The Blue Jays have swung a deal for Tigers' ace David Price, according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Detroit will acquire left-handers Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt, according to multiple league sources.
Price is the latest premium starter to move on the trade market, joining Cole Hamels (Rangers), Johnny Cueto (Royals) and Scott Kazmir (Astros). The left-hander was not thought to be on the block until yesterday, when the Tigers decided it was time to sell, and drew strong interest from the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers before being traded to Toronto.
This is the second time in as many years that Price has been traded, as he was sent from Tampa to Detroit in a deadline deal last summer. The lefty has been excellent in his short time in Detroit, posting a 13-8 record and 2.90 ERA while striking out 220 batters in 223.2 innings. He is a five-time All-star who is a free agent after the season, so it will be interesting to see if he will be open to a long-term deal with Toronto.
The Jays have been one of the most aggressive teams in trades this summer, pulling off two blockbusters that will net them Price and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Price will become the headliner of a rotation that also includes Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada and Drew Hutchison, providing an excellent piece on the pitching side of the roster to pair with an explosive lineup.
Although the Jays currently sit at .500 with a 51-51 record, they are making a clear push for the playoffs and expect to make a significant run. According to one organizational source, the team is "still looking", with rotation and bullpen grades both possible.
Norris joins Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco as Jays' pitching prospects to be moved so far this week, and is the best of the bunch. The lefty is currently ranked by MLB.com as the best prospect in the Jays' system and the 25th-best prospect in all of baseball, and will be close to major-league ready when he joins the Tigers' organization. The former second-round pick (2011) is projected to a a top-line major-league starter, despite some struggles in his first ten major-league appearances (4.20 ERA in 30 innings).
Boyd, 24, was ranked as the team's eleventh-best prospect at the time of the deal. The southpaw is a former sixth-round pick who is regarded for his control and deceptive delivery, though is thought to need some refining before being an effective major-leaguer. Boyd made two major-league starts for the Jays this season, allowing eleven earned runs in 6.2 innings.
Labourt, 21, is a Dominican southpaw who MLB.com ranked as Toronto's nineteenth-best prospect. His fastball is his best pitch, though some are concerned about his control early in his professional career. Labourt has struggled to a 4.59 ERA in eighteen starts for High-A Dunedin so far this season.