We're not even at the All-Star break yet, but SI.com's Jon Heyman has taken a look at the MLB's best decisions of the past year and ranked the top 15. What most Detroit fans would have ranked as the worst move of all-time this past winter cracks Heyman's top three:â†µ
3. The Tigers' acquisition of Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and Phil Coke in the three-team trade with the Yankees and Diamondbacks for Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson.â†µ
This was the most unpopular of moves at the time in Detroit. It's way early to say for sure, but as of today it looks boffo, with Granderson starting slowly (.240 average) in New York and Jackson (4-6, 5.05 ERA) doing the same in Arizona. Austin Jackson is a Rookie of the Year candidate, providing Gold Glove-type defense, perhaps the most valuable piece in the deal that saved the Tigers beaucoup bucks. Scherzer has shown only flashes of greatness, and Coke is a middle reliever. But the Tigers look like they received a star, while setting themselves up to improve their offense (by getting Johnny Damon) and bullpen (Jose Valverde) with the money that was saved.â†µ
As Heyman also said, it's still a little early, but I'd say it's pretty clear a lot of Tigers fans were thinking more with their hearts and not so much with their baseball and business brains when the trade first went down.â†µ
One thing Heyman has wrong is that the trade didn't save the Tigers any money to land Damon and Valverde. The Tigers payroll is actually $18 million more this year than it was last year. Those two make up just $15 million of it. Interestingly enough, Heyman's no. 11 best decision is the Tigers decision to let Magglio's $18 million contract vest for this season. And quite honestly, with the way he's hit this season, that may have been the Tigers best move.