On December 8, 2009 a three-team trade occurred between the Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees. The trade included these players:
Curtis Granderson going from Detroit to New York
Edwin Jackson going from Detroit to Arizona
Phil Coke going from New York to Detroit
Austin Jackson going from New York to Detroit
Ian Kennedy going from New York to Arizona
Max Scherzer going from Arizona to Detroit
Daniel Schlereth going from Arizona to Detroit
Of these seven players included in the trade only Schlereth is not on a major league roster in 2014. In fact, not only are most of these men in the majors, several have had a lot of success which is why this trade is worth assessing to figure out which team won it.
In this trade the Diamondbacks received two pitchers: Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Jackson only spent one season with Arizona going 6-10 with an ERA over 5.00. Kennedy stuck around until he was traded at the trade deadline in 2013. His best year was 2011 when he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
For that one great season Kennedy had, as well as the mild success he had in the other seasons with the team, Arizona lost out mostly because they gave up Max Scherzer. In his first 4 seasons in Detroit Scherzer has gone 64-30 with 3.62 ERA and is the reigning 2013 Cy Young winner.
At the time the Tigers had lost the best player involved in this trade when they let Curtis Granderson leave the team. Edwin Jackson left too and his one year with them was a successful 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA. They felt comfortable with the move though because what they got in return was an investment toward the future and at a cheaper price than what Granderson would command.
Scherzer’s success already evaluated on how poor of a trade this was for the Diamondbacks, the team also got Austin Jackson to become an everyday outfielder. Jackson has been an above average player, although he has yet to fully find a role. After attempts to make him a leadoff hitter, Jackson seems better suited batted in the sixth or seventh spot. The other two men they got were Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth. Coke has been inconsistent and Schlereth has not pitched for the big league team since 2012. As far as this trade is concerned, they were just bonus.
New York Yankees:
Again, the biggest name in this three-team deal was Curtis Granderson. In four seasons with the Yankees after leaving Detroit, Granderson found his home run swing. In 2011 he hit 41 home runs while leading the league in runs and RBIs. The next year he hit 43 home runs, but other numbers of his dipped significantly. When his time with the Yankees finished, Granderson only had a .245 batting average.
Luckily for the Yankees the players they gave up are not future Hall of Famers. Austin Jackson has been replaced by Brett Gardner, Ian Kennedy has regressed since winning 20-games, and Phil Coke was never a dominant bullpen arm.
The way it turned out, the Tigers won this trade. They got an everyday outfielder and a Cy Young winner, both of whom are still on the team. Granderson’s time in New York will be forgotten soon enough as the team failed to even reach the World Series while he was receiving a paycheck from the Yankees. Certainly the Diamondbacks were the biggest losers in this deal as neither player they got are still with the organization and they lost Scherzer.