Cy Young Caliber
3. David Price for Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris and Jairo Labourt
On July 30, 2015, the Blue Jays were a whopping six games behind the AL East lead, yet GM Alex Anthopoulos knew his team was underachieving and wanted to add an ace to the line-up. Anthopoulos shocked Blue Jays fans and acquired one of the best arms in the game in soon to be free agent David Price. The cost was three top pitching prospects.
Price was a legit All-Star, Cy Young caliber pitcher the Blue Jays had failed to have since the departure of Roy Halladay. Price was putting up another Cy Young type season and he would get even better in Toronto. This trade is another one that is hard to evaluate as without Price the Blue Jays likely would not have won the division, however, once playoffs started he was not the same pitcher.
Price made his Blue Jays debut on August 3 which he would later leave to a standing ovation. Price struck out his first two batters and had a 1-2-3 first inning. By the end of the game, his pitching line looked like 8 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, two walks, and 11 strikeouts. This start propelled Price to a 9-1 record and 2.30 ERA over 11 starts over the remainder of the regular season.
In the first game of the ALDS, the ball would go to Price who would allow five runs over seven innings for the loss. Price would come out of relief in Game 4 with a 7-1 lead but finished his pitching line allowing another three runs over three innings.
In the ALCS, after struggling in his first appearance in Game 2 of the series, he turned things around Game 6 and gave his team a chance to win. Price pitched into the seventh inning striking out eight batters and allowing just three runs. The Jays would eventually lose that game and the series, but his performance gave them an opportunity to win.
While you wished Price could have pitched in the playoffs like he did in the regular season, you have to think without him being acquired we likely wouldn’t have all the memories of 2015.