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August 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm ET
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David Price, Y’all

_PriceWhat a trade deadline. Probably the most exciting we’ve seen in years. For those interested in a full recap, you can check out my AL and NL trade deadline grades. This time, though, I’m going to focus on my hometown team, the Detroit Tigers, and their acquisition of David Price.

To say that no one really saw this trade coming even a couple of days ago would probably be an understatement. When Price’s name came up in trade rumors, the teams most often mentioned were usually the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Mariners (who did end up factoring in the deal). But never the Tigers.

Then Billy Beane went wild, with, whether he admitted it or not, the Tigers, who have regularly defeated the A’s in the playoffs over the past decade, in mind. Everyone in baseball seemed to be worshipping at the altar of Billy Beane. Jeff Samardzija AND Jon Lester (not to mention Jason Hammel, Johnny Gomes, and Sam Fuld).

So, what did Dombrowski do in response? Just go out and get the best starting pitcher (Price) and best reliever (Joakim Soria) on the market, thus repositioning the Tigers as, if not the favorites in the AL, certainly the equal of the A’s and Angels.

The Tigers rotation now features the last three AL Cy Young winners. And even if you discount Verlander in that equation due to his, um, underwhelming 2014 performance, having those three backed up by Anibal Sanchez (last year’s AL ERA champ) and Rick Porcello (who has fully come into his own this year) makes for the best rotation in baseball.

The best part about these trades is that Dombrowski managed to pull them off without really giving up all that much. Austin Jackson is a really solid player, and he’s been a great Tiger. But at this point he’s about a league average player, and he only has a year and a half of team control left. Drew Smyly is a good, young, controllable pitcher. But he’s a third-starter, at best. The minor leaguers they gave up – Double-A starter Jake Thompson, Triple-A reliever Corey Knebel, and Single-A shortstop Will Adames – are nice young players. But the Tigers window is now, and none of those guys were going to contribute within that timeframe.

In fact, not only do the Price and Soria acquisitions better position the Tigers for 2014, both guys are under contract (via arbitration and contract option, respectively) for next year as well. That makes these trades all about both 2014 and 2015.

Basically, Dombrowski went out, gave up relatively little, and made the Tigers the American League favorites (or, approximately, tied for favorite status) for the next two years. What more can you ask for?

I’ve often discussed on this site what a pleasure it is to be a Tigers fan in the Days of Dombrowski. This is why. You can quibble over projected WAR or the upside of the prospects and players the Tigers shed over the past week. You can argue about the financial cost. For Tigers fans, though, there is no argument.

You have to be BOLD to win championships, and that’s exactly what Dave Dombrowski was this past week. However the season ends up, this deadline was a success, because the Tigers front office went out and showed they are determined to bring a championship to the city of Detroit.

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