Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tigers Cut Talent, Money But Only For Now?

The Tigers have started their "Everything Must Go!" sale today with dealing Edwin Jackson and fan favorite Curtis Granderson for prospects from the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. This trade is designed for the team to get a cheaper payroll and get some young position players in there for valuable playing time.

Curtis Granderson is everybody's Tiger (despite my Cubbie bear loyalties, I root for and watch a lot of Tigers games. I root for them over 28 other teams in the MLB, my Tiger is Brandon Inge.) and Edwin Jackson is a young up and coming pitcher. Both player's salaries are more than their new counterparts. Daniel Schlereth (father is Mark) is a good pitching prospect in the D-Backs system. They get Jackson, in their hopes they get the player who was lights out before the All-Star break. A move to the National League always helps. The D-Backs also cut ties with Max Scherzer, a relief pitcher (got to believe he is Brandon Lyon's replacement) who has potential. The player with the most hype is the Yankee's former top prospect Austin Jackson. He is a Center Fielder who can hit .300 in the bigs. He strikes out a lot and doesn't field too well yet. Phil Coke is a solid lefty out of the pen. Can't have enough of those. And most important to the man pictured (a WMU grad by the way) above is the Tigers shed about 11 million dollars in payroll.

At first, you see this deal and are outraged. A proven vet that everyone loves and a young pitcher who could be a solid second option for the Tigers. But, besides the obvious monetary reason this trade was made, this deal makes sense. Austin Jackson has more upside than Granderson and may hit for a higher average. Schlereth could be a solid young pitcher given time. Edwin Jackson could just have had a good half of the year, teams got film on him and then he started his decline. He didn't get run support but who did on the Tiger's staff? Edwin is a bit of a wild card, and they might have traded him at the peak of his value. The Tigers didn't give up any prospects and filled everything they traded away. The two relievers they received should be solid additions to a weaker bullpen. The Yankees got a 4th outfielder and upgraded their depth, and the D-Backs got a pitcher to start right away. The winner has to be the Tigers right now, and in a few years they could be big winners.

Don't start with me about fire Dombrowksi or whatever. He did overpay some players (all seemed like a good thing at the time right?) but he has drafted well and should have a chance to clean up his own mess. The only mistake he truly made was signing Dontrelle Willis to a 3 year 29 million dollar extension before he ever pitched for the Tigers (luckily its expiring soon). He has rebuilt the Marlins before and he can do it again here. He has to be more frugal in the future but he is one of the better General Managers in the MLB. Give it time, Tigers fans, it will be worth it in the long run. Next year could be brutal though.

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