D-backs finalize Meetings blockbuster
Club adds Yankees' Kennedy, Tigers' Jackson in deal
INDIANAPOLIS -- A trade that started with a phone call between Arizona GM Josh Byrnes and Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski just before Thanksgiving finally concluded on Wednesday, when the three-way deal between the D-backs, Tigers and Yankees was officially announced.
The deal, which was agreed upon pending a review of the medical histories of the players involved on Tuesday, brought the D-backs right-handers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. In return, Arizona sent a pair of young pitchers in righty Max Scherzer and lefty Daniel Schlereth to Detroit. The Tigers shipped outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, who, in addition to Kennedy, sent outfielder Austin Jackson and lefty Phil Coke to Detroit.It was a deal that had a lot of moving parts and initially started with Byrnes inquiring about Jackson in a conversation he had with the Tigers GM. When it was clear that the teams were not going to be able to match up, they reached out to Yankees' GM Brian Cashman. "We had a lot of conversations, numerous conversations, over that time period," Dombrowski said. "Some of them me and Josh, some of them with Brian and myself, some of them with those two. I don't think, until we got here, did the three of us sit together in the same room or get on the same phone call." The D-backs came into the Winter Meetings with about $10 million to spend and a hole to plug in their rotation. This deal leaves them with about $6 million left and they have taken care of that rotation spot. That leaves them free to make another addition to the bullpen and bolster their bench. Jackson and Kennedy are penciled in to be the No. 3 and 4 starters behind Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. "Well, one thing we have maintained in the last several years is trying to have as strong a rotation as we can, and applying our resources to that," Byrnes said.
|D-backs|| RHP Edwin Jackson (from DET)
RHP Ian Kennedy (from NYY)
|Tigers|| RHP Max Scherzer (from ARI)
OF Austin Jackson (from NYY)
LHP Phil Coke (from NYY)
LHP Daniel Schlereth (from ARI)
|Yankees||OF Curtis Granderson (from DET)|
The D-backs were certainly hesitant to part with Scherzer, who was their No. 1 pick in 2006 and has an electric fastball. There appeared to be some concerns with his ability to pitch deep in games, his ability to develop his secondary stuff and whether he could stay healthy given his violent delivery."For us to enter into any trade like that and give up Max Scherzer, who is a very talented young starter, we feel like we needed to bring in two starters back," Byrnes said. Jackson, 26, began his career with the Dodgers and pitched for them from 2003-05. He was then traded to the Rays for three seasons before being dealt to the Tigers prior to last season. Sometimes when a player changes teams frequently, it is because they have trouble in the clubhouse, but that does not appear to be the case with Jackson. In fact, a former GM told MLB.com this week that Jackson's makeup was so good it was "off the charts. A great kid." "I know there's a great group of guys out there," Jackson said. "It's a young, talented team and to have an opportunity to help a team like that compete for a championship is always a good feeling, and I'm ready for the challenge." Jackson, who is two years away from free agency, has pitched extremely well the past two seasons. He was 14-11 with a 4.42 ERA for the Rays in 2008 and followed that up by going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA last year in Detroit. "It was just a matter of experience," Jackson said of his success the past two seasons. "I'm still a young pitcher, but I was even younger then. I was one of those guys that came up and tried to learn how to pitch while I was in the big leagues. The more you pitch, the more you learn about yourself and the game of pitching." Kennedy, who will turn 25 later this month, missed much of last season after having surgery to take care of an aneurysm under his right armpit on May 12. He pitched in four Minor League games for Scranton last year and made one appearance for the Yankees, tossing a scoreless inning. The D-backs were impressed with what they saw out of Kennedy during the Arizona Fall League, clocking his fastball as high as 93 mph. While he was somewhat lost in the shuffle in New York, with young pitchers like Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, he will get every chance to prove himself in Arizona. A California native who pitched for Southern Cal, Kennedy said he was excited to be heading back out West. "Growing up, I always liked the National League," Kennedy said. "I was always a National League fan. The Diamondbacks are always really good, so it's a good team to be on."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.