Grand Cards: Apocalypse Now: The Overview

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Apocalypse Now: The Overview

Sometime while I was a mile over the Pacific Ocean it became official. Curtis Granderson’s career as a Tiger is over. The finality of that sentence hit me like a truck.

It all developed really quickly, in reality, which adds to the sting. Sure, there were rumblings—100% of which were propagated by Lynn Henning starting this summer—but very few people believed that a Granderson trade was a serious possibility unless the Tigers made out like bandits in the deal. As the winter meetings started I started to get a bad feeling. I had a sense that if Granderson were to be traded, it would be this week. If not, he would be a Tiger for the rest of his career. Late Monday night we all got a scare with reports of a three way trade, but they fell apart. By Tuesday morning they were dead and we could exhale. Except not. MLB Trade Rumors has a sequence of events that starts with this:
7:35am: Buster Olney adds that the talks progressed to the point where only one team liked the deal; he's not sure whether talks can resume or not.

8:29am: SI's Jon Heyman tweets that this one "looks very unlikely." In his scenario Heyman had Daniel Schlereth, Scherzer, and more going to Detroit. He adds that the Yankees are saying no to the deal, which would've cost them the four prospects named below. Similarly, Morosi now finds the chances of this one to be "not good" because the Yankees balked at the price.

And ends up with this before I finished my lunch:
12:48pm: Heyman tweets that an agreement has been reached, with only medicals pending. We'll do a fresh post once this trade is official. To reiterate: the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D'Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.

Sherman notes that the Yankees managed to pull off the Granderson acquisition without giving up Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, or Mike Dunn

Bam. Gone.

A lot of people asked for my reaction, but my mind drew a blank.

“Do you like the trade?”

No. No I don’t like the damn trade. My favorite player just got traded. The person that I have centered my main hobby around—the person I write a freaking blog about is no longer on the team that I’ve spent my life committed to. I didn’t like it when my first dog suddenly died either, even though I got a newer, better version that I had even longer and loved even more.

But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good trade. The problem is, I just can’t tell. I’ll dig into those facts in the next post, but I have this feeling that the Tigers essentially traded Granderson for a player that in a best case scenario develops into Curtis Granderson. And hey, that’d be great. But one in the hand is worth two in the bush is all I’m saying.

At the end of it all the Tigers lost the face of their franchise—the player who could have been the Al Kaline, the Alan Trammell or Steve Yzerman or Barry Sanders for a generation, and that’s the saddest part of all.

Detroit is going to miss Curtis, especially given how well he is going to do in New York. But I also think that the Tigers are going to be ok. In a way, I need to convince myself of this to keep my sanity, but let’s not downplay some of the pieces they got in the trade and the youth and flexibility this gives them into the future. Earlier this year I said that the Tigers had a window to win of 2009-2013. These changes fundamentally change that window to 2011-2016 and that is an exciting prospect.

Over the next couple of days I’ll try to wrap my head around everything that happened with this trade and its implications. The schedule will look like this:

Part 1: The Haul--Looking at the Tigers' return on the trade
Part 2: The Plan--How this trade fits in the overall franchise master plan
Part 3: The Collection--What the hell do I do?

It’s Part 3 that interests me most, because right now I don’t know what I’m planning to do. I guess we’ll see what comes out on e-paper. I’m on a five hour time difference, so these may be very late night/early morning posts for those of you keeping an eye out.

Thank you for everyone who posted encouraging comments on Tuesday’s posts. This has all been very surreal. I just wish that I could be in Detroit for their first game against the Yankees this year so that I could be a part of the greatest standing ovation that a visiting player has ever seen.