OAKLAND, Calif. — After David Price pitched in the 5-0 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday, Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman called Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski to let him know they had decided to trade Price and wanted to know if Detroit was still interested.
That decision and the ensuing call set in motion the series of conversations that led to the blockbuster three-way deal between the Rays, Tigers and Mariners that was agreed to around 1 p.m. Thursday but not made public nor official for several hours, according to Dombrowski in a Monday podcast interview with ESPN's Buster Olney.
Though the Rays prefer to keep details of their discussions private, Dombrowski shared plenty. Among the most interesting (with more on tampabay.com/blogs/rays):
• Talks began about a month earlier when Dombrowski, at the suggestion of special assistant Jim Leyland and others, called the Rays to express interest.
• Even in initial philosophical conversations, 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.
• When Dombrowski checked back just before the break, Friedman told him they'd make a decision on Price by the Monday before the All-Star Game, but as the Rays went into the break playing well then did so coming out, there was no word from them.
• The Rays revealed "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 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," and shortly thereafter, they did.
FAMILIAR FACES: With six former Rays on the other lineup card, manager Joe Maddon joked the opposing team should be called "the Oakland R-A's." Cs John Jaso and Stephen Vogt have been here a while, LHP Scott Kazmir signed during the offseason, RHP Jason Hammel and OFs Sam Fuld and Jonny Gomes were acquired in July trades.
There are more players from Tampa Bay's 2008 championship team with the A's (Gomes, Hammel, Jaso, Kazmir) than the Rays (Grant Balfour, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist).
WAIVED GOODBYE: LHP Erik Bedard and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo were released and by today should either be claimed or clear release waivers and be free to sign with any team. Maddon said that he felt both, designated for assignment last week, can still pitch in the majors.
REHAB REPORT: OF Wil Myers did well in testing his previously fractured right wrist in his first onfield batting practice in Port Charlotte, with plans to do so again today then head to Triple-A Durham for workouts and a possible DH stint as soon as Saturday. … OF David DeJesus (fractured left hand) has started swinging and could be ready for batting practice by the end of next week. … C Ryan Hanigan will be shut down for the rest of the week, with a tentative target of returning within two weeks. … INF Tim Beckham (right knee surgery) moved up to advanced Class A Charlotte on his rehab assignment, which can run for five more days.
MISCELLANY: Zobrist went into play Monday with a nine-game hitting streak; no Ray has gotten to 10. … Todd Kalas will fill in as the TV play-by-play announcer tonight for Dewayne Staats, who is off. … With a second-inning single, 1B James Loney reached base in his 23rd straight game, the second-longest streak of his career and the third-longest current streak in the majors.