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Breaking Down the Trade

Alright, the deal is done and unfortunately, the Tigers no longer have Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson.  Jackson hadn’t been around long enough for me to grow attached but Granderson was part of that big 2006 run and he’s home grown.  In addition, he’s also become the face of the team and now he’s playing for the Yankees (which is great for him because the Yankees are probably favorites to win again heading into 2010).

Now the Tigers have four players and I got this great quote from one of my sources at the meeting:s

“As you say, the deal (if done as reported) doesn’t look like a bad deal for the Tigers, especially once other clubs thought they could get a fabulous deal from Detroit because the Tigers were apparently in payroll-cutting mode. Dombrowski, however, is smarter than the GMs of clubs like Pittsburgh and KC, who get fleeced when it becomes known that they need to move a player or players due to salary or cost cutting.”

I couldn’t have said it any better because what has turned into what I thought would be a bad situation now doesn’t look all that bad.  We have a top draft pick and a ready made fill in to pick up where Curtis Granderson left off. Let’s see who our new Tigers are:

Max Scherzer – The crown jewel of the deal, Scherzer was the Diamondbacks first round draft pick back 2006 and he’s best known as being the last guy to hold out all the way to the next year’s draft simply because the rules have changed and now you can no longer do it (there’s an August deadline or you go back into the draft).  He has 215 strikeouts in 164 1/3 career minor league innings and in 2009 (his first real full season in the majors), Scherzer struck out 174 in 170 1/3 innings.  It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the American League but the guy has a power arm which Dombrowski always like.  This gives the Tigers a solid top three to the rotation and if Scherzer finds his groove and Verlander takes a step back, we could be looking at our most productive pitcher in 2010.

Austin Jackson – One of the Yankees top prospects, Jackson should slip in and become the Tigers starting centerfielder although he’s never played at the big league level yet.  He doesn’t hit for a ton of power (yet) but he draws some walks.  He looks a lot like a light version of Curtis Granderson where if he works hard, he could to a 15 home run/20 stolen base level but like any prospect (Cameron Maybin for example), there are some risks that he doesn’t pan out.  He’s no where near the known commodity that Curtis Granderson was but he’ll probably be the starter coming out of spring training.

Phil Coke – Coke pitched well enough to earn a spot on the Yankees post season roster in 2009 and he was mostly used as a one or two out guy through out the year by New York (72 games, 60 innings pitched).  In 38 of 72 games, pitched less then a full inning but he can also work deep with his longest outing being two frames which he did three times.  He was really good against left handed batters (.584 OPS against) and pretty good against righties (.778 OPS against).  The other nice thing about Coke is he has a lot of experience as a starter in the minors (77 starts in 125 career minor league games).  He makes for a nice alternative to Bobby Seay and Fu-Te Ni and it’ll be nice having a third reliable lefty coming out of the pen.

Daniel Schlereth – The Diamondbacks first round draft pick in 2008, Schlereth was fast tracked to the majors after some dominating minor league numbers (1.13 ERA, 60 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings).  He was called up by the Diamondbacks in May and while he didn’t dominate (5.89 ERA), he did strikeout 22 in 18 1/3 innings unfortunately he walked 15.  If this guy gets some control, he could be wicked.

Anyway, the Tigers rebuilt their bullpen, don’t have to worry about Rodney or Lyon signing and they got at least a fill in replacement for Granderson, albeit a rookie one.  I really like Scherzer too.  And of course the Tigers are saving a bunch of money so this might preclude them from dumping more salary.  Of course we’ll see but if you take away the emotions, I think this is a really good deal.

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