08 December 2009
The three way trade between the Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Yankees is official
. Here is how it shakes out:
Add RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Ian Kennedy; Lose: RHP Max Scherzer, LHP Daniel Schlereth
Add Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, CF Austin Jackson, LHP Phil Coke; Lose Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson
Add CF Curtis Granderson; Lose Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke
Many of the early reviews
see the Diamondbacks as the biggest loser in this trade. I'm not so down on the trade, but it really comes down to two questions:
1) Is Ian Kennedy capable of being a quality starting pitcher in the majors?
2) Is Max Scherzer too large an injury risk to be a quality starting pitcher in the majors?
As I posted in Monday's recap
, Kennedy has been outstanding in AAA (AAA: 7-4, 2.14 ERA, 131K/35BB in 126 IP) but strugged in the majors. Plus, he missed most of 2009 with an arm injury. But he looked solid in the Arizona Fall League (28K/5BB/1HR in 29.2 IP) and should become the #4 starter in 2010. Between Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, the D'backs have filled their #3 and #4 starting slots for around $5M. The alternative was to spend more than that to bring in an older free agent starter. So the remaining budget can now be used on offense or bullpen help.
Max Scherzer is certainly very promising, but there are still doubts about his long-term role and success. Scherzer has a very good fastball and a deceptive delivery, but still needs to work on his secondary pitches. His unusual delivery, along with the big jump in Innings Pitched last year (110 between AAA/Majors to 175) leads many to view Scherzer as a large injury risk. But Scherzer would still have been under the D'backs' control for 5 more years.
Daniel Schlereth was a first round pick in the 2008 draft, and has an excellent fastball-curve ball combo. Despite the great stuff, he needs to have better control (32 BBs in 46 IP last year) to succeed in the Majors.
Overall, I think Jackson and Scherzer will probably be about equal in value for 2010. So the trade comes down to Ian Kennedy. If he pitches like he showed in the minors, the D'backs can come out ahead in this trade. Apparently the Diamondbacks' front office thinks he can do that.