DETROIT – As the White Sox loaded the bases in the seventh inning Thursday at Comerica Park, the Tigers had bigger things brewing off the field.
The Tigers interrupted Gordon Beckham’s at-bat during the Sox’s run to pull center fielder Austin Jackson from the game, as he was part of a three-team trade with the Rays and Mariners to acquire Rays left-hander David Price.
“It’s odd in the middle of the game for their team to have that happen,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You can tell it affects some guys. You play with a guy that long, and he’s taken off the field.
“You don’t really get a chance to say goodbye or anything like that. He’s just gone.”
The Sox walked away with the 7-4 victory to take the series from the Tigers, but they didn’t take away anything from the trade market, as the deadline passed with very little hoopla from the club.
Ventura hinted as much Wednesday and Thursday morning, saying he expected to see the same faces in the clubhouse. The Sox started left-hander John Danks despite a few lingering rumors about his potential suitors.
“We know people are making moves all over the place, but we probably expected to have these guys here today and tomorrow, and that’s what we have,” Ventura said. “They were pretty good today as far as being able to not really pay attention to it.”
Sox general manager Rick Hahn had said that he didn’t feel urgency to make a deal unless it benefited the Sox for the future. The deadline’s passing, of course, does not mean Hahn won’t make any more moves this season, with waivers still a possibility.
The day put into perspective the teams’ contrasting situations, with the Tigers gearing up for a playoff push in the last 2 months of the season, and the Sox maintaining their focus on the future while also holding out a long-shot hope to make a run at a wild card spot.
In acquiring Price while sending Jackson to the Mariners and Thursday’s left-handed starter Drew Smyly to the Rays, the Tigers added to a rotation that could strike much fear into American League Central opponents. They now have the last three AL Cy Young winners in Justin Verlander, Price and Max Scherzer.
“As soon as it happened we’re like, ‘No!’” Sox center fielder Adam Eaton said of Price acquisition. “They have a good rotation, and adding a guy like Price who is a great pitcher and competitor only adds to the mix. … We’re excited for the challenge, and we’ll see them again in September. Hopefully that’s an important series.”