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  1. #1
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    The Perfect Trade?

    When it comes to baseball trades, hindsight normally elicits glee and regret in equal portions. A winner and loser emerge. One team fleeces, the other gets fleeced. In a rare three-team deal, the winner and loser are usually joined by a team that accumulates minor league prospects, delaying their gratification or disappointment by several years.

    The Perfect Trade -- one that benefits everyone involved -- is a rare occurrence. Yet the description might just fit a three-team swap completed in December, 2009.

    The Detroit Tigers sent center fielder Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees and starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Yankees sent center fielder Austin Jackson and reliever Phil Coke to the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees sent starter Ian Kennedy to the Diamondbacks. And the Diamondbacks sent starter Max Scherzer to the Tigers and reliever Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers.

    No huge names. Several unproven players. Lots of moving parts. The term "blockbuster" was uttered when the news broke, but nobody predicted the deal would work out so well for everyone. Certainly no one predicted that principles from the deal would be central to the postseason fortunes of all three teams two years later.

    Start with the National League West champion Diamondbacks, the surprise team in baseball. They netted two young high-end starting pitchers with bargain-basement salaries:

    Kennedy is 21-4, a Cy Young candidate who led the NL in wins. Before the deal he was overhyped and injured, a Yankees disappointment of a first-round draft pick who was 0-4 with a 8.17 ERA in 2008 and out all of 2009 because of a blood clot in his throwing arm.

    Edwin Jackson was dealt to the White Sox the following July for starter Daniel Hudson, who has emerged as the Diamondbacks' No. 2 starter. Kennedy and Hudson have yet to hit arbitration and will be underpaid for several more years.

    Next, the Tigers, who won their first division title in 24 years by running away with the AL Central. They got younger and cut payroll at a time attendance dipped. And the players they acquired grew up fast:

    Austin Jackson is a second-year center fielder and leadoff hitter with tremendous range, base-stealing speed and a decent bat. Scherzer is 14-9 and provides rotation stability behind ace Justin Verlander. Before the deal Jackson had yet to make his big league debut and Scherzer was a young strikeout artist who gave up too many home runs and was viewed as an injury risk. Both players have yet to reach arbitration and are tremendous values. Coke and Schlereth fill bullpen roles.

    Finally, the Yankees, who won the AL East and are seeking World Series championship No. 28. They acquired an ideal fit for the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium and the media glare of the Big Apple:

    Granderson is a most valuable player candidate who hit 41 home runs and led the AL with 119 RBIs and 135 runs scored. Before the deal he was a community pillar in Detroit but a leadoff hitter with an escalating long-term contract, a low on-base percentage and seemingly slowing wheels. He's a bargain at $8.25 million this year Ė especially for the free-spending Yankees.

    "It's highly unusual for everybody to benefit like that," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "It was a deal that took a lot of work to get done, and it's a deal that everybody seems happy with. You just don't see that."

    Players all over baseball marvel at the serendipity. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon happens to know just about every player from the trade because he played for the Yankees and Tigers in the last three years. He can't help but marvel at his up-close-and-personal look at this diamond rarity.

    "I was thinking about that trade just the other day when I saw Granderson," Damon said. "It helped all three sides. Amazing how that happened. You donít hear much about trades that succeed. Thatís why most GMs are afraid to make a blunder. You gotta be fearless and honest."

    Shortly after the 2009 season Yankees GM Brian Cashman contacted Dombrowski about Granderson's availability. How shortly? Dombrowski received the call a few hours before Game 1 of the World Series, which the Yankees were playing in.

    Cashman knew Damon would leave as a free agent and that center fielder Melky Cabrera wasn't long for the roster, either. He dangled Kennedy but the Tigers weren't high on him after an aneurism in his right arm cost him the 2009 season. The Diamondbacks were brought into the deal because their scouts had seen Kennedy pitch well in the Arizona Fall League and were convinced he'd recovered.

    Maybe Kennedy just needed out of New York.

    "Ian was compared to Greg Maddux," Damon said. "Some people canít handle that pressure Ė especially at 23. And he had the David Cone blood clot thing."

    The Yankees believed Kennedy was expendable partly because they believed they'd have a great shot at signing Cliff Lee as a free agent in another year. It didnít work out that way and perhaps Cashman in a frank moment would rue dealing Kennedy. But Granderson's career year has eased the sting.

    "Granderson has learned to hit left-handed pitchers," Damon said. "Heís learned to see everything out front of the plate instead of [getting jammed]. And that stadium is great for a pull hitter."

    Damon admires the player who replaced Granderson in Detroit as much as he does the original article.

    "Austin Jackson is one of the best go get 'em center fielders Iíve ever seen," he said. "His defense is spectacular."

    Spectacular is an apt description of the trade's overall impact. All of the players Ė Kennedy and Hudson in Arizona, Jackson, Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth in Detroit, Granderson in New York Ė will continue their seasons into October.

    Oh, and so will Edwin Jackson, the starter who went from the Tigers to the Diamondbacks, only to be traded for Hudson in 2010. He was subsequently dealt to the White Sox, and then to the Blue Jays, then to the Cardinals in July. He's 5-2 in 12 starts, providing a battered St. Louis rotation with enough stability to take the NL wild-card berth on the last day of the season.

    Just another positive outcome from The Perfect Trade.
    http://www.thepostgame.com/features/...-all-got-steal

    What are your thoughts, my view is it was a good trade, but wasn't perfect. I know we debate this trade all the time over in the Yankee thread, but looking at the trade it really has impacted the postseason landscape.

  2. #2
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    The Tigers certainly lost the trade

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    The Tigers certainly lost the trade
    - We got our number 3 starter, one of our best bullpen arms in Schlereth, Coke is Coke, and Austin Jackson will probably win the gold glove this year (and his numbers were good after starting off so bad). Think that all you want - but were in the postseason and wouldn't be there without all these guys.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    The Tigers certainly lost the trade
    Agreed. Easily

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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    The Tigers certainly lost the trade
    it's funny for most of last year yankee fans were complaining about this trade.. But now... Well We have all witnessed Granderso's best year ever. that .272 vs lefties will fall back to .240ish next yeat and the HR/FB ratio will drop back down into the 13 range. He's a good player but in the long run I think Kennedy and Hudson are the best things to come of this so I'd say the Diamonbacks win the most of a trade everyone wins in. What I'm trying to say is yankee fans will go back to complaining about granderson next year.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  6. #6
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    I told some Yankees fans awhile back I thought this was one of the rare occasions where the trade worked out well for everyone involved.

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    I'm not even going to argue on this anymore - but you have NO idea how important Austin Jackson's defense is on a team that lacks in that area. Think what you want.

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    Cool. There are lots of players that play great CF

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    Austin Jackson's defense is more important to the Tigers than 180 points in SLG% sexicano, you just don't get it!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    Austin Jackson's defense is more important to the Tigers than 180 points in SLG% sexicano, you just don't get it!
    While you're correct, that in a vaccum Jackson for Granderson straight up, the Yankees won, I also think you're not making a correct assessment of the trade.

    The Tigers had to trade Granderson as his contract was escalating and was coming off of a season that saw him post a mediocre 2.9 WAR. Was he worth the $5.5m? Probably. However the Tigers have made that up in Jackson, who was worth 4.1 WAR in 2010 and then 2.9 in 2011. Yes, Grandy was worth a whopping 7 wins this season (and you can even go all the way back to 2007 to find another 7 win season) however for most of the time, Grandy's a 3-4 win player.

    In the trade, the Tigers also added Scherzer, Schlereth, and Coke. Schlereth is nearly worthless (-.1 WAR according to FG, .1 WAR on BP), Coke was worth 2 wins in 2011, Scherzer worth 2.7. There's your 7 wins on Granderson (although, as well, shipping out Jackson, a 3 win pitcher). However, what also comes into play is money. By going with the league minimum salaried players of Jackson, Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth, the Tigers saved nearly $16m this season allowing them to afford.....Victor Martinez who added that 2.9 WAR that was lost with factoring in Edwin Jackson. While still having a surplus of $4m. And that number is probably only going to continue to rise as Granderson is slated for another $1.25m increase and Edwin Jackson is probably going to make around $12m next season, meaning $22m spread between two players while the Tigers will continue to play the 4 players gained near league miniumum salary (with slight increases based on salary arb in Jackson and Scherzer's case if they hit super-2, but I'm not fully familiar with Detroit to say either way) who produce very similarly to the two expensive veterans.

    You're wrong. The Tigers didn't lose anything. In fact, in terms of 2010, Austin Jackson out preformed Granderson alone. By himself. For $5m cheaper. And honestly, I don't think Granderson's 7 wins will continue (probably falling closer to 4 - 4.5 wins). The Tigers probably made out best out of all the teams gaining 4 players, under team control for 6 seasons who were almost as good, if not at times better, than those who they shipped out, and saved a huge sum of money.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 09-30-2011 at 09:39 AM.
    #WhyNot?

    People ask me, "Why here? Why Kentucky?", I said "Why not"? It can be done here. It will be done here. Lay the foundation. Recruit and develop. Prepare to win. Day by day. Play by play. A new era of high performance. Why Kentucky? Why not? -Mark Stoops

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    While you're correct, that in a vaccum Jackson for Granderson straight up, the Yankees won, I also think you're not making a correct assessment of the trade.

    The Tigers had to trade Granderson as his contract was escalating and was coming off of a season that saw him post a mediocre 2.9 WAR. Was he worth the $5.5m? Probably. However the Tigers have made that up in Jackson, who was worth 4.1 WAR in 2010 and then 2.9 in 2011. Yes, Grandy was worth a whopping 7 wins this season (and you can even go all the way back to 2007 to find another 7 win season) however for most of the time, Grandy's a 3-4 win player.

    In the trade, the Tigers also added Scherzer, Schlereth, and Coke. Schlereth is nearly worthless (-.1 WAR according to FG, .1 WAR on BP), Coke was worth 2 wins in 2011, Scherzer worth 2.7. There's your 7 wins on Granderson (although, as well, shipping out Jackson, a 3 win pitcher). However, what also comes into play is money. By going with the league minimum salaried players of Jackson, Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth, the Tigers saved nearly $16m this season allowing them to afford.....Victor Martinez who added that 2.9 WAR that was lost with factoring in Edwin Jackson. While still having a surplus of $4m. And that number is probably only going to continue to rise as Granderson is slated for another $1.25m increase and Edwin Jackson is probably going to make around $12m next season, meaning $22m spread between two players while the Tigers will continue to play the 4 players gained near league miniumum salary (with slight increases based on salary arb in Jackson and Scherzer's case if they hit super-2, but I'm not fully familiar with Detroit to say either way) who produce very similarly to the two expensive veterans.

    You're wrong. The Tigers didn't lose anything. In fact, in terms of 2010, Austin Jackson out preformed Granderson alone. By himself. For $5m cheaper. And honestly, I don't think Granderson's 7 wins will continue (probably falling closer to 4 - 4.5 wins). The Tigers probably made out best out of all the teams gaining 4 players, under team control for 6 seasons who were almost as good, if not at times better, than those who they shipped out, and saved a huge sum of money.
    Alright, first off, it's utterly ridiculous to compare trade value and use fWAR as the only statistic.

    You also absolutely can't compare three players in a trade and say they equaled one player like you did saying a 3 WAR player + 3 WAR player + 1 WAR player = 7 WAR player. That's not how it works, there's no way that if they kept Granderson, they'd have just trotted out replacement level players at the other positions the trade filled, you can't just make that hypothetical comparison. It's a million times easier to find a 3 win CF, and a 2 win pitcher than it is to find a 7 win CF. Trading elite players for role fillers is not an effective way to run a franchise.
    Last edited by VRP723; 09-30-2011 at 12:13 PM.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VRP723 View Post
    Alright, first off, it's utterly ridiculous to compare trade value and use fWAR as the only statistic.

    You also absolutely can't compare three players in a trade and say they equaled one player like you did saying a 3 WAR player + 3 WAR player + 1 WAR player = 7 WAR player. That's not how it works, there's no way that if they kept Granderson, they'd have just trotted out replacement level players at the other positions the trade filled, you can't just make that hypothetical comparison. It's a million times easier to find a 3 win CF, and a 2 win pitcher than it is to find a 7 win CF. Trading elite players for role fillers is not an effective way to run a franchise.
    1) WAR is super awesome for a quick overall value of a player. Perfect? No. Quick and easy way of comparing two players (especially Jackson and Granderson who gain value from completely different places on the field)? Hell yes.

    If you want to be so absolutely picky, than fine. Jackson is an 8.0 UZR/150 while Granderson is a -3.3. While Granderson is absolutely pounding Jackson in SLGing a lot of that is probably due to Yankee Stadium - he's posting a career high FB% and an insanely high 20%(!!) HR to FB ratio. Flat out, this ain't gonna happen again this season. Granderson is the better player but not by this much. Not one bit.

    2) Yes that is how WAR works. In the end, WAR attempts to determine how many wins a single player brings to their team over average replacement player. Perfect? Again, no, but it's a fantastic quick metric and I really didn't feel like spending 4 hours showing how silly of a comment you made. You can add 3 players up and get their cumulative WAR.

    Also, I never mentioned anything about the Yankees and what they won and didn't win, it wasn't the discussion. You said "The Tigers clearly lost", thus, it doesn't matter who Granderson replaced in New York, because it wasn't integral to the discussion. What was integral is who the Tigers traded and what they received.

    Lastly - do you really think Curtis Granderson is a 7 win CF'er? There's almost no chance he repeats as a 7 win CF'er. As I've already pointed out, he's a product of Yankee Stadium and a short left field porch this season. He's hitting the ball into the air at a career high rate and they're flying out....at a career high rate. He's also been a poor defender this season, as well as 3 out of the last 4 seasons (2010 is the only season in 4 year's he's finished as a plus defender). Granderson's wOBA is literally .30 points above his career average. When it's all said and done, Grandy's a 4-4.5 win player. Jackson probably in the 3 - 4 win range. Who would I rather have right now? Jackson based on salary. A 3 win Jackson gives you a $10m surplus (essentially, two wins, as each win is rated out at $5m roughly). Granderson's at best, going forward, probably a 4.5 win player.

    To sit there and say the Tigers, in any way, after coming out with Jackson, Scherzer, Coke, Schlareth and the money to sign Victor Martinez easily "lost that trade" is inane. They only lose that trade if you're high on drugs and think somehow Curtis Granderson keeps up an improbable season.
    Last edited by 1908_Cubs; 10-02-2011 at 11:05 AM.
    #WhyNot?

    People ask me, "Why here? Why Kentucky?", I said "Why not"? It can be done here. It will be done here. Lay the foundation. Recruit and develop. Prepare to win. Day by day. Play by play. A new era of high performance. Why Kentucky? Why not? -Mark Stoops

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    1)
    2) Yes that is how WAR works. In the end, WAR attempts to determine how many wins a single player brings to their team over average replacement player. Perfect? Again, no, but it's a fantastic quick metric and I really didn't feel like spending 4 hours showing how silly of a comment you made. You can add 3 players up and get their cumulative WAR.
    You are correct that you can add WAR up. The point is that you're comparing multiple players to one. If Detroit had keep Granderson, they would have used other players in the places of Schlereth, Scherzer, and Coke. So really, it's comparing the value of Granderson + 3 unknown players to the value of Jackson, Coke, Scherzer, & Schlereth. Which of those is better for Detroit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    While you're correct, that in a vaccum Jackson for Granderson straight up, the Yankees won, I also think you're not making a correct assessment of the trade.

    The Tigers had to trade Granderson as his contract was escalating and was coming off of a season that saw him post a mediocre 2.9 WAR. Was he worth the $5.5m? Probably. However the Tigers have made that up in Jackson, who was worth 4.1 WAR in 2010 and then 2.9 in 2011. Yes, Grandy was worth a whopping 7 wins this season (and you can even go all the way back to 2007 to find another 7 win season) however for most of the time, Grandy's a 3-4 win player.

    In the trade, the Tigers also added Scherzer, Schlereth, and Coke. Schlereth is nearly worthless (-.1 WAR according to FG, .1 WAR on BP), Coke was worth 2 wins in 2011, Scherzer worth 2.7. There's your 7 wins on Granderson (although, as well, shipping out Jackson, a 3 win pitcher). However, what also comes into play is money. By going with the league minimum salaried players of Jackson, Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth, the Tigers saved nearly $16m this season allowing them to afford.....Victor Martinez who added that 2.9 WAR that was lost with factoring in Edwin Jackson. While still having a surplus of $4m. And that number is probably only going to continue to rise as Granderson is slated for another $1.25m increase and Edwin Jackson is probably going to make around $12m next season, meaning $22m spread between two players while the Tigers will continue to play the 4 players gained near league miniumum salary (with slight increases based on salary arb in Jackson and Scherzer's case if they hit super-2, but I'm not fully familiar with Detroit to say either way) who produce very similarly to the two expensive veterans.

    You're wrong. The Tigers didn't lose anything. In fact, in terms of 2010, Austin Jackson out preformed Granderson alone. By himself. For $5m cheaper. And honestly, I don't think Granderson's 7 wins will continue (probably falling closer to 4 - 4.5 wins). The Tigers probably made out best out of all the teams gaining 4 players, under team control for 6 seasons who were almost as good, if not at times better, than those who they shipped out, and saved a huge sum of money.
    The Tigers didn't have to trade him, it was because they had many way overpaid contracts and Granderson's was the easiest to trade and move.

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    I guess we'll see tomorrow who the trade worked out better for - nuff said.

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