D-backs, Yanks, Tigers talk blockbuster
Three-way deal may involve Jackson, Granderson, Scherzer
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Yankees, Tigers and D-backs discussed late Monday what would be a blockbuster three-team deal involving outfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander's Max Scherzer and Edwin Jackson, according to a FOXsports.com report.
While it appeared the negotiations reached an impasse, there were indications that the talks were ongoing and could resume Tuesday.
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski declined to comment on the report specifically and instead said, "There's all sorts of rumors, but don't believe everything you read."
The Tigers baseball operations staff met far later into the night than is their usual during the Winter Meetings.
If the deal were to go through, according to the report, the Yankees would get Granderson from the Tigers and a pair of prospects from the D-backs.
The Tigers, meanwhile, would receive Scherzer from the D-backs along with outfielder Austin Jackson and left-handed pitchers Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yankees.
The D-backs would get Jackson from the Tigers and right-hander Ian Kennedy from the Yankees.
The Yankees have been linked to Granderson for some time now and he would give them an everyday center fielder. The Yankees won the World Series with a mix-and-match sequence of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner chasing down balls in center, so defense is not the primary concern as the club attempts to defend its title.
But with left fielder Johnny Damon and designated hitter Hideki Matsui both free agents, New York will somehow look to replace the lost offense if both stars leave, which might make an option like acquiring Granderson more attractive.
The Tigers would get a former first-round Draft pick in Scherzer, who will cost less money than Jackson and would be under club control for another five seasons as opposed to Jackson, who will become a free agent following 2011.
In addition, the Tigers are known to covet the 22-year-old Austin Jackson, who they watched hit .300 with 24 stolen bases while primarily playing center for the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre club in 2009. Detroit would also bolster its pitching depth with the pair of young left-handers.
The D-backs are looking to fill the No. 4 spot in the rotation, and despite losing Scherzer would do so by getting both Edwin Jackson and Kennedy in return. The pair would slot in behind Brandon Webb and Dan Haren in the rotation.
The deal would not increase the D-backs' payroll much and the club could use more of the $10 million it has left to spend this offseason improving an offense that has struggled the past several seasons rather than having to spend it on signing a free-agent pitcher.
Kennedy missed much of last season after having surgery to take care of an aneurysm under his right armpit May 12. He pitched in four Minor League games for Scranton last year and made one appearance for the Yankees and tossed a scoreless inning.
The D-backs are reportedly pushing for the deal and it's not known which of the other two teams is balking. While not giving any indication that anything was close on the trade front, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did provide a window into the organization's thinking when he revealed aspects of a rumored but dead trade from last July.
In that potential deal, the Yankees had been seeking starting-pitching help and were interested in then-Mariners lefty Jarrod Washburn. But talks crumbled when Seattle insisted upon receiving Jackson, who is regarded as a five-tool prospect.
The Tigers came into the Winter Meetings saying they will not make a deal simply to clear payroll, and they continue to suggest that. They continue to look for young talent that can help them now and in the future, and Dombrowski insists that they will not give up on 2010 as they look toward the future.
However, while the Tigers don't discuss it, there's also a realization that the economy in Michigan is forcing the team to adjust, even as Detroit awaits expiring contracts that could take more than $50 million off the payroll for 2011. Even if the Tigers trade Jackson and Granderson, their 2010 payroll will sit well above $100 million.
"I don't know if we're close to a trade or not," Dombrowski said, not referring specifically to the rumored blockbuster. "I don't really know that. Somebody might call us up and say, 'You've got a deal.' And I'm not just talking about [Jackson] specifically; I'm talking about any player or a few players we're talking about.
"But we have had a lot of conversations. I would also not be shocked if I sat here [later in the week] and told you that nothing did happen."