In a deal finalized Wednesday, the World Champion Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson in a three-team deal with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. In exchange for Granderson, the Tigers received left handed reliever Phil Coke, the Yankees’ best prospect in Austin Jackson, and Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks are set to receive Ian Kennedy from the Yankees and Edwin Jackson from the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers came into this year’s winter meetings clearly attempting to dump some payroll, after being among the most disappointing and highest paid teams for the last several years. Although Granderson is a big name and former all star, at this point he is largely overrated. His platoon splits are almost unimaginable, hitting just .183 against left- handed pitching. The overall strategy at this point is to get younger and cheaper. Max Scherzer has ace potential and has impressive strikeout numbers at a very young age. If Scherzer develops as expected, a 1-2 punch of Verlander and Scherzer could make the Detroit Tigers very dangerous in the future. Austin Jackson was the best prospect in the Yankees farm system and depending on which scouts you speak with, may be a potential all star or a solid regular in the big leagues. Regardless, he is a valuable player to have because he is very close to being ready for a call up, has impressive speed, and hits for a solid amount of power. Daniel Schlereth, son of ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth, was mostly used as a left -handed specialist last season for Arizona, but many scouts feel he could be a future closer. He is cut from the same cloth as Rays closer, J.P. Howell. He has a fringe fastball that hangs around 88-90 mph, but has an extremely effective changeup for a relief pitcher, and a sharp breaking curveball.
The Diamondbacks obviously get the short end of the stick in this deal as they receive Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. Kennedy was formerly recognized as a solid prospect, partly due to the regular hype issued to all Yankees prospects, and because many in the Yankee organization thought of him as “gutsy”. At this point in his career, any team would be happy to get a 5thstarter out of Ian Kennedy, but even that seems unlikely at this point. Edwin Jackson had an unbelievable first half of the season for the Tigers, but by mid-season his command issues starting to surface, as his stuff alone was not enough to get big league hitters out. The Tigers also played it smart by dealing Jackson before his issues were exposed too badly. If you look at his numbers for last season as a whole, they are still pretty solid but his command issues will prove too much to overcome. At his age, it is also something that is unlikely to be correctable.
Finally, the Yankees received Curtis Granderson, who now solidifies the one weak spot that the Yankees team had, and that is centerfield. Melky Cabrera is not an everyday player and was only serviceable because of the overall strength of the Yankees lineup. Now that Melky will most likely be used as a fourth outfielder, the Yankees lineup gets even more dangerous. As a left-handed hitter with power in the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium, Granderson could conceivably put up 40 homeruns in 2010. His platoon splits will always be a major concern because of his extreme inability to hit left-handed pitching but the overall upgrade both offensively and defensively will improve the Yankees team tremendously.
Overall, this deal makes a lot of sense for both the Yankees and Tigers. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the Diamondbacks, who were completely robbed in this deal. They gave up a pitcher in Scherzer who is actually better, younger, and cheaper than Edwin Jackson, the pitcher they received in the deal. Ian Kennedy is basically a throw in with almost no value at this point and they gave up their ace in Scherzer, and a potential closer in the future in Schlereth. I think the Tigers got the best end of this deal though, followed by the Yankees who also did well for themselves.
Tags: arizona diamondbacks, Baseball, daniel schlereth, detroit tigers, edwin jackson, espn nfl, impressive speed, Johnny G, mark schlereth, max scherzer, MLB, nfl analyst, trades, world champion yankees