INDIANAPOLIS -- One AL exec at this week's winter meetings called the
The Diamondbacks were the initiator and driving force, yet a few executives did question them in particular, wondering about the wisdom of Arizona to add dollars without what the execs believed was a substantial upgrade or a vastly improved chance at a playoff spot. However, Arizona's reasoning looks sound from here: In an unpredictable division where the annually favored Dodgers are in severe budget lockdown, any improvement at all could make the young, underachieving D-backs a playoff threat.
Here's how each team benefits:
This is the easy one. The Yankees get a significant upgrade in center field, the position of traditional prestige for the sport's most storied franchise.
Granderson is also far better than Cabrera, who never seemed to fit in the decades-long lineage. Cabrera rose to acceptable productivity last year and now could be used as trade bait, to the Cubs or another team that covets a center fielder, assuming the Yankees re-sign free agent
The acquisition of Granderson gives the Yankees a chance to actually improve a lineup that was baseball's best last year, if Damon returns to man the No. 2 spot, as he did so perfectly last year. With Granderson lengthening it below, this could be an alltime great lineup. But for now, this trade also slightly lessens any pressure the Yankees may feel to secure Damon.
While Granderson's high strikeout total and inconsistency in hitting left-handers doesn't make the perfect top-of-the-lineup replacement for Damon for the Yankees, he does have prodigious overall offensive ability that replicates Damon and covers them a bit if Damon goes elsewhere. The Damon talks are starting slower than the Yankees had hoped, as Damon is seeking four years while the Yankees are acting like two years will be their limit. They could live with Cabrera sliding over to left field. But that can't be the ultimate goal here. With Damon in the fold as the left fielder, their offense would be downright scary.
Granderson is a major plus in the clubhouse, as he is known as one of the classiest, most personable young stars in the game. But even though he is seen as a great pickup, there are still two small questions about him. The first regards slightly uneven outfield play in the second half last year, when some suggested a slight loss in range and others detected evidence of some "yips'' in securing the baseball. The other comes from a WBC teammate who said that Granderson disappointed him by not showing the type of crazed competitiveness that drove the less-talented
But these appear to be minor complaints regarding a trade in which the Yankees gave up three expendable players (there was a difference of opinion over how big a star
The team that has financial needs after running its payroll to about $140 million in a troubled city received decent young talent back while saving itself about $32 million (Granderson plus the $6 million that
If Scherzer rises to Edwin Jackson's level and Austin Jackson to Granderson's, the Tigers found a nifty way to save money while improving. More realistically, they took a small step backward to save needed cash.
Though they were the team that conceived this deal, they took the most lobby hits here. But the reality is that they weren't sure that Scherzer had a varied enough repertoire to rise to stardom as a starter. Edwin Jackson is a sure thing who has put together strong back-to-back seasons and gives them an excellent No. 3 starter behind
• There is a question now whether the loss of Austin Jackson may decrease the Yankees' chances to land superstar pitcher
• It is becoming more and more clear just how much the Blue Jays cost themselves in trade ammunition by holding on to Halladay last summer. One person familiar with the Red Sox's thinking said that he believes they surely will not surrender
• The Mets seem to be more seriously considering a run at top free-agent pitcher
• Lackey is most aided in his pursuit of top dollars by the $82.5 million, five-year deal that
• The Cardinals have succeeded with their pitching picks as much as anyone in recent years (Pineiro,
• One thing that is stunning about the Penny deal is that he can receive the same annual salary as versatile young star
• Some execs see the Red Sox as the favorite to retain
• The Braves shouldn't have too much trouble finding a trade partner for talented reliever
• The Nationals are doing some interesting things here and could be in the market for a closer. New Nationals GM
• The Rangers are hamstrung in terms of finances. One competing GM said that he was surprised they even attended the winter meetings, as the mere travel expense to get to Indianapolis is high for them right now. The two main prospective new owners -- the team's either going to well-known former Beverly Hills-based agent
• There isn't any evidence that the Twins have begun negotiations for