Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski had a strategy when he traded Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson to the Tampa Bay Rays for ace David Price. He wanted to make the playoffs. The Tigers have come close in recent years but haven’t quite pulled all the way though for the rings. They made the playoffs in 2011, reached the World Series in 2012 and might have reached in 2013.
But the rotation in Detroit isn’t getting any younger. As ESPN’s David Schoenfield explains, the Tigers have a number of pitchers who are either nearing their time or will become free agents soon.
It’s very possible the Tigers won’t be as good as they currently are in the next three or so years. So when they lost to the Twins in walk-off fashion with David Price on the mound Wednesday night, the feeling around the Tigers organization is one of confusion. Price was supposed to be the second coming in the August 31 trade deadline.
At first when the Rays traded Price, I wasn’t too happy. Nor were ummm all of the Rays fans. But it’s now almost two months from the trade deadline and when you think about it, Smyly has gotten better in Tampa. He has managed a 3-1 record with a 1.70 ERA when starting since being traded. Prior to the trade he owned a 6-9 record with a 3.93 ERA.
Whereas Price seems to have dropped off some kind of slope. Price was great for a time in Tampa but near the end of his stint, he was shaky. Even more so in Detroit. He had a 11-8 record in Tampa with a 3.11 ERA. In Detroit he has a 3-4 record when starting with a 4.09 ERA.
Even so, fans hated the trade because of what he meant to the team. The community loved him. And he loved the community back.