Price trade bolsters Tigers rotation

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David Price leaves the Rays as the all-time winningest pitcher in team history (82 wins).In a three-team trade, the Tampa Bay Rays traded pitcher David Price to the Detroit Tigers, bolstering an already strong starting rotation.

The rest of the deal saw the Tigers send pitcher Drew Smyly to the Rays and outfielder Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners. Second baseman Nick Franklin was sent from the Mariners to the Rays.

3 Cy Young Winners on Same Team
AL History

With the addition of Price, the Tigers now have the last three AL Cy young winners – Max Scherzer (2013), Price (2012) and Justin Verlander (2011).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is only the sixth time in AL history a team had three Cy Young winners at the same time.

The trade of Price means five of the last eight AL Cy Young winners have been traded within two years of winning the award.

Joining Price on the list are 2009 winner Zack Greinke (traded in 2010); 2008 winner Cliff Lee (traded in 2009); CC Sabathia, who won the award in 2007 (traded in 2008); and 2004 and 2006 winner Johan Santana (traded in 2008).

Price leaves Tampa Bay with 82 career wins, the most in franchise history (Scott Kazmir is second with 55 wins).

He isn’t the only starting pitcher the Rays have dealt over the last few years. They sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals in 2012, while Matt Garza was traded to the Cubs in 2011.

Price has solid regular season numbers, going 82-47 with a 3.18 ERA. But the postseason is another story as in nine career games, he's 1-4 with a 5.06 ERA. But in his five postseason starts, he's 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA.

Highest ERA Among Starters
In Postseason, Since 2010

Of the 33 pitchers to start at least four postseason games since 2010, only Edwin Jackson has a higher ERA than Price.

Price might have lost velocity on his fastball the last few years, but batters have been no more effective at hitting that pitch – in large part because he’s locating it better.

While averaging 95.4 MPH on this pitch in 2012, batters hit .244 against him. This season, he’s down to 93.0 MPH, but the opposition is hitting only .229.

As said above, one reason for the low batting average is that Price is locating the ball better.

His 3.3 walk rate this year is third lowest in all of baseball, trailing only Hisashi Iwakuma (2.0 percent) and Phil Hughes (2.3 percent).

Tigers Bullpen
This Season

Another area where Price can help the Tigers is his ability to eat up innings (he’s on the verge of surpassing 200 innings pitched for the fourth time in the last five seasons).

Tigers starters rank in the top five in the AL in innings pitched per start (6.2, first), home runs allowed (58, second-fewest), win percentage (.585, third) and ERA (3.82, fifth).

The bullpen, on the other hand, is struggling, ranking near the bottom in at least four main statistical categories.