Detroit – Questions about the David Price-to-the-Tigers blockbuster.
Who plays center field now?
Good one. Austin Jackson is a goner, having been shipped Thursday to the Mariners in the three-team deal. Likely, Rajai Davis is going to get the immediate reps there, but the Tigers have called up Ezequiel Carrera, signed this offseason as a minor-league free agent. All he’s done this year is hit, and hit a lot — oh, and steal bases in bunches, too. He’s 27, so no prospect, but perhaps he’s just coming into his own, not unlike J.D. Martinez.
Will Price sign long-term with the Tigers?
Well, let’s let him at least get a uniform and a locker at Comerica Park first, shall we? It’s way to early to speculate. Nobody knows how Price is going to like his new location, nor is it clear what kind of money he will demand. But the Tigers certainly will be open to talking extension once Price is ready; if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to get him for the $144 million they once offered Max Scherzer. And if Price says no, well, at least they have some protection for 2015, with Scherzer likely departing this winter.
Why didn’t the Tigers get more bullpen help?
This is a fair question. They added Joakim Soria, and not much else – and that doesn’t seem like enough, with the way Soria has been pitching. But truth is, Soria’s going to get better, and the Tigers will be able to shift one of their starters into the bullpen for the playoffs. And wouldn’t you believe, that starter might actually be Justin Verlander. It would be a move much like what the Giants did in 2012, when they shifted Tim Lincecum to relief for the World Series run.
Did the Tigers give up too much?
This depends on what your goals are. Bottom line is, starting pitching often wins the championships, which is why both the A’s and Tigers gave up key offensive players to add starting pitching Thursday. The A’s parted with Yoenis Cespedes to add Jon Lester on Thursday morning, and the Tigers gave up Jackson just minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. It’s a risk for the Tigers, for sure, but it makes their rotation the most formidable in the American League, even better than the A’s.
Was Jackson a bust in Detroit?
That’s a tough call. He did so much well for the Tigers, on offense and defense, since arriving from the Yankees in a deal in December 2009. But the truth was, he was too inconsistent — far too much for the Tigers to commit long-term when his contract expires at the end of 2015. The fact they made a center fielder (Derek Hill) their first-round draft pick last month might’ve been some writing on the wall. If Jackson was the only way to get Price, the move had to be made.