Curtis Granderson Trade: Who Benefits the Most?

Patrick McClainContributor IDecember 8, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 25:  Curtis Granderson #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates after scoring a run for a 4-3 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 25, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

At first glance, it seems like the Yankees get the best part of Tuesday's three-team trade because of Curtis Granderson's name, experience, and All-Star potential.  Let's look at this trade from each team's perspective a little closer:


New York Yankees

Yankees receive 28-year-old Curtis Granderson.

Granderson is capable of playing a very good CF.  For a team who has two contributing outfielders filing for free agency (Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon), it is extremely prudent of them to grab a great outfielder in Granderson.  The Yankees also have youngsters Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner if they'd like Granderson to switch to LF.

Yankees lose Austin Jackson (22-year-old OF), Ian Kennedy (24-year-old SP), and Phil Coke (27-year-old RP).

Jackson is the key loss for the Yankees.  He has the potential to become a huge outfielder down the line.  For a team coming off a World Series win, though, they would prefer the certainty of Granderson to the gamble of Jackson.

Kennedy is having a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, but was shut down most of 2009 with an arm aneurysm.  The Yankees have enough flexibility in their payroll to give up a pitching prospect without hurting them in the least (especially when they have two young, inexpensive, Major League-ready arms in Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain).

Phil Coke pitched 60 innings with a 4.50 ERA and a 49/20 K/BB ratio.  Hardly lights out for a reliever.  This piece was easy for the Yankees to part with.


Detroit Tigers

Tigers acquire Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke, and Austin Jackson.

Max Scherzer is a 25-year-old SP with a full year of starts under his belt.  He performed adequately (9-11 4.12 ERA 174 K in 170.1 innings) in 2009 and looks to improve next season.  The Tigers pick up a good cheap starting pitcher with upside for 2010.  Scherzer is probably worth the price tag of Jackson himself.

Daniel Schlereth is a 23-year-old RP who is largely unproven.  He's pitched a total of 18.1 Major League innings.  Only time will tell if this 2008 first round draft pick will produce consistently at the Major League level.

Phil Coke is an unimpressive piece of this blockbuster puzzle.  He's a left-handed reliever who threw 60 innings last year with a lackluster 4.50 ERA.

Austin Jackson has not yet made it to the show.  Last season, he hit .300/.354/.405 in AAA.  He'll probably need another season in the minors before being called up.  If he lives up to the hype, though, he'll make the Tigers quickly forget about Granderson.

Tigers lose Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson.

Edwin Jackson is a 26-year-old SP who finally put it all together in 2009.  Jackson was heralded as a top pitching prospect when he came up as a 20-year-old with the Dodgers in 2003, but he never pitched a full season until 2007 with Tampa Bay

The past two years, he has had decent seasons pitching for the Rays and Tigers.  The Tigers are losing a starting pitcher who has had two solid seasons in a row.

Curtis Granderson is the lynchpin of this deal.  He is a big piece for the Tigers to lose.  He's manned centerfield for the past four years and established himself as an All-Star in 2009.  Granderson also is a great presence in the clubhouse.


Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks receive Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

Edwin Jackson is a great pickup for the D-Backs.  Questions remain if last year was the exception for his career, but he should put up big numbers in Phoenix.  If he stays on his current path, he will be a fine pitcher for Arizona.

Ian Kennedy has the potential to be great for the Diamondbacks.  If he comes back healthy, he may be a better pitcher going forward than Max Scherzer.  Then again, he may end up with too many injuries to hold a spot on a Major League roster for any length of time.

Diamondbacks lose Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth.

Max Scherzer was the biggest piece to lose from the D-Back point of view.  He ended the year okay for the Diamondbacks, and I believe that he will be a breakthrough star in 2010.  If Kennedy stays healthy, then this move might been seen as genius.

Daniel Schlereth was a 2008 first round pick, so Arizona prized him highly at some point.  He hasn't done anything of note yet in his professional career, so losing him to gain the likes of Jackson and Kennedy isn't a bad move on the D-Backs' part.



Overall, I like this move best from the Tigers' point of view.  They gain a Major League-ready pitcher in Max Scherzer, some potential bullpen help in Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke, and a potential All-Star in Austin Jackson.