Change-UpDecember 09, 2009
OK in Arizona?
By Patrick Sullivan

Like others I had no idea what Josh Byrnes might have been thinking when I first heard of yesterday's trade. Now, I'll admit it, I am no longer as appalled by the deal from the Diamondbacks' perspective as many of the writers and analysts I have seen. Arizona gave up Max Scherzer, a power pitcher with a longstanding history of arm troubles. As Keith Law noted in his write-up, it's likely that Scherzer will one day soon transition to the bullpen due to ongoing injury issues. He should be a good reliever, but not only could the D-Backs afford to give up a player who projects out as a quality 70-inning guy, but they absolutely should have. They gave up Dan Schlereth as well, a live-armed lefty whose limited performance record in pro baseball hasn't told us much about what he figures to become. We know he has a good arm, we know he struggled some in 2009 with Arizona.

In return, the Diamondbacks get two starters they hope to run out 30 times or so in 2010. Edwin Jackson is not as good as his 2009 performance might suggest, but he now transitions from the AL to the NL. Ask Brad Penny and John Smoltz how that worked out. While Scherzer might be more talented, Jackson should be able to offer more quality innings and quality starts over the next two seasons. In Ian Kennedy, Arizona receives a player who has dominated Minor League ball and struggled in spot Major League action. There's plenty still to like about Kennedy, and his return from a freak 2009 injury should not be much of an issue.

In the end this deal comes down to a relatively new and key performance projection factor, or what's often referred to as a player's "medicals" or "meds". Arizona might think they have a ticking time-bomb in Scherzer, while their diligence on Jackson and Kennedy (both with durability questions of their own) indicates they now have a couple of work-horses. If that's the case, with Brandon Webb back in the fold and Dan Haren taking the hill every 5th game, the Diamondbacks now have a nice little rotation. Whether the haul was maximized or not, at the very least, I don't think folks should be as dismissive of Arizona's decision to try and retrieve value elsewhere for Scherzer.

Oh, and yeah, the Yankees did great to acquire Curtis Granderson.


Granderson's stats seem to indicate he's fading away, how is this a good move for the Yankees? They just gave a good prospect (Austin Jackson) for a fading vet. Granderson gets out too much (.327 OBP in '09) and his OPS+ has been dropping each of the past 3 seasons since he had his peak... from 135 to 123 to an even dollar. Yeah, his HR's were up in '09 & he's probably a 20/20 guy while he's on the Yanks...possibly a 30/30 at some point.

But Austin Jackson could be just as good for a lot less money, AND he's still improving. He'll be just 23 next season....a full 7 years younger than Granderson.

I've seen Jackson play, and I believe he's capable of a gold glove calibre defense.

I don't really call that a good move. I don't care if the Yanks have the cash... it's not a smart play in the long run.

Although it might get them back-to-back championships, it won't help them 4-5 years from now. But still.. I don't think that makes the move a great aquisition. What am I not seeing?

I see this as a great move for Detroit.

This makes a lot more sense. I know Josh Byrnes didn't turn into Dayton Moore overnight, so he must view this as dumping two "relievers" to get two starters.

Granderson is a career .272/.344/.484 hitter while playing home games in a terrible hitter's park. He turns 29 in March and is a terrific defender.

Basically, if Austin Jackson becomes everything he can, he might be the player Curtis Granderson currently is. Why not grab the sure thing if you're the Yanks?

Sully - you mention Comerica Park is a "terrible hitter's park". Why?

Courtesy of ESPN's 2009 MLB park factors, it rated 13th overall for runs which made it a better hitters park than the new Yankees stadium which came in at 20th. He definitely will be moving to a better HR hitters park, but Comerica is far tougher on righties than lefties with it's cavernous left centerfield. RF and the RF power alley aren't very deep and Granderson got a huge benefit with his speed by getting a lot of extra triples in Comerica while the new Yankees stadium ranked dead last in park factor for triples.

I suspect Granderson will get some benefit in HR totals in New York, but his overall performance at the plate is unlikely to be helped much at all. And his biggest problem the last 2 years has been swinging for the fences a little too much and not hitting enough line drives.

Devon Young, why can't it be a win for both teams? If a player helps put you over the top for a World Series, which you're almost conceding this is a big help towards, then what else could you ask for in a trade?

Even if this helps the Tigers for a number of years, if you concede it helps the Yankees for the next two, it seems like you should think it's a good deal for the Yanks, no?

Because if we learned anything over the last few years is that most positional players do not collapse in their late 20s. they might have a bad year but rarely do they just outright bomb and never recover.

Curtis Granderson for his career hit a lot better outside of Comerica, even his notablly devastating split against LHPs is a lot more migitated on the road for some odd reason.

In the end, Austin Jackson is also a prospect with a lot of quesitonmarks attached, he whiffs a ton , and hit for average to below average power at best. that's not exactly the combination you'd like to see in any prospect. He's certainly young enough and have enough tools to get better. but Curtis Granderson even in a down year put up 3.5 ish WAR, the chances of Jackson even putting up that in a career year seems limited at best.

The Yankees aren't exactly gambling on a pitcher with injury history (read, Erik Bedard) and while they're trading away a good prospect he's not exactly the BEST prospect (read, Adam Jones). Betting on an atheltic 28 year old outfielder whom just two years ago put up a MVP worthy season and even in a down year last year was still well above average seems quiet a safe bet indeed.