Within the massive seven player deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees, the Diamondbacks dealt starter Max Scherzer and top relief prospect Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers in order to acquire right-handers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.
While you would presume that the Diamondbacks were simply making a win-now move, it's pretty questionable whether the team actually make any legitimate improvements for next season. While Jackson should provide Arizona with a solid mid-rotation starter and Kennedy gives them another back of the rotation option along with Kevin Mulvey, Billy Buckner and Bryan Augenstein, giving up their two best young arms capable of contributing in 2010 in order to add them.
While Jackson is under control for two years and Kennedy is under control for six years, Scherzer has five years of team control left and Schlereth still has all six as well. What makes the deal so puzzling is that one could legitimately argue that Scherzer will be the better pitcher not only long term, but in 2010 as well. Jackson posted a decent 4.39 xFIP and 4.28 FIP in 2009, Scherzer bested those numbers with respective marks of 3.87 and 3.88, while posting significantly better contact rates.
I'm still trying to understand how the Diamondbacks improved going forward thanks to this deal. The pitching staff is older with Jackson and Kennedy, it's likely not any better and could very well be worse if Scherzer takes the next step (which he's capable of), and it's not any cheaper, Jackson is by far the most expensive piece among the four pitchers.
Certainly, the Yankees made a brilliant move by landing a star center fielder without giving up any potential stars, all three prospects project more as solid everyday players than legitimate impact players, and the Tigers did manage to land some nice pieces in Scherzer, Schlereth, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke. But I'm still trying to figure out what Arizona got out of this deal.