Rogers Centre 2015: 95
Rogers Centre Multi: 100
Comerica Park 2015: 99
Comerica Park Multi: 101
So, according to the ballpark effects, it looks like he is moving into a slightly better pitching environment than before, but when you consider that the multi-year numbers are usually more relevant, the difference is negligible. The second number we consider is called defensive efficiency rating. It is simply a calculation of the percentage of balls in play that become outs (it is essentially the mirror image of BABIP). They stand as follows:
Toronto Blue Jays: .696 (14th)
Detroit Tigers: .685 (19th)
So, for those that own David Price, you can expect Price to put up slightly better numbers and obviously he is joining the best offense in the American League. That will likely mean more wins as well down the stretch. Mind you, the Tigers weren’t chopped liver offensively, so the difference might be minimal.