• Commentary On Reported Trade For Curtis Granderson

    Posted by on December 8th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    The trade details, via Tyler Kepner -

    Curtis Granderson is the Yankees’ new center fielder, coming over from the Detroit Tigers in a three-way deal that also included the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal, which is pending approval of medical records, will send outfielder Austin Jackson and reliever Phil Coke to Detroit and starter Ian Kennedy to Arizona.

    The Diamondbacks will also receive starter Edwin Jackson from the Tigers, who will also get starter Max Scherzer and reliever Daniel Schlereth from Arizona.

    I’m only going to comment on the Yankees end – since I really don’t care about the Tigers and D-backs.

    What the Yankees gave up: Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. And, what the Yankees got: Curtis Granderson.

    Ian Kennedy is a AAAA-pitcher. Maybe he’ll be effective in the big leagues, at times? But, too much has to be perfect for him to excel at the major league level. Basically, he was expendable.

    Phil Coke is a nice kid and has a bulldog attitude towards pitching. But, he’s probably never going to be better than he was this season and could be worse. He’s a “nice to have” pitcher – but, he’s not a “can’t do without pitcher.”

    Basically, the thing the Yankees gave up here was Austin Jackson – their best position playing Triple-A prospect. Now, back in August, I asked this question about “A-Jax”:

    Is he a true blue-chip prospect as the Yankees say, or, is he just a good athlete who will never be a solid, everyday, major league player?

    And, today, we still don’t know the answer to that question. It may take another couple of years to get that answer – maybe more.

    This brings us to Curtis Granderson. Last month, I had this to say about him:

    In terms of “make-up,” Granderson is off-the-charts…probably Derek Jeter like, in that regard.

    And, I still stand by that comment. But, what about his on-the-field production? Well, first off, he doesn’t hit LHP – at all. See his career splits in that regard:

    I          Split   G   PA   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG
        vs RHP as LH 618 2211 572 102 51 86 245 229 449 .292 .367 .528
        vs LHP as LH 305  685 130  23  6 16  54  45 169 .210 .270 .344
    

    Further, as a center fielder, he leaves something to be desired. Note his 1.6 UZR/150 in CF in 2009 and his -9.4 UZR/150 in CF in 2008.

    If the Yankees end up playing Curtis Granderson in left field next season and give him the day off when the likes of Jon Lester, John Danks, Mark Buehrle, Dallas Braden, David Price or Joe Saunders is starting for the other team, he should be a fine addition to their team – all things considered.

    But, if the Yankees are going to play Curtis Granderson everday, against all pitching, he’s probably going to bat between .260 and .275 with an OBA around .350. And, if they play him in center, at best, he’ll match what Melky Cabrera did out there with the glove and will not be as good, defensively, as Brett Gardner.

    So, is this a smart trade by Brian Cashman? It sort of depends on how the Yankees use Granderson and how Austin Jackson develops. Let’s just hope it turns out better than the last three-team deal that Cashman brokered with the Tigers being involved.

    Comments on Commentary On Reported Trade For Curtis Granderson

    1. Corey
      December 8th, 2009 | 8:47 pm

      From Pete Abraham’s Boston blogs comments on the trade:

      drconlaw wrote:
      We grudgingly have to admit the Yankees are just better run now than the Sox under Theo, who like the old Paul Masson wine ad, “won’t make a move before its time–or even long after.” Still, the Scranton team I saw last year clearly showed that Austin Jackson was their best player. So, he may be a better young pick-up than folks realize.

      LOL

    2. 77yankees
      December 8th, 2009 | 9:36 pm

      Not a big fan of the deal – too many whiffs in the lineup. There’ll come a point where he strikes out in the 8th inning of a game down 7-6 with the bases loaded against Hideki Okajima, and this board will be up in arms.

      With A-Jax gone now, does this mean it will take both Phil AND Joba along with Montero to get Halladay?

    3. Evan3457
      December 8th, 2009 | 9:44 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      Not a big fan of the deal – too many whiffs in the lineup. There’ll come a point where he strikes out in the 8th inning of a game down 7-6 with the bases loaded against Hideki Okajima, and this board will be up in arms.

      With A-Jax gone now, does this mean it will take both Phil AND Joba along with Montero to get Halladay?

      Is anyone besides me aware that last year’s Yankees, even with Swisher, A-Rod, Posada, Teixiera and Jeter in the lineup all striking out 90 or more times, were only 2 K’s away from having the fewest team K’s in the AL last year?

      Well, now you are.

    4. Evan3457
      December 8th, 2009 | 9:50 pm

      Re: Granderson’s defense…

      BIS’ +/- numbers rate him more highly than the UZR numbers do.
      +16 runs saved in 2007, -7 in 2008, +9 in 2009.

      The 2009 calculation ranks him 3rd among regular centerfielders in all of baseball last year.

      He was 6th best in 2006, 4th best in 2007. 25th best in 2008. Looks to me like 2008 was the fluke in the bunch, but I could be wrong.

      BIS rates his arm as average to somewhat below: 24th in 2006, 11th in 2007, 27th in 2008, and 14th in 2009.
      ====================================
      There’s no reason for the Yanks to play him everyday. Sign Damon or a right hand bat, and sit him against 20-30 lefties a year, and he’ll be a big plus for the team.

    5. 77yankees
      December 8th, 2009 | 9:55 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Is anyone besides me aware that last year’s Yankees, even with Swisher, A-Rod, Posada, Teixiera and Jeter in the lineup all striking out 90 or more times, were only 2 K’s away from having the fewest team K’s in the AL last year?
      Well, now you are.

      With Granderson, they’ll be 50-75 K’s from having the fewest in the AL in 2010.

    6. December 8th, 2009 | 10:39 pm

      I’m not really crying over the loss of Ian Kennedy because he does look like a AAAA pitcher to me. But his numbers in the minors are unreal. I think there is a chance he can break out and turn into a good pitcher. I think he’s going to be more of a NL pitcher and that’s not a big loss.

    7. December 8th, 2009 | 10:45 pm

      Absolutely not a fan of this deal… but, AJax is unknown… had to worry a lot of the scouts that Ajax simply had no power, i donno if we are looking at Joey Gathwright or Juan Pierre with Ajax… i remember the days when Eric Duncan was going to light up the scoreboard… prospects are what they are…

      but, i would have been happier if he werent traded in this deal… not a fan of Granderson, would love to eat a plate of crow… but i think this is not a good deal.. hope i am wrong

      this also means no more Halladay, not that Ajax was the lead prospect… but i just dont see Montero + Phil/Joba given up in a seperate deal…

    8. December 8th, 2009 | 10:47 pm

      Steve, i thought Cash wud have earned a little bit of break from u after the team won with a roster “he” constructed… :-) but u had to bring up the deal about Weaver..

      lets be honest Steve, what was ur opinion at the time of the deal for weaver?

    9. December 8th, 2009 | 11:08 pm

      srivinodh wrote:

      lets be honest Steve, what was ur opinion at the time of the deal for weaver?

      See: http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/showpost.php?p=62336&postcount=14

      from: http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/showthread.php?t=4907

    10. Pat F
      December 8th, 2009 | 11:53 pm

      good deal for the yankees. granderson isn’t a perfect player, but he’s very good. the reason this is a good deal for the yankees is that they didn’t give up a package for a perfect player, they gave up a package for a very good player. that’s what trading is all about. for some reason granderson not being perfect is getting a lot of attention. most players aren’t. if we had given up too much then it’s a problem but we didn’t.

      on top of that granderson is an excellent player. if he plays to his 162 game average (which he is likely to do), i don’t think many are going to be complaining about .272/.344/.484/.828 with 25 homers, 30 doubles, 14 triples, 16 steals, 72 rbi, and 105 runs. especially considering he’ll likely get a bump due to 1) him likley being sandwiched between jeter/tex/rodriguez in the lineup and 2) trading 81 games at comerica for 81 at yankee stadium, especially as a lefty. defensively, the numbers seem to be up and down, but if everyone was watching the same games i was watching this year, is tex really not a great defender because the numbers say so? from what i’ve seen granderson may be in a similar boat. he’s a guy who makes plays. i’d say defensive numbers are not overly conclusive at this stage.

      every move doesn’t have to be for a top 10 player. sometimes you’re just going to substantially upgrade your team at a reasonable price. that’s what the yankees did here.

    11. Pat F
      December 9th, 2009 | 12:01 am

      also i love that the yankees are locking into more players in their prime years, and not paying them for their prime years to play them after their prime years. granderson and swisher are both going to be in their age 29 seasons next year, getting paid $12.25 million, combined. those two hit 59 homers combined last year, and should still have a number of good years ahead of them. for the “aLL the YankeEs do iS spEnD oN FA’s!!!1!” crowd, that’s pretty good value for 66% of the outfield at a reasonable price, both acquired via trade.

    12. #15
      December 9th, 2009 | 11:04 am

      Guy’s stats make him look like a platoon stud. ~900 OPS vs. righties!! Late innings, close game…. he’s the guy you are saving your situational lefty for. Sandwiching him between two switch hitters will help some. Can’t see him as a #2 hitter or a leadoff with that many strikeouts. K-Long will have his work cut out for him to fix this.

      MLB channel showed some of Grandy’s late season outfield adventures. Got burned on late breaks on balls hit right over his head. Hope those were flukes. I don’t think we gave up too much for him, assuming Ajaz wasn’t the last piece needed to land Halladay.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.