It’s been nearly three years since The Trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Bronx, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, and Daniel Schlereth to Detroit, and Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona.
This shouldn’t really be news today except that the Tigers have cut ties with the smallest piece of that deal; Daniel Schlereth.
It’s hard to call this trade anything but a win for the Tigers at this point given how well Jackson, Scherzer, and Coke have performed over their three seasons with the club at a lower collective cost than Granderson and Jackson.
Granderson has 13.2 WAR since 2010 while making $23.75 million. Austin Jackson (12.3), Scherzer (11.1), and Coke (3.8) sum all the way up to 27.2 WAR and cost $9.5 million together. (Edwin Jackson put up 7.8 WAR in his two years of team control that the deal covered but made lots of money so he’s a wash)
So the Tigers basically added 14 wins to their club over the last three years and saved $14 million, so far. The deal will keeping paying dividends as time goes on and Granderson’s deal expires and Jackson/Scherzer/Coke remain under Tigers’ control.
But what about Daniel (son of Mark) Schlereth? You can’t fault Dombrowski on a deal that worked out this well…or can you?
Schlereth has been worth a whopping -0.6 WAR as a Tiger. That’s a minus sign folks. Many, many walks will do that to you. His Tigers career is over and he’s been worse than useless.
Let’s reimagine the 2009 trade without Schlereth in the picture. Tigers send Granderson to New York for Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy. They then send Kennedy and Edwin Jackson to Arizona for Scherzer and Schlereth. Hmmm…
Could the Tigers have kept Jackson or Kennedy if they hadn’t wanted Schlereth? We’ll never know, but it’s interesting to think about. The Diamondbacks wanted to trade two pitchers for two slightly more proven pitchers. Could we have gotten a one for one? Kennedy for Scherzer or Jackson for Scherzer?
Could this be a world in which the Tigers had Ian Kennedy as well right now? Or Edwin Jackson for two more seasons? Even if the rotations were crowded, those are nice trade chips that would return more than a Daniel Schlereth right now.
This is a fun game we can play, but it’s also pretty crazy to get 14 more wins for $14 fewer million and wish you had done better. One of the pieces of The Trade has watched his clock run out in Detroit. Daniel Schlereth’s days in the organization are over and he will forever be the miss among the hits.
Which is fitting, given how much he missed the strike zone while wearing a Tigers uniform.