The New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly completed a blockbuster trade that has seven players switching teams.
All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson goes from the Tigers to the Yankees.
Pitcher Edwin Jackson goes from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks.
Pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth go from from the Diamondbacks to the Tigers.
Pitcher Ian Kennedy goes from the Yankees to the Diamondbacks.
Top outfield prospect, Austin Jackson and reliever Phil Coke go from the Yankees to the Tigers.
Got all that?
Don’t worry, with all of the players who have been rumored to be in on this deal in the past 24 hours, the three teams involved might not be entirely sure who is landing where when it all shakes out.
The deal has been in various stages of completion and dormancy since late last night, but talks heated up this morning and all three teams seemed determined to find the right mix to make it work.
Arguably the biggest catch of the bunch is Curtis Granderson who is trading in his English D for pinstripes.
Granderson, 28, is a left-handed hitting outfielder with great speed on the bases and in the field. He showed some serious power this year and could conceivably be a consummate 30-40 home runs threat in Yankee Stadium.
His overall numbers dipped last year to.249/.327/.453, but his power numbers spiked despite the struggles. Granderson is still considered among baseball’s premier leadoff men and plays above average defense in center field.
The Diamondbacks receive a top-flight pitcher in Edwin Jackson and an elite Triple-A starter in Ian Kennedy who has yet to translate his minor league success into the big leagues.
Jackson, 26, went 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for the Detroit Tigers last season and made his first All-Star team. The Tigers only incentive for dealing the youngster, who was finally realizing his potential, was the potential cost.
Jackson is arbitration-eligible and figures to earn a significant raise on the $2.2 million he made last season. The Tigers, currently suffering from the down economy, couldn’t afford to take that kind of financial hit.
Kennedy, 24, has an amazing minor league track record, but little big league success. He is 19-6 with a 1.95 ERA in 43 minor league starts over four seasons. In twelve starts at the big league level he’s mustered a 1-4 record with a 6.03 ERA.
Getting out of the New York spotlight, and switching to the lighter-hitting National League, figure to give Kennedy a golden opportunity to finally translate his minor league prowess into big league success.
The Tigers, in addition to shedding the salaries of Jackson and Granderson, have picked up some serious young talent.
In terms of pitching, Max Scherzer is the cream of the crop in the Tigers’ haul.
Scherzer, 25, was one of the Diamondbacks top pitching prospects and has shown flashes of brilliance in his short tenure in the big leagues. In 37 career starts, Scherzer is 9-15 with a 3.86 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 226.1 innings pitched.
Schlereth, 23, is a lot like the aforementioned Kennedy. He’s shown glimpses of brilliance in the minors, but has yet to have the same success in the big leagues. He has limited experience in both the minors and big leagues, but is a power lefty who has the stuff to be a very successful setup man and potentially a closer.
The catalyst in the deal to get Detroit to deal Granderson was a major-league ready center fielder. Enter Austin Jackson.
Jackson is considered the Yankees top prospect and has an impressive batting line of .288/.356/.410 over five seasons in the minors.
Jackson, 22, has shown flashes of both power and speed in his time in the minors and defensively appears ready to take on an everyday role with the Tigers in 2010.
Phil Coke, 27, is a dominant late-inning reliever who has proven very effective in a setup role with the Yankees and figures to serve the same purpose in Detroit.
All in all, the deal seems to give each team exactly what they need.
The Diamondbacks, by acquiring Edwin Jackson, gain a young, but experienced, arm to slot behind Brandon Webb and Dan Haren in the rotation and a wild card in Kennedy who could finally live up to his potential.
The Yankees gain a legitimate center fielder and leadoff hitter for the first time in nearly a decade. Additionally they now have major leverage in any potential negotiations with free agent outfielder Johnny Damon.
The Tigers gain a slew of young talent and considerable payroll flexibility going forward.
Personally, I can’t find a clear-cut winner or loser in this trade. I feel like Arizona could have asked for more, but other than that it seems to be on the up and up for all parties involved.