Since the end of the season we have been told that the Tigers are in cost cutting mode. Basically because we have too many really old guys getting paid a ton of money still, and some total busts (Dontrelle Willis), and handsomely paid oft-injured (Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Carlos Guillen) players stuck on the roster as untradable. So...we have to sacrifice guys that actually HAVE the ability to be traded, and unfortunately some of our favorite players are out the door.
First, and I thought this was a mistake to begin with, Dombrowski didn't offer Placido Polanco arbitration. Not only did I want PP back for next year, I wanted him offered at least just in case someone else really wanted him and we could get a 1st round pick out of it since he is a Type A player. Dombrowski didn't want to take the chance that PP would actually accept, and he probably would I would guess since he isn't really a stickler I would guess. Doesn't really matter though as he is still a very good player and not THAT expensive for what he does. Instead he was let go for free and Philly decided to make him their new 3rd baseman.
Now we lose a perennial fan favorite, and my favorite Tiger, Curtis Granderson in a pretty big 3-way trade with the New York Yankees, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Plus we traded Edwin Jackson in the same deal. While I said he is my favorite player I do not dislike this trade at all. We got a very good value for these guys in my opinion, and it satisfies the business side. Just sad to see him go. HE was a great representative for the franchise.
BUT, it is a business, and I am a fan that wants to win so I am not real upset about it considering what we got back. I am realistic enough to knwo that Grandy had some major flaws (can't hit a lefty to save his life, not great at getting on base anymore, and strikes out an insane amount of times).
In return for him and Edwin we got back 3 pitchers and a hitter. The main piece of this deal IMO is the SP Max Scherzer from Arizona, even if many will claim it is OF Austin Jackson from the Yankees. Scherzer effectively crosses out Edwin in the deal, and actually has some abilities that may make him better than Edwin is. He is a 9+ K/9 after all and we all love the strike out my friends. HE will be int eh rotation as the #3 this year regardless so we didn't lose a SP in our rotation getting him back which is important. He also doesn't make jack. HE is on a 4 year $4.3 million deal at age 25 that was given in 2007 so he is cheap.
Austin Jackson is the super prospect from the Yankess that gets a lot of the attention, but he really isn't all that impressive. He's an "athlete" that plays baseball. HE has a lot of talent and ability, but he really hasn't shown any above average qualities overall from a hitting standpoint. He was called I heard by some a "poor man's Adam Jones", and I can see the comparison. He has around a .290 minor league BA for the career, with a .300 BA this past season. HE showed very little power, and a tad of speed, but not a ton of speed. While he had only 2 errors this season in over 130 games, I couldn't tell you if he is a great fielder, or not. Either way he will be expected to take over in CF for Grandy this year and by all accounts could be a high end player eventually, but I have my doubts.
In addition to these 2 main cogs the Tigers picked up 2 relief pitchers. Both left handers, which gives them 5 on the roster. One from the Yankees in Phil Coke who had a very good year last season with the Yankees. The other from Arizona in Daniel Sclareth, who is more of a project, but onsidered to have some good potential even if he has had Tommy John surgery already.
Coke is a very good addition tho the BP regardless. HE made 72 appearances for the Yankees last year and pitched 60 innings. While his ERA was at 4.50, this tells very little. HE held opponents to a .219 BAA and his WHIP was only 1.07. HE did however give up 10 HRs last year, but that was in the new Yankee band box so we can hope for a little better I expect. HE is being talked about as a possible #5 STARTER next year as well, but he is on the team regardless. May be a LRP, or a spot starter at the very least. With the ugly back end of the rotation you can probably guarantee we see at least a few starts out of him.
Daniel Sclareth I don't know much about. HE is another lefty, and like I said has had Tommy John already. IT is said that he has closer stuff so we can only hope his massive ERA and WHIP from last year is just a bump in the road.
Overall, they got 3 players that will be on the team almost certainly next year while losing 2. They got a very good SP, that may be better than the one they traded, and they got a good RP/SP, and a top OF prospect. Plus a possible future closer. All of which make very little money, are young, and we have locked up for 3+ years with arbitration. Something like a total of 22 years of control on these 4 guys. Even if they do bust NONE of them are an albatross in the salary department either.
At the end of the day I can't complain about the trade, but I will miss Granderson. He came up through the system, and exceeded expectations by miles. HE was a role model in the community, and played as hard as you can ask a guy. Made some big plays here, and he will be missed. I wish him luck in New York and hope those fans don't destroy him.
As for Edwin, I liked him a lot too, but he wasn't around long enough to grow all that much attatched. I wish him luck as well and hope he figures out what his problem is in the 2nd half of the season every year. It is NOT tipping pitches as I have seen suggested in recent days. It's probably just stamina.