Enter the Big Lefty
By the time of the 2015 trade deadline, David Price was already a five-time All-Star, and had won the 2012 AL Cy Young with Tampa Bay on the back of a 20-5 win-loss record and 2.56 ERA and 3.05 FIP over 211 innings with 6.6 bWAR. He’d been traded from Tampa to Detroit ahead of the 2014 trade deadline, and was a free agent to be after the 2015 season. Then Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, with his team stuck at 52-51 and tied for 2nd place with the Orioles, 6.0 games back of the Yankees in the AL East, went all in at the trade deadline and dealt pitching prospects Matt Boyd, Jairo Labourt and Daniel Norris to the Tigers for the 29-year-old Price.
What Price then did down the stretch for Toronto is the stuff of legends: he went 9-1 in 11 starts, with a. 2.30 ERA, 1.009 WHIP and 2.22 FIP covering 74.1 innings, with 87 strikeouts against only 18 walks and a 2.6 bWAR. He quite literally powered the Blue Jays to a 41-18 record in August and September in leading them to an AL East pennant that year, and a deep postseason run where they ultimately succumbed to the Royals in the ALCS, losing 4-2.
While unable to lead Toronto to a World Series championship that season, Price did go on to star for Boston and helped lead them to the 2018 World Series title, going 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA over 13.2 innings against the Dodgers in the Fall Classic. And while he was only a rental player for two months, his electric performance in the dog days of the summer in 2015 not only thrilled Blue Jays fans across Canada and the GTA, but it took them back to the postseason from the first time in 22 years. For that, he is the third starter on this all-time Jays rotation of pitchers who were never teammates.