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Hours after the Oakland Athletics traded for Jon Lester, the Detroit Tigers countered by pulling off a three-team blockbuster that puts the last three AL Cy Young award winners in the same rotation. The Tigers are now set for October with a loaded rotation of Max Scherzer, David Price, Justin Verlander, and Aníbal Sánchez.
The trade was officially announced minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline as the Tigers pulled outfielder Austin Jackson from their game and sent him to Seattle as a part of the three-way exchange. In exchange for their ace and an effective forfeit from 2014 contention, the Rays will receive Nick Franklin, Drew Smyly, and Willy Adames, an eighteen-year-old infielder they believe can make a difference down the road.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners made efforts to improve a right-handed weakness in their outfield by adding Jackson in the trade. Jackson was a part of a three-way trade that brought Max Scherzer to Detroit originally, and now he leaves town as they acquire Price.
The AL can now anticipate a showdown between the Athletics and Tigers in the American League Championship Series, unless other contenders manage to play spoiler. Oakland will still have to work to fend off the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West, but the Tigers may be set from this point forward in the Central, already commanding a solid lead over the Kansas City Royals.
The Red Sox will not play the Tigers again in 2014.