Blue Jays acquire David Price from the Tigers

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The Toronto Blue Jays, fresh off the trade for Troy Tulowitzki, just made their second high-profile acquisition in three days, acquiring lefty David Price from the Tigers. The package heading back to Detroit is fronted by pitching prospect Daniel Norris. Also heading to the Tigers: 2013 sixth round pitcher Matt Boyd and 21-year-old pitching prospect Jairo Labourt.

For the Tigers this marks the beginning of a “reboot,” to use their term. A rebuild if you’re being less charitable. In any event it’s the official acknowledgement that 2015 was a failure and that they do not believe they can sign Price to a long-term deal.

And, as far as reboots go, it’s a good one. Assuming that Price was not re-signing in Detroit — a safe assumption — and given that the Tigers weren’t going to make the playoffs this year. Getting a team-controlled potential ace like Norris and more is a great haul. Norris had a cup of coffee in Toronto to begin the season and didn’t fare well in terms of control, but he’s been figuring things out at Triple-A as the summer has worn on. His stuff is amazing, of course, and it’s only a matter of time before he figures it out at the big league level.

Boyd is 9-2 with a 1.68 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A this season, with a K/BB ratio of 107/24 in 112.2 innings pitched. Labourt, a big hard-thrower, is in his first season at high-A Dunedin, where he is 2-7 with a 4.59 ERA. He’s more of a work in progress, with high strikeout rates but high walk rates as well.

Price, of course, needs no introduction, and his place on a Blue Jays team clearly going for it this year is clear. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner is enjoying another fine season, posting a record of 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 138/29 in 146 innings. Some of his peripheral stats aren’t up to his career highs, but his ERA+ of 156, if it holds up, is his best ever mark. He’s still an ace, obviously, and one who is going to get paid in a major way after this season when he hits the market as a free agent.

For now, though, he’s the new ace of the Toronto Blue Jays. Who, when the day began, were in third place, seven games back in the AL East and two games back of the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot. They have work to do. But now they have a workhorse to help them do it.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.