Thursday afternoon's MLB Trade Deadline made for some very interesting last-minute deals, as we usually see from year to year at this time. But a few surprising moves were made, including the hottest pitcher on the market moving to Detroit. Here's a brief look at what went down on a very busy afternoon.
The Detroit Tigers won the lottery on Thursday, getting arguably the most sought-after free agent on the market in Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price. He had been rumored to be a hot topic at the Trade Deadline over the last few weeks, but all questions were answered when the news broke that he had been sent to the Tigers. With the move, this now gives Detroit a deadly starting rotation, highlighted by ace Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Price spoke after the announcement about his feelings regarding the trade.
It's tough to put into words. There's absolute sadnes. This is where I've been the last seven years. I didn't expect Detroit to be a final destination, it happened fast and unexpectedly. But I'm still playing baseball, which is what I know and what I love.
In addition, Tampa sent some prospects along with the deal to get a pitcher of their own. They pick up Drew Smyly, as the Seattle Mariners picked up Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson to complete the three-team deal. The interesting note about Price is he is set to hit free agency after this season, unless the Tigers decide to renew him. Otherwise, you can bet some team will be willing to fork over a hefty paycheck to get one of the best, if not THE best, all-around pitcher in baseball.
Elswhere around the league, the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox were busy teams as the 4:00 P.M. Eastern deadline drew near. After picking up Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs a few weeks ago, Oakland made the call to Fenway Park to acquire the services of Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. This comes at the expense of Yoenis Cespedes and a draft pick. Boston picks up without a doubt one of the most talented fielders in the game, but many have already asked if maybe the Sox overpaid to get him. Regardless, both teams feel confident about their moves. Oakland also sent Tommy Milone to the Twins for Sam Fuld. Milone lost his spot in the rotation after Samardzija hit town, and any hope of him rejoining the staff basically evaporated now that Lester is on board.
After Boston picked up Cespedes, they turned their attention to the St. Louis Cardinals, and picked up a pair of players that the Cards haven't been real high on lately in Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. They also traded Andrew Miller to Baltimore for prospect pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Then they finished the day by sending Stephen Drew to the Yankees what is realistically a salary dump.
The Yankees dealt the powerful Peter O'Brien to Arizona in exchange for Martin Prado. This will provide some much needed utility insurance for A-Rod, with Drew getting ready to assume control at second base. New York didn't make a ton of moves, but they did enough to at least get in the race for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. And if Masahiro Tanaka's elbow comes back healthy, they could make a run at a division that hasn't been exactly stellar this year.
The Atlanta Braves didn't have a huge wallet to unload on a superstar player, but they still managed to come out looking like a winner. They dipped into the Cubs' player pool and acquired Emilio Bonifacio and pitcher James Russell. It's an interesting moving that provided some much-needed results. They were seeking another left-hander, which they got with Russell, and Bonifacio will give some help as a utility player and maybe pinch-runner.
And finally, the Houston Astros got in on Thursday's action. Jarred Cosart was dealt to the Miami Marlins, in exchange for prospect Colin Moran and outfielder Jake Marisnick. The Astros aren't particularly AS bad as people thought they would be for their second year in the American league, but they're still a long way from challenging the likes of the A's or the Angels.
If there were a loser in this year's Draft Deadline, it's almost unanimous that it would be the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is a franchise that turned completely around last year, and even managed to save Don Mattingly's job in the process. But they made little to zero impact with trades this year, and it will be interesting to see if the cards they have now will be enough to hold on to their spot at the top of the National League.
In total, there were 12 deals with 37 players being dealt on Thursday to make it the most active Trade Deadline day ever. And in the midst of it all, a fake Twitter account claiming to be FOX Sports analyst Ken Rosenthal nailed the biggest trade of the day just hours before the actual announcement hit the news. The Dodgers may have been the "losers" of the day, but everyone who paid close attention and followed Thursday's madness was certainly a winner.