In what would seem to be a step in a backwards progression, a three-way deal has been rumored between the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks. If the deal comes to fruition, the Tigers would get Austin Jackson from the Yankees and Matt Scherzer from the Diamondbacks The Diamondbacks would get Ian Kennedy from the Yankees along with Phil Coke and Michael Dunn. They would also get Edwin Jackson from the Tigers. The Yankees would get Curtis Granderson and prospects. While Granderson's stock has come down some from a pretty sub-standard 2009, Austin Jackson seems too high a loss for the deal. It would also break away from the Yankees' plan to build more from within. Jackson is by far their most prized prospect.
The Yankees refused to deal Jackson last year when they were looking for pitching help. Why change the mindset now to basically trade him even up for Granderson? Granderson is a fine young man and has had some really good seasons. But Jackson is a five-tool prospect and could be a star for years to come. Plus, for a good chunk of years to come, Jackson would be cheaper than Granderson.
And if you are the Tigers, why would you trade Edwin Jackson for Matt Scherzer? Granted, Jackson is expensive and the team could be cutting costs. But Edwin Jackson is a proven pitcher with an excellent arm. Scherzer had a good debut season with the Diamondbacks but is not a power pitcher and relies on control to stay in the game.
Austin Jackson hit over .300 last year in the minors and appears ready for a big league assignment. Again, the guy has five tools and could be great. Granderson shows occasional flashes of brilliance in between a bunch of so-so-ness. He can't hit left-handers.
The deal would make sense if Austin Jackson were not part of it. The Yankees feel they need a center fielder. Though this Fan believes that either Jackson, Gardner or Melky could get the job done. It would seem that any option of one of those three would be cheaper over the long run than Granderson and could potentially be more useful than the Tigers' center fielder for the past few seasons. Granderson would be a nice fit in a Yankee uniform, but that's not the point.
The point is that the Yankees said they wanted to develop their own talent and that their gutting of prospects for veterans was over. But not so fast. It's Deja Vu all over again. If Austin Jackson projects to be a star, why not put him out there in centerfold and see if he can make it as a major leaguer?
Post Script: The Fan was really wrong about Scherzer. Looked up his stats and he struck out more than nine batters per nine innings. That's a whole different kettle of fish and now the Fan knows that the Tigers got a steal and the Diamondbacks are nuts.