Max Scherzer was deservedly named the AL Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday, capping a dominant season for the Detroit right-hander. We were vaguely aware that he was obtained by the Tigers in a trade several years ago; what we had never put together is that he was part of that three-team blockbuster between the Yankees, Tigers and D-Backs that benefited all three teams in some way but was clearly won, in the end, by the Tigers.
The recap of the trade, per Baseball Reference:
In December of 2009, Scherzer was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers. The Detroit Tigers sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees. The Detroit Tigers sent Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The New York Yankees sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
So: The Tigers traded Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson and got back Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth.
The Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Coke and Austin Jackson and received Curtis Granderson.
The D-Backs traded Scherzer and Schlereth and received Edwin Jackson and Kennedy.
So here we are four years later ... Edwin Jackson had a terrible year for the D-Backs in 2010 and has bounced around with numerous teams since then. Kennedy had a great year in 2011 and a very good year in 2012, then fell off the map last season and was traded to the Padres. So the D-Backs have nothing tangible to show for the trade except for two unproven players received from San Diego.
Curtis Granderson had two very good years in New York, was hurt quite a bit last year, and is now a free agent who could very well sign somewhere else. That would leave the Yankees with nothing to show for the trade four years later.
Scherzer won the Cy Young Award and looks to be an ace of the future. Jackson has had four years of decent production for the Tigers as a center fielder. Scherzer won't reach free agency until 2015, and the two sides are talking about a long-term deal. Jackson won't reach free agency until 2016. Having both players at reasonable prices these past seasons has enabled the Tigers to spend big on players -- either their own (Justin Verlander) or outside FAs (Prince Fielder).
The winner, by far: the Tigers.