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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Granderson/Jackson/Scherzer 3-Way Jamboree
Before catching up with some old business (I’ve had a wicked head cold for a week and a half), let’s first look at the Big 3-Way Trade.
As usual, I like to break down 3-way trades one team at a time.
The Diamondbacks acquired Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy for Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth.
This, I feel, is the hardest segment of the trade to justify. Jackson took a big step forward last year and unlike the ERA improvement from 2007 to 2008, this drop in ERA was matched by improvement in his peripheral stats. That being said, Arizona only has Jackson under control for two seasons and don’t look to be major players for any elite free agents. In Arizona’s position, I simply rather have the extremely promising Scherzer. I like Ian Kennedy more than a lot of people, but I find him very risky. Simply put, most finesse pitchers don’t become Jamie Moyer and there’s an injury history here. I’d have to think long and hard about trading Scherzer for Jackson-and-Kennedy and while I might in the end decide to do it, simply throwing in Schlereth as well puts me against the trade.
The Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson for Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Coke.
Here is the easiest part of the trade to like. It just feels so unfair for the Yankees to essentially reduce payroll (by having Granderson instead of the replacement) and acquire a solid player without giving up much of crucial value.
Again, I like Ian Kennedy, but he really didn’t have a place in the organization. Kennedy’s not suited to be a reliever and the Yankees have a name-brand rotation. Good brands, too, not Packard Bell or Saturn. I feel Coke should be a decent enough reliever long-term, with a good fastball and occasional stretches of cluelessness that need to be stamped out, but he’s not a player the Yankees are going to really care about. That just leaves Austin Jackson. A lot of people like him, but I find him unimpressive on a statistical basis, a low-power hitter with way too many strikeouts (and a resulting extremely high BABIP that won’t carry to the majors) and from seeing his approach in person, I just don’t see how good major league pitching won’t eat him for breakfast.
Granderson is not without risk. Theoretically, one could fix the biggest problem with Granderson, a complete inability to hit lefties, with a platoon, but platooning a player widely considered to be a star is fraught with more peril than it is when you’re platooning players in a simulation. I simply cannot think of a lot of cases in recent years in which players with the star label in the prime of their careers are suddenly given platoon partners. It’s widely perceived as a demotion and when it’s done, it’s usually only done very sparingly, timing rest when a very good wrong-handed opponent is on the mound. However, even if you’re forced to take the bad with the good, Granderson’s a solid player with a very reasonable contract (guaranteed roughly $8 million per for 3 years).
The Tigers acquired Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke for Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson.
And here’s the rest. I’m of mixed emotions here. If he stays healthy, Scherzer could be a fixture in the Tigers rotation for a long time and when the time comes, the Tigers have the resources to keep him long-term if he’s worth it. Schlereth is extremely promising as well.
My main quibble with this trade from Detroit’s point-of-view is that they seem to value Austin Jackson a lot more highly than I do. They see Curtis Granderson. I see Curtis Granderson without a lot of things that makes Curtis Granderson a really good player. How the Tigers do in this trade will depend a lot on who was right about Jackson. I can’t help but feel that if the Diamondbacks were interested in giving away Scherzer/Schlereth for Jackson/Kennedy (which they must have been since that’s what they did), the Tigers could have found someone else the Diamondbacks wanted instead of Kennedy, left the Yankees completely out of the trade, and hung onto Granderson.
Just as a side note, Schlereth and Scherzer are the only two players that haven’t already had a projection run this offseason, so for information’s sake, Scherzer’s top comps are Mike Witt, Tim Hudson, and Josh Beckett and Schlereth’s are Dennys Reyes, Darren Oliver, and John Rocker.
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