Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
It's important to note, in my opinion, except in rare cases, no player should ever be considered "untouchable" - if someone is willing to give you fair market value for a particular player and improves your club based on the current operational goals and directives you have, then you should pull the trigger. That being said, I have yet to find or hear of a strong case for why the Tigers should trade either Curtis Granderson or Edwin Jackson, or both. The only way trading either makes sense is if the Tigers can find a way to fill multiple holes with major league ready players, and not open up an even bigger hole in its place, something that seems impossible to do when you're talking about your number two starter and your starting centerfielder (who happens to have hit 30 home runs this past year). To be fair, Dave Dombrowski has never come out and said he's looking to trade anyone, and he's said specifically this is not a fire sale, or a salary dump. The rumors about Jackson and Granderson have been largely fueled by local beat writers that have been pushing the idea of moving someone (specifically Granderson) since midseason as a means of upgrading the club. But shipping off either for prospects does not make this a better club in 2010, and if the goal is 2011 and beyond, then it's impossible to plan for that without ignoring the elephant in the room that is the $55 million or so in contracts that should come off the books at season's end, giving the Tigers much needed financial flexibility to make moves and upgrades. So, if the Tigers walk into a deal that absolutely blows them away and allows them to upgrade the team for 2010 by filling multiple holes with big league ready players, so be it, pull the trigger. But anything less than that, and it's a bad deal no matter how you slice it for the Tigers.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The question of should the Tigers trade either of these players is an interesting one. At this moment, the Tigers would be selling relatively high on Jackson, but relatively low on Granderson. At this moment, the Tigers don't have anybody in the minor leagues who could step in with any level of certainty and replace either player's 2009 production. At this moment, the Tigers -- despite all of their faults as a roster -- would be hard pressed to improve for 2010 by dealing either player; a 2010 season in which they will still have an opportunity to be competitive in a weak division race. General Manager Dave Dombrowski is doing the right thing here; exploring opportunities for two quality players that could carry value with other organizations. Any good GM would be doing the same thing in his shoes. You have to understand the market value for even your best players if you are to be good at what you do, and Dombrowski is rightly evaluating that market value right now. I don't believe a trade of either player is imminent, and I don't believe either player will be traded unless the Tigers are blown away with an offer, but I do strongly believe that the Tigers should be exploring the market for both (and all other) players in order to properly evaluate their next moves in the chess game of the MLB off-season.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
The Tigers have plenty of holes to fill, and if the Tigers can get the right players in return that can help them, then they should trade Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson. However, if the trade proposals offered by interested teams falls short of what Dave Dombrowski wants, then he should hang on to them, because the Tigers aren't in a position where they have to trade anyone. Much has been said about the Tigers possibly dealing Granderson and Jackson due to financial difficulties, but I disagree with that premise. The Tigers have few major-league assets to work with on the trade market, and with the free-agent market not exactly teeming with guys that are worth breaking the bank for, the Tigers are doing their due diligence to see what they could possibly get for two players that they would be selling high on and dealing before they become more expensive. If the Tigers do move Granderson and Jackson, it will have to be for a sizable return, and I don't believe teams will be ready to pony up the necessary pieces to get a deal done in either case.
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