Rays decided on Wednesday to trade Price, and other trade details from Tigers GM
The Rays decided on Wednesday they were going to trade David Price by Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline, and struck the three-way deal with Detroit and Seattle at around 1 p.m. Thursday even though it wasn't announced for several hours, according to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski. While Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman prefers to not discuss any details of trade discussions, Dombrowski shared some interesting insight and specifics on how the David Price deal went down with ESPN's Buster Olney on his Monday podcast.
Among the more interesting items:
* The Rays and Tigers first starting talking nearly a month ago, before the All-Star break, when Dombrowski, after suggestions from special advisor Jim Leyland and another scout, called the Rays to express interest. They talked "a little bit in philosophy on what they were looking to do" but Dombrowski could tell the Rays weren't ready to move forward yet.
* Dombrowski checked back the weekend before the break, and Friedman told him that on Monday (July 14) "we're going to make a decision on what we're going to do and we'll get back to you.'' The Tigers followed up with an e-mail, but as the Rays came out of the break playing well the Tigers didn't hear anything back from them.
* On Wednesday evening (after Price pitched and the Rays lost an afternoon game), Friedman reached out to Dombrowski "and said we decided that we're going to still do something, are you still interested? When I said yes, he said, well I'll get back to you later that night and the whole thing started the night before we made the deal.''
* From the initial philosophical conversation, all three Detroit players involved in the deal were mentioned - LHP Drew Smyly, SS prospect Willy Adames and OF Austin Jackson (who went to the Mariners). The Rays made it clear early "they liked (Adames) a great deal, as we did;'' said they were looking to get back a young starting pitcher by mentioning Smyly "and a couple other names,'' and talked about getting Jackson themselves and flipping him to another team.
* Friedman was "in the middle" of making it a three-way deal, though Dombrowski had a sense it was headed that way as he was also talking to Seattle, and he knew the Rays were talking to Seattle.
* The Rays revealed the "the full, this is what it would take" on Wednesday, but as Dombrowski went to bed Wednesday night he thought there was only "a slight chance" they would work something out. But when he and Friedman talked mid-morning Thursday, he felt much more encouraged about the possibility, that "the odds started looking better for us to make that acquisition.''
* Friedman called Dombrowski at about 12:55 on Thursday - just as the Tigers were about to start their game with Smyly pitching - and said "it looks like we have a chance to get the deal done here.' They talked through all the names, Dombrowski asked if the Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was on board and suggested they have a three-way call to make sure, and shortly after 1 they all agreed to it.
* There was a little bit of drama as the teams were going over medical reports and working out details since Smyly was pitching. "If anything would have happened to him ... we're in a situation where the whole deal falls apart,'' he said. Dombrowski had alerted manager Brad Ausmus to the possibility of having to pull Smyly early, but by the time all the records were checked and details completed, Smyly had already pitched five innings and was out of the game. (There was more drama involving Jackson, who was still playing and, under orders from MLB, had to be pulled out of the game by the 4 p.m. deadline and was taken off the field in the middle of an at-bat.)
* Dombrowski spoke well of Friedman's negotiating style: "I enjoy working with Andrew. He's done all of his homework, he knows exactly where they stand as an organization. He lets you know that. ... He's a very direct individual. Very intelligent. And I enjoy working with him a great deal.''
* Dombrowski addressed the industry criticism that the Rays didn't get enough for Price, comparing it to the reaction he got when trading Doug Fister to Washington in the off-season, explaining that you can't force teams to give up more than they want to. "(Friedman) did his homework. I know he talked to other clubs. Some people are just going to say no to certain people (being in a deal). And in our situation here people don't know how good Adames it. This young player is a very good shortstop. We think he has the capabilities to play in an All-Star Game in the future. Other people don't really know how good a player he is, so when other organizations look at him and say well, I'm not sure that he got enough, I wouldn't be surprised if down the road they're saying, well, this guy is really an impressive individual. And then all of a sudden it comes to light how much they did get.''