A huge move was made at yesterday’s winter meetings, as a three-team trade between Arizona, New York, and Detroit resulted in a large number of players changing teams. Here are our grades for each team:
Tigers—this trade epitomizes why Dombrowski is among the 2-3 best GM’s in baseball (many disagree though). Here, Detroit acquires Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer, who are the prospect equivalents of Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, the prospects Detroit traded to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera trade. Look for this trade to moderately harm the franchise in the short-term, but it will prove extremely wise over the long-term. Scherzer provides a great complement to Verlander and Porcello, and if Detroit is lucky, Jackson will post numbers similar to Granderson’s within the next 2-3 seasons. The move also increases bullpen depth.
Yankees —this would be an awful trade for any team lacking the Yankees’ budget. New York gives up Austin Jackson, an elite prospect with the potential to post numbers similar to Granderson’s, and Ian Kennedy, who could be solid if given the chance to pitch full-time. Nevertheless, we think New York made the right move considering they are one of the few teams where salary doesn’t matter. While Jackson could be great, having Granderson locked up at CF is a safer bet. Moreover, since the Yankees had no rotation spot for Ian Kennedy, trading him was the right decision regardless of whether he succeeds in Arizona.
Diamondbacks—neither Flint or myself liked this move. The logic is clear: Arizona can solidify their pitching depth by picking up two starters for one starter with greater potential. The logic makes sense, but when looking at the players involved, it seems like a mistake. First, while Jackson has pitched two great seasons, there are still concerns regarding whether the success will continue. Moreover, while Ian Kennedy could develop into a solid mid-rotation starter, it’s difficult to predict whether he will succeed. In my opinion, picking up a starter was the right decision, but Arizona went about it the wrong way. The team’s talent is overly-concentrated in their outfield with five players—Justin Upton, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, Gerald Parra, and Eric Byrnes—capable of starting for most major league teams. With the exception of Upton (untradable) and Byrnes (who would be difficult to trade), I would have shopped those outfielders for a starting pitcher. But, then again, it’s easy to criticize .
Grade: D (but maybe they’ll prove us wrong).