Fantasy Analysis: Granderson-Scherzer-Jackson Blockbuster

By now we’ve all heard the news of the major three-team trade that was completed yesterday, drastically changing the landscape of all teams involved.  In case you haven’t heard, let’s take a look at the deal:

The Yankees Get: Curtis Granderson
The Tigers Get: Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke & Austin Jackson
The Diamondbacks Get: Edwin Jackson & Ian Kennedy

First, the big loser in this trade is clearly the Diamondbacks, not because they got terrible players back but because they didn’t get enough value to justify moving a talent as good as Scherzer.  I know there is concern regarding his ability to throw 200+ innings in a season, but when you have stuff like his how can you give up on him so easily?

He has a career major league K/9 of 9.54 (not to mention a minor league mark of 11.8).  He posted a WHIP last season of 1.34 due to a BABIP of .323, tied for 11th among pitchers with at least 170 innings in 2009.  Needless to say, he has the potential to significantly improve there.

Throw all that in with the fact that he’s 25-years old and is under team control for some time, you have to wonder what the team was thinking.  He has potential ace written all over him.  He was ranked #34 on my initial list of Top 35 Starting Pitchers for yearly league owners in 2010 (click here to view), which Edwin Jackson failed to make.

Why, you ask?  How could a pitcher who went 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, at 26-years old, fail to be considered one of the top 35 pitchers in the league?  The fact of the matter is, he has regression written all over him.

He pitched to a below average BABIP of .281, something that he’s unlikely to repeat.  He also had a career best BB/9 of 2.94, something I have reservations of him duplicating in 2010.  He has been improving for each of the past four years, so there is hope:

  • 2006 – 6.19
  • 2007 – 4.92
  • 2008 – 3.78
  • 2009 – 2.94

Still, considering his career mark of 4.02, it’s hard to imagine him not regressing, at least to around his 2008 mark.  Couple that with a weaker BABIP and you realize that the WHIP can only go up.

Granted, the move to the NL is likely to help him maintain his 2009 success, but it’s still hard to imagine him duplicating it.

In Kennedy, the Diamondbacks get a potential number four or five starting pitcher with some potential for a bit more.  Injuries cost him the majority of the 2009 campaign, while inability hurt him in 2008 (an 8.17 ERA over 39.2 innings).  We all know he’s not that bad, but with 133.1 innings total of the past two seasons, you have to wonder how much he’s going to be able to give the team in 2010.

If Scherzer was the only piece the Diamondbacks gave up, that may be one thing, but including Schlerth certainly tips things out of their favor.  He has control issues, for sure, but an electric fastball that, if harnessed, could turn him into a potential closer.  Considering the status of the Tigers bullpen, who knows how quickly that could happen.  He’s instantly a player to watch in all formats.

From the Tigers perspective, they did alright.  The combination of Justin Verlander and Scherzer could be dynamic for a long, long time (not even mentioning Rick Porcello).  They picked up a potential closer of the future along with a middle reliever in Coke.  The other piece, Austin Jackson, is your typical over-hyped Yankees prospect.

That’s not to say that he won’t be good, but I’ve never been overly impressed with him.  I profiled him back in November of 2008 (click here to view), where I concluded that he had a long ways to go to be a useful major league hitter.  His 2009 performance (.300, 4 HR, 24 SB) did little to change my opinion.

While he has power potential he has yet to show it and is moving to a ballpark that is not as conducive to the longball.  The 2009 average came courtesy of a .390 BABIP, so don’t look for that to continue.  All he has going for him is the speed, and it’s not like he had an overly impressive number last season.  Even if the Tigers give him a chance, he’s not going to be an impact fantasy player in 2010 outside of maybe five outfielder formats (but that’s even a stretch).

Granderson, meanwhile, has his detractors but moves into a tremendous situation.  While he hit only .227 in the new Yankee Stadium in 2009, he did hit two home runs in 22 at bats, showing where he could bring a lot of hope.

Last season he hit a career high 30 home runs and while it came courtesy of a realistic 12.6% HR/FB, he saw his FB% rise from 40.7% in 2008 to 49.3% in 2009.  That increase is not likely to continue, and also may help explain his under whelming average (.249).  As I’ve said before, the more flyballs, the less likely to fall in.

In Yankee Stadium he should be able to hit a similar number of home runs with less flyballs, likely leading to a significantly better average.  He also may get an opportunity to run a bit more in the Yankees lineup, adding more to his value.

Where he will hit is one of the biggest questions (on top of his ability to hit southpaws).  If Johnny Damon returns, he’s likely to hit sixth or seventh, hurting his potential for runs scored, though he’ll have more of an opportunity to drive in runs.  That question will be answered soon enough, but for now, what we need to know is he brings the potential to have his first 30/30 season with a much better average.  What’s not to like?

In general, I’d say the biggest winner in this deal is Curtis Granderson, with Daniel Schlereth and Max Scherzer both in a good situation as well.  As for the losers?  It’s easily the Diamondbacks who gave up way too much considering the talent they let go.

What are your thoughts?  Who do you think the winners of the deal are?  Who are the losers?

Previous Fantasy Impacts of Recent Transactions:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

10 comments

  1. E K says:

    This deal only makes sense for the Yankees in my opinion. No question the D-Backs were ripped off. No clue what they were thinking. But let’s break down what the Tigers got:

    Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke & Austin Jackson

    And they gave up:

    Edwin Jackson and Granderson

    I break it down as Jackson for Scherzer and Schlereth which is a clear win for Detroit. If they had just stopped there it would have been a great trade for them. But they then went and dealt Granderson for Jackson and Coke? Even if you say it was Granderson for Jackson and Schlereth it is a clear loss for Detroit. Austin Jackson is an overhyped prospect who has mediocrity written all over him. And I don’t think Granderson’s contract was that ridiculous. I just feel that Detroit could have done A LOT better for Granderson.

    Yankees are the clear winner in this trade.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I love this trade for the Tigers. Of course the Yankees did well by getting Granderson, but the guys Detroit got are under their control for at least five years. Austin Jackson may not be ready to contribute, but I think he can hold his own. And add Scherzer to Porcello and Verlander, and Detroit has loads of hard-throwers in that rotation. Plus, they got two raw lefty relievers who could be a nice tandem in the bullpen.

  3. Matt says:

    EK: I think you can say its Scherzer for E. Jackson straightup and Det. wins… and then Jackson, Coke, and Schlereth for Granderson… and that is close… no doublt Jackson is the wild card… and your right as a Mets fan I think he’s not better than Fernando Martinez prosepct wise (other than perhaps in terms of durability)

  4. Miles says:

    Damon ($13,000,000) and Matsui ($13,000,000)= $26,000,000 salary reduction

    Granderson Contract($5.5 million for ‘2010)

    Miles’ Math: $26 million – 5.5 million = Roy Halliday

  5. Miles says:

    My mistake on Matsui, he got $5.5 million last year, faulty math. Actually $13 mill saved, but still think trade makes Halladay more likely to end up with Yankees.

  6. Keith says:

    Miles,

    Yeah Granderson’s contract next year is nothing but see the next 4 years. He’ll be way over payed. Look he can hit power and he has range but he’s not a 5 tool player. His average was a paltry .249 last year and his something like .190 against lefties. He is either going to be on the bench or hitting 9th half the season. Have fun paying 8.25 million in 2011, 10 million in 2012, and 13 million in 2013.

  7. Miles says:

    Keith,

    Personally I hope your right about Granderson (he’ll be overrated in drafts and I also don’t have him in any of my keeper leagues.) I also agree that Granderson is not 5 tool player, but he was close to a 5 tool guy in ’07 and ’08 plus he’s 29 years old. Young enough for a rebound from last year.

    As for his salary, I believe there is a 2 million buyout of Granderson’s contract in 2013 if Yankees wish to do so. By that time he’ll be three years younger than Damon is now (36), who got 13 million last year.

    His career .210 BA against lefties is a drawback, but half his ABs will now be in Yankee Stadium with argubly the best line-up in baseball. I still think the Yankees made a solid move here.

  8. TY says:

    keith- granderson will not be benched and will NOT hit 9th. I hate the yankees but you’re crazy. His splits have been the way they’ve been for years vs. lefties. He’ll put up a 30-20 season easy in that stadium and he’s a career .270 hitter. Not great, but not .250. His BABIP was very unlucky. He should hit for a higher average this year. Do you really care if he bats .250 on the year if he goes 30-20? or possibly 35-20?

    Ididn’t think so. Will he be overvalued? OF COURSE. He’s a yankee! I hate the yankees. My thoughts are he should be about an early 4th rounder in a 12 team league. Any earlier and you’re probbaly reaching.

  9. Rotoprofessor says:

    I have to agree that Granderson is going to be a full time player, as well as not hitting 9th. If Johnny Damon does come back, I could see him hitting 6th or 7th, but that would be at worst. While that would hurt his runs a bit, it should help his RBI tremendously.

    As far as being overrated on draft day, I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that. The fact that he’s a Yankee is surely going to bump him up in the eyes of many.

  10. RsubG says:

    And we thought the DBacks got ripped off! LOL they got a super stud pitcher Ian Kennedy. Tigers got Scherzer and Jackson. Yankees got Granderson.

    All in all, I think if any team lost it was the Tiger’s but I’m sure they are happy with Scherzer and Jackson.

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