The Curtis Granderson trade (what, you thought it was the Phil Coke trade?) was officially announced this afternoon, and Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski explained why he settled on the Yankees and Diamondbacks as his trading partners.
The Tigers ended up getting pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from Arizona and premier outfield prospect Austin Jackson and lefty reliever Coke from the Yankees. The Yankees got Granderson, and the Diamondbacks got Edwin Jackson from Detroit, and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees.
Dombrowski estimated he made over 200 phone calls to complete the deal, which was first broached about a month ago in a phone call he had with Arizona GM Josh Byrnes in which Byrnes expressed an interest in Edwin Jackson. The Yankees chimed in with interest in Granderson, and they were off. He said that numerous other teams tried to get involved, and there were even some four-way proposals on the table.
“It was not easy, but you also know if you’re going to give up players like this, you also have to get good players in return. We are not going to make the deals unless we were satisfied.
“At times, there were a couple of situations that might have happened. I think the phone calls to me were much more on a persistent basis, because really, when you looked at it, there were only a few places that really satisfied what we needed. And it kept coming back to this situation, which we felt was the best one for us. Even though at times it looked like, well, this might not work, we might have to switch off…I really didn’t want to give this one up, because we felt it was the one situation that kept coming back to giving us that young starter and that young center fielder, and also giving us additional pieces to the deal.”
The Mariners didn’t have the center fielder, and while Brandon Morrow was certainly discussed, the Mariners appeared to be reluctant to give up the bulk in pitching prospects (Josh Fields, Phillippe Aumont, Shawn Kelley) that the Tigers were seeking. And the Tigers were looking for players that would help them in 2010.
“We had a lot of clubs call on these guys, but we were not in a position that we were going to take three guys, even though we liked them, in AAA ball, that were a while away from the major leagues,” Dombrowski said.
“So when you look at young centerfielders, for example, there’s not very many of them in baseball that are ready to step in. We think that Austin Jackson is. We like him a lot.
“In the case of Arizona, they were able to satisfy us with Max Scherzer. But there had to be a lot of moving pieces between all of the clubs to satisfy everybody. So that’s really our situation. We got some good, young talent that we think helps us win this year, helps us for the future, and also helps us make some adjustments that we need to make.”