• Yanks No Longer Love The Grandyman

    Posted by on February 20th, 2013 · Comments (12)

    Via Wally Matthews -

    All indications are the Yankees are inclined to bid farewell to Granderson when he becomes a free agent after this year, for a couple of reasons: Hal Steinbrenner’s $189 million payroll ceiling seems to render it impossible for the club to retain both Granderson and Robinson Cano, and besides, the Yankees don’t seem nearly as in love with Granderson as they were, say, in 2011, when he seemed to have reinvented himself as a home run hitter after struggling in his first season as a Yankee.

    Even though Granderson hit 43 home runs last year, the Yankees were dismayed by his soaring strikeout total — a career-high and all-time Yankees record 195 — and plummeting batting average (.232), OBP (.319) and OPS (.811, down from .916 in 2011). Most alarming was his average against left-handed pitching, which fell to .218 after having risen to .272 in 2011.

    Plus, the talk of switching him to left in favor of Brett Gardner in center also seems to indicate the Yankees aren’t in love with Granderson’s defense anymore, either. According to the website FanGraphs.com, Granderson ranked at or near the bottom in every advanced defensive metric among every-day center fielders.

    This all said, was it a mistake for the Yankees to trade Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson?

    Comments on Yanks No Longer Love The Grandyman

    1. Garcia
      February 20th, 2013 | 10:00 am

      This all said, was it a mistake for the Yankees to trade Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson?

      A mistake? Hardly a mistake. He has been quite useful. Granderson has had the following OPS+ with the Yanks: 108, 142, 116.

      I suspect that you are really emphasizing mostly on Austin Jackson, and his OPS+ has been as follows: 102, 88, 130

      With respect to Ian, hindsight is 20-20. I don’t know of any one person that was saying this guy was going to turn into the pitcher he is today. That said, he is pitching in the NL so maybe he’s just an NL pitcher. Ever think of that? Those do exist.

      Coke doesn’t count for much here in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure his mother has highly inflated his worth, but it ends there.

      A miscalculation is probably a better description of the trade, if we base it on Jackson’s age, defense, and the fact that the team won’t have a hole in CF/LF at the end of this season.

      A mistake? Hardly. But you can call it what you want to find Cash culpable here. I will repeat this again, I am no longer a fan of Cashman, but let’s at least be objective and fair here.

    2. MJ Recanati
      February 20th, 2013 | 10:48 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      This all said, was it a mistake for the Yankees to trade Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson?

      This again?

      Phil Coke was a fungible LOOGY who was replaced by Boone Logan. Logan has outperformed Coke in every sense of the word. Coke is irrelevant.

      Ian Kennedy was projected as a back-end starter coming out of college. There’s tremendous value in that — as we’ve seen with David Phelps and Ivan Nova — but that fact nevertheless made him expendable. That he’s succeeded in the pitcher-friendly NL (and NL West at that) is as much a testament to the switch to an easier league/division as it is to his hard work. I’m glad that Kennedy is succeeding and experiencing success but we just don’t know what he’d be like as an AL East pitcher right now. Chances are, he wouldn’t look quite as good.

      As for Jackson, his ceiling was exactly what Granderson’s prime is: a dual-threat athlete that could man the middle of the outfield and provide value at the plate as well. Whereas Granderson has more power than Jackson, Jackson was more of a line-drive guy with a chance for better contact rates. Jackson still strikes out at a high rate, especially for a guy with below-average power, but his batting eye is getting better so there will be more walks to go with his still healthy strikeout totals. The key here is that the 2010 Yankees, unlike the 2010 Tigers, were interested in plugging in a player that could help the team win now. This is something you constantly ignore each and every time you rehash the same tired argument about the Granderson/Jackson trade. The Yankees were willing to sacrifice the last two years of control on Jackson in order to get a player that was in his prime, signed to a below-market contract, and capable of helping the team win in the present. The Yankees traded for Granderson and gave up two years of control on Jackson. That’s the crux of this trade. Based on the return that Granderson has provided the team, the Yankees are doing just fine with Granderson. Detroit will reap the benefit of Jackson’s surplus value but, ultimately, that’s what always happens in “present-for-future” trades.

      You can’t whine about these sorts of trades if you’d also whine about not being in the playoffs every year with a chance to win. If you want the Yankees to take a few years off from making the playoffs in order to truly focus on player development and demonstrating patience for younger players to fail at the big league level then you’ll have to stifle the whining when the Yankees don’t win 95 games every year.

    3. MJ Recanati
      February 20th, 2013 | 10:50 am

      Garcia wrote:

      A miscalculation is probably a better description of the trade, if we base it on Jackson’s age, defense, and the fact that the team won’t have a hole in CF/LF at the end of this season.

      How was it a miscalculation if the Yankees knew at the time of the trade that Granderson’s contract would expire after the 2013 season? By that logic trades should never be made unless each team gets the same amount of contractual control on the incoming player as the outgoing player.

    4. Garcia
      February 20th, 2013 | 11:07 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      More of a miscalculation regarding the player that Jackson was going to turn into.

    5. MJ Recanati
      February 20th, 2013 | 11:33 am

      Garcia wrote:

      More of a miscalculation regarding the player that Jackson was going to turn into.

      Even then, I’m not sure I agree. Jackson’s ceiling is what he is showing himself to be: an athlete with a decent batting stroke and potential for average power. I think the calculus on the trade was not whether Jackson could reach his ceiling or not, but in what time frame he could do so. Granderson was in 2010 what Jackson could eventually be (with more power but, obviously older and more expensive). Perhaps the miscalcuation was in knowing when Jackson might be able to achieve his ceiling. It’s a lot easier to trade for an established player than it is to take a risk on the unknown, especially when you’re trying to win every year.

    6. KPOcala
      February 20th, 2013 | 12:26 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: You nailed it.

    7. KPOcala
      February 20th, 2013 | 12:28 pm

      Unless his performance takes a significant drop this year, the Yankees would be crazy not to re-sign him for 3 years………

    8. MJ Recanati
      February 20th, 2013 | 12:51 pm

      KPOcala wrote:

      Unless his performance takes a significant drop this year, the Yankees would be crazy not to re-sign him for 3 years………

      I think there’s very little chance they can do that, especially if they’re seriously entertaining the thought of (foolishly and insanely) keeping Cano at his present market value.

      In an ideal world — and provided that Granderson does not regress further than he did last year, as you mention — a reasonable three year deal would be sensible for both player and team.

    9. BOHAN
      February 20th, 2013 | 4:38 pm

      I was against the trade when it happened. I was a big Austin Jackson fan and liked Ian Kennedy but I do think he might be a NL pitcher (Idk if he would’ve been this successful with the Yankees.) At the end of this year I’d let Granderson go. I’m tired of all the strikeouts and the all or nothing approach he has at the plate. But for someone reason people love that in hitters. And with these young OFers they have they shouldn’t be much more then 2 or 3 years away if they’re as good as everyone says they are.

    10. Evan3457
      February 20th, 2013 | 5:40 pm

      Many players who have low power and poor plate discipline never develop either. Jackson looks like he’ll develop both. He never showed either in the minors. But, yeah, just for Jackson alone, the trade is a mistake. I said at the time of the deal that Kennedy is going to make someone a very good #4 starter. He’s done better than that.

      However, the Yanks were not starting 2010 with an OF of Gardner, Jackson and Swisher, which is what it would have been if the trade hadn’t been made.

    11. Evan3457
      February 20th, 2013 | 5:43 pm

      By which I mean to say…the trading of Jackson for Granderson is another inefficiency cost incumbent in the self-imposed origanization insecurity to eliminate risk 7-24-365 that comes with their self-imposed mandate that they shall contend/win the title every year.

    12. #15
      February 20th, 2013 | 6:34 pm

      I don’t think it was a mistake. On balance it didn’t make us a whole lot better overall or a whole lot worse. I wish Grandy was stealing 30 bags a year and hitting 30-40 points higher with 40+ fewer strikeouts… But he’s not. If he were, it would be a clear win for us in the trade. He does play hard and gives excellent effort all the time.

      I will be very surprised to see him in pinstripes next year unless the market for him turns out to be very week and the price is a bargin That’s is very unlikely – someone will buy his dingers and pay handsomely for them.

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