Granderson apparently headed to Yanks in 3-way trade

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Multiple outlets, including SI's Jon Heyman and ESPN are now reporting that a deal that was rumored last night has been finalized and center fielder Curtis Granderson will be coming to the Yankees.

Curtis <span class=Granderson" style="border: medium none ; display: block;" width="224" height="240">Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

It is a three-team deal involving the Yankees, Tigers, and Diamondbacks. Here's how it breaks down:

Yankees get: Granderson (from Tigers)

Tigers get: Phil Coke and Austin Jackson (both from Yankees) and Max Scherzer (from Diamondbacks)

Diamondbacks get: Edwin Jackson (from Tigers) and Ian Kennedy (from Yankees)

Different reports differ slightly on whether the Diamondbacks give the Tigers pitcher Daniel Schlereth (better known as the son of ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth)

If this trade goes through, it means a couple of different things for the Yankees.

  1. The Yankees now have some leverage in negotiations with Johnny Damon
  2. The Melky/Gardner combination in center field, despite being relatively successful last year, will not continue next season, unless they slide over to platoon in left or...
  3. Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner may now be trade bait.
  4. Say sayonara to Hidkei Matsui.
  5. The Yankees won't be going after Matt Holliday or Jayson Bay (unless they were kidding about cutting payroll).
  6. By trading 3 for 1, the Yankees open up 2 spots on the 40-man roster for other free agent signings.
  7. Granderson will be your everyday centerfielder through at least the 2012 season, and possibly the 2013 season because of an option.
  8. The Yankees pick up a very back-loaded contract: Granderson is due $5.5 mil in 2010, but that increases to $8.25 mil in 2011, and $10 mil in 2012.
We'll update with more as soon as more news becomes available.

UPDATE 3:45: No news as of yet, as they are apparently looking over medical records and physicals and things of that nature. I just had a couple of other thoughts:

  • From the Tigers point of view, they get considerably younger and it makes you wonder if people like Miguel Cabrera and Maglio Ordonez are on there way out the door as well.
  • While I was a little hesitant about giving up Austin Jackson, reading a Tweet from PeteAbe made me reconsider it a little:
    Look at the trade this way, #Yankees fans, the best you could have hoped for Jackson to be was Granderson. So get Granderson.
  • With stats of .249/30/71 Granderson helps to make up some of the offense lost by Matsui and/or Damon leaving. You'd like to see a higher average and a better on-base percentage (.327 in 2009, .344 for career) especially if he bats towards the top of the order.
  • Plugging Granderson in centerfield and possibly move Melky/Gardner to left vastly improves their outfield defense, which at times was horrendous.
  • With Coke headed out, that means Mike Dunn, who the Yankees are very high on, will most likely get the chance to be the 2nd lefty out of the bullpen behind Damaso Marte.

UPDATE 5:00: John here, busy day for me today, but even busier for the Yankees. Just wanted to give my reaction of the trade. I thought the Yankees did a good job here. Despite giving away our best position player prospect, the Yankees sent Kennedy who is coming off a shoulder anuerysm and has shown inconsistencies in his development and Phil Coke (who I deemed the name Choke) for an All-Star centerfielder. So when it comes down to it, the Yankees made the right move.

It took me a while to deal with losing Jackson, but for a team looking to repeat, Granderson is probably the better option. Look what happened when we threw Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy into the spotlight in 2008. They stunk up the joint. It takes a few years for players to develop. If you can give up prospects for a relatively young and inexpensive player who is in the prime of his career and fills a need on the roster then you pull the trigger. The difference between this and Johan Santana a few years ago is the cost of Granderson, which Jim talks about above.

Now, as for Granderson, what I like about him is his defense, power, and his speed. I don't like his splits against lefties which is why I have mixed feelings about him. His average has also declined over the last two season. However, playing in a hitter-freindly park like Yankee Stadium, especially for a lefty, and with a little faith in Kevin Long, things may work out. And as Jim pointed out, Granderson in center Melky in left improves our defense tremendously.

Now we just have a few more questions which we kind of answered but we'll make a post later or tommorow. What does this mean for Damon and Matsui? And where does Granderson fit in the lineup?


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