Friday, December 11, 2009

That's Just Grand

There's nothing like a good meaningful trade involving a number of interesting, promising components.  We were provided an excellent example from the Winter Meetings with the following three-team deal:

New York Yankees receive outfielder Curtis Granderson (from Detroit)

Detroit Tigers receive pitcher Max Scherzer (from Arizona), pitcher Daniel Schlereth (from Arizona), outfielder Austin Jackson (from New York), and pitcher Phil Coke (from New York)

Arizona Diamondbacks receive pitcher Ian Kennedy (from New York) and pitcher Edwin Jackson (from Detroit)

Now then...

  • The Yankees received only one player, but he was also the best player.  Curtis Granderson is a terrific individual both personally and professionally.  The questions about him revolve around his high strikeout totals and his "puzzling" defensive routes.  That added up to an eye exam for the Yanks.  In Conclusion:  They're the Yankees.  They'd rather have an expensive proven star over all else.  If Granderson doesn't work out, they don't need to worry.  They can just bring in another expensive outfielder.
  • The Tigers cut major salary by letting loose Granderson and Edwin Jackson.  That was the biggest key for them.  Then they went outfielder for outfielder with the Yankees (Granderson for Austin Jackson) and starting pitcher for starting pitcher with the Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson for Max Scherzer), sprinkling in a pair of lefty relievers (Coke and Schlereth) along the way to help shore up the bullpen.  In Conclusion:  They're being hit hard by the unemployment and economic situation in Michigan and have chosen to go young and inexpensive.
  • The Diamondbacks are looking to improve their starting rotation and believe that Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson are better than Max Scherzer (who it is likely they consider an injury risk).  In Conclusion:  They're taking a lot of heat from this trade... but come on.  Basically, they traded two of their top young pitchers for two young pitchers, one of whom (E. Jackson) excelled in the first half last year and one of whom (Kennedy) has dominated at Triple-A.  Need I remind you that pitchers switching leagues from the AL to the NL have generally pitched much better?

In the end, I'd grade the Tigers worst of the three teams.  Time will tell.

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