New York Yankees receive CF Curtis Granderson (Tigers)
Arizona Diamondbacks receive P Edwin Jackson (Tigers) and P Ian Kennedy (Yankees)
Detroit Tigers receive P Max Scherzer (D’Backs), P Daniel Schlereth (D’Backs), CF Austin Jackson (Yankees), and RP Phil Coke (Yankees)
I really like this trade for the Yankees. The best player involved in the trade went to the Yankees, and they were able to acquire him by giving up pieces that they can either easily replace, or no longer need. Granderson is signed to a very team-friendly contract until 2013. He gives the Yankees a true center fielder, with excellent power and speed.
2009 was the 4th straight season where Granderson had at least 60 extra base hits. While his batting average has been falling, his slugging percentage has not dropped in comparison to the batting average. He posted an isolated Slugging (Slugging % minus Batting Average) of .250 in 2007, .214 in 2008, and .204 in 2009. So while his batting average appears to be falling each year, the power remains fairly constant. The fact that he is not hitting left handed pitchers very well is a concern (.183/.245/.239). His batting average on balls in play has been steadily dropping (.362 in 2007, .317 in 2008, .276 in 2009), so this may be at least a part of the reason for the drop in batting average. He still remains a commodity well worth the risk.
I’m pretty confused here. Scherzer and Schlereth are both former 1st round picks, and definite fire-ballers. Scherzer posted an excellent strikeout rate last year (174 in 170 innings), but posted only a 9-11 record with a 4.12 ERA. He spent a portion of the year on the disabled list in July as well. Schlereth made 21 appearances last season, mostly as a left handed specialist. He struck out 22 in 18 1/3 innings. They received a high-ceiling starting pitcher in Jackson, who posted a 13-9 record last year and made the AL all-star team for the Tigers. Kennedy was injured most of last season, and only made one appearance in the majors.
The part I don’t get here is that Jackson, while a bit more proven, is not necessarily a huge upgrade over Scherzer. And at this point, Schlereth and Kennedy are both very similar players. Neither has done a ton of things yet in the Majors, and neither really has been given too much of a chance yet. I have to believe that the Diamondbacks know something about both Scherzer and Schlereth that has yet to be seen, or at least that they believe that they are not necessarily going to be better than Jackson and Kennedy.
I really, really like this trade for the Tigers. They have decided that they need to cut payroll in some form, and take Granderson, a very good centerfielder who may price himself out of Detroit soon, and Jackson, a starting pitcher who had an excellent year last season, and turn them into Granderson’s replacement (Jackson), a high-potential starting pitcher (Scherzer), and 2 at least useful power arms for their bullpen (Schlereth, Coke). Throw in that they control Jackson for 6 seasons, Scherzer for at least 4, Schlereth for at least 5, and Coke for at least 5, and they really did well to achieve their goal of cutting payroll AND making their team better at the same time.
I really like this trade. Each team addressed needs of their teams, although I still am not sure yet what the Diamondbacks believe that we don’t see. It really doesn’t bode well for the rest of the American League that the World Champion Yankees went out, took some pieces that they didn’t really need for next year’s team, and turned them into a better player than they had in center field.
CURRENT WINNER: New York Yankees
LONG-TERM WINNER: Detroit Tigers