It's a Yankee world and we're just living in it. After making one of the only moves on day one of the winter meetings, the Yankees were at in again this time involving the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks in what looks like the signature move of this year's meetings.
As the story goes, the Yankees receive Curtis Granderson, the Tigers will receive Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson, and the Diamondbacks get Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and a whole lot of second guessing from fans and writers like myself.
For the Yankees, it's pretty easy to like this deal. Sure, Granderson has his flaws (average-below average defense past two seasons, platoon like split), but even with those flaws he is a safe bet for a 3.5-4 WAR season for each of the remaining four years on his contract.
The contract itself is pretty nifty. For the 29-year-old Granderson, the Yankees will probably pay in the neighborhood of $38 million (estimating some incentives) for the four years. A quick and easy estimate puts his expected value around $70 million for those years. They could even buyout the final year of the deal making the contract something like three years, $27 million.
Basically, the Yanks get a younger, cheaper, better alternative to Johnny Damon for two arms and a player with the upside to one day be Granderson-lite. Despite his lefty on lefty split, Granderson, and his pull hitting tendency, should enjoy the short porch and wind tunnel in his new home park as well as a few more all-star appearances.
The Tigers are giving up the biggest piece in the deal in Granderson, and downgrade a bit in the interim, but gain four cheap and controllable pieces that should help for seasons to come. Detroit has made no secret about wanting to shed payroll, and clearing the at least $25.75 million guaranteed to Granderson helps towards accomplishing that goal. They also save on Edwin Jackson's impending ERA inflated arbitration raise. They receive Max Scherzer as the big prize in their return. Not only can he fill Jackson's spot in the rotation immediately, but stands a decent upgrade it for much less.
The Tigers could also immediately turn to soon-to-be 23-year-old, Austin Jackson to fill Granderson's spot in the field. There will no doubt be a significant dip in production overall, but Jackson stands to be average in centerfield and brings speed to the lineup. As is the case with most young players, he strikeouts a lot and hasn't mastered the art of walks, but for the league minimum he could provide a nice value in Granderson's absense.
The other two pieces, Schlereth and Coke will help sure up a Tigers pen than stands to lose Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney to free agency. Both pitchers are lefties, and neither regarded as a future relief ace, but both stand to be average at least and more importantly cheap and controllable. Coke's future looks more LOOGY than fellow south paw, Schlereth. Mark's son has at least shown the ability to get righties out in the minor leagues; Once again, cheap, decent and immediate alternatives to more expensive options.
From the Diamondbacks stand point, it's hard to see the good in this trade. Edwin Jackson to this day remains more potential than production even with an all-star appearance to his credit. Ian Kennedy spent most of 2009 on the shelf, but has failed in his chances with the Yankees. Both still have potential and maybe a move to the NL West(or back to the NL West for Jackson) will cure what ails them, but it's hard to make the argument that either one is better than Scherzer is right now and will be going forward.