Could Granderson factor into Yanks’ OF plans?


The outfield is the Yankees’ biggest area of concern this off-season, and to that end Mike examined the free agent class yesterday. There are some attractive names on there, but there’s nothing that makes me think, “That’s the guy I want roaming the outfield for the Yanks in the future. Matt Holliday is the closest in that regard, but that would require a big commitment. Even if the Yanks are thinking of Holliday, they should explore alternatives first.

In an item posted barely an hour ago, Joel Sherman reports that the Tigers have made center fielder Curtis Granderson available. He speculates that the Yankees will be interested, and I can’t blame them. Granderson is a high quality player that can help shore up the Yankees outfield. That is, if his 2009 season isn’t a window into his future production.

Granderson made his mark in 2007, his second full season in the majors, when he posted a triple slash .302/.361/.552, including 23 home runs and 23 triples. That’s the kind of production any team would love in center field, and if Granderson kept it up it’s unlikely that the Tigers would trade him. Unfortunately, his production has dropped in each of the past two years, dipping to .249/.327/.453 in 2009. But does that necessarily detract from Granderson’s trade value?

It seems that for the Tigers, trading Granderson would be more about future payroll commitments than 2010. He’s owed just $5.5 million next year, but his salary climbs after that, as he’ll earn $8.25 million in 2011 and $10 million in 2012, with a $13 million club option ($2 million buyout) for 2013. That seems like a pretty team friendly deal, but with Granderson’s production dropping over the last two years the Tigers might want to avoid that gamble.

Granderson’s BABIP stands out as a reason for his dip in production. After posting marks of .362 in 2007 and .317 in 2008, he fell all the way to .276 in 2009. I’m not here to chalk this up to luck and say that he’s poised to rebound. Instead, let’s take look at some other numbers that might explain the dip. Looking at his batted ball data, you can’t help but notice one big change from 2008 to 2009. Granderson’s ground ball rate dropped dramatically. He was at 34 percent in 2007 and then saw that rise to 40 percent in 2008. In 2009 it fell all the way to 29.5 percent. That meant an increase in fly ball percentage, to almost 50 percent. Since ground balls go for hits more frequently than fly balls, Granderson’s lower BABIP, and therefore lower batting average, is easily explainable.

Did Granderson change his swing between 2008 and 2009? That might be the case. Two factors suggest this. First, the shift from ground balls to fly balls. Second, an increase in home runs and infield fly balls. Granderson hit 30 home runs in 2009, eight more than in 2008 and seven more than during his previous high in 2007. His infield fly percentage rose from 5 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2009. So he hit a lot more fly balls, particularly fly balls that are very easy to catch.

If it’s a change in swings, it clearly didn’t work. Granderson might have hit more home runs, but he maintained the same level of home runs per fly balls in 2009 as he had in 2008. In other words, if he goes back to what worked in 2008, he could again be a viable option. With the help of Kevin Long, I’m sure Granderson could make the transition and return to being a productive player.

(And, just for Mike, I know he had a .484 OPS against lefties last year, but again, that seems like an approach thing. He was much better in previous years.)

The question is of just how productive he’ll be in 2010 and beyond. He’ll be 29 for the 2010 season, so a decline isn’t expected. Assuming Long can help him revert to his old form, then, what can we expect? I think it will be a lot closer to his 2008 production than 2007. Again, in 2007 he had a ridiculous BABIP, .362. It appears that this was the result of many fly balls dropping in for hits. He had a 44.8 percent fly ball rate that year, which usually signals a lower average. Granderson hit fewer fly balls in 2008, which helped his average even when his BABIP dropped to .317. That seems about normal: .317 BABIP for a .280 batting average.

Granderson is reputedly a good fielder in center, and UZR agrees. He’s had one negative year in the past four according to UZR, and is still positive overall. His negative value, unfortunately, came in 2008, the same year we’d like to think Granderson can repeat in 2010. Still, even with a -9.4 UZR, hew as still a 3.8 WAR player, which is a quality figure from center field. For comparison, Melky Cabrera, with a positive UZR in 2009, was a 1.6 WAR player.

Even with Granderson, the Yankees would probably still have outfield issues in 2010. Even though we’re not ones to throw out trade proposals, I assume the Tigers would require Austin Jackson in any possible deal. Granderson would be a fine replacement in center should the Yankees bring back Johnny Damon (or bring in Holliday), but he could also play alongside Melky for a year until the Yankees figure out what they’re going to do with left field.

All of this, of course, is contingent on Granderson recovering from a poor 2009. How much are the Yankees willing to gamble on that? How much on top of Jackson would they have to surrender? We don’t know the answers, but we’ll definitely keep up with this situation to see where the Yanks stand.


  1. Mike Axisa says:

    Why is he available then? His deal isn’t awful, what does Detroit know that everyone else doesn’t?

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Yeah it’s weird. They’re open to getting rid of the manageable contracts while keeping the bigger ones.

    • “It seems that for the Tigers, trading Granderson would be more about future payroll commitments than 2010. “

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      Detroit knows that the pizza business and casino business, isn’t what it used to be.

    • ROBTEN says:

      Isn’t it the case that they have essentially emptied their minor league system in recent years, particularly in the Cabrera trade?

      Maybe it is precisely his manageable contract which the Tigers think will make him attractive enough on the trade market to get significant minor league talent in return.

      In other words, they don’t have much else to give away for any significant value, don’t expect anyone will take on the larger contracts or don’t want to (in the case of Cabrera), and so they think that despite the declining numbers, his contract makes him an attractive enough option for some teams to get 2 or 3 prospects back.

    • Omar says:

      I don’t have a whole lot of faith in Dombrowski, but the Tigers could just be looking to cut payroll…who knows. You guys are the opposite end of the Nova/Coke for Greinke crowd. Stop being so fucking pessimistic. Jesus you guys are fucking downers in the offseason, sure display all the confidence in the world in young right handed starter with shitty control and declining stuff…but the guy who signed Magglio Ordonez to a stone cold retarded contract and gave up valuable pieces for Edgar Renteria? No he can’t possibly make a stupid decision.


  2. jim p says:

    A rumored factor: Sherman reported that Boras/Damon is looking for a 3-4 year contract. If that’s the case, he’s surely not a Yankee in 2010. Which means the outfield becomes a more pressing issue than we’ve been thinking.

  3. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Could Curtis Granderson factor into Yanks’ outfield plans?

    I hope not. Just my first thought.

  4. Mike bk says:

    granderson also had numerous plays at the end of the year where he badly misplayed balls in the field.

    bill james is projecting a bounce back of sorts with the bat for 2010.

    .276/.353/.491 w 27hr’s and 17sb’s which would be an excellent year.

  5. AndrewYF says:

    Amount of Planck times I would hesitate in giving up Jackson for Granderson: 0.5.

  6. Doug says:

    “(And, just for Mike, I know he had a .484 OPS against lefties last year, but again, that seems like an approach thing. He was much better in previous years.)”

    actual should be “in previous year”, not “years”. in 2007 his OPS vs. lefties was again a horrid .494

  7. Free Mike Vick says:

    MONEY $$$$$$$

    Detroit has none of it.

    a down year yields 30 HRs playing 82 games in that yellowstone park. He would rip YS to pieces.

    it almost makes too much sense. LH bat in YS. Plays CF. Still fairly young. Has speed. Power.

  8. Dan Robinson says:

    I hope we dont make a move for him. I would be scared to potentially be stuck with a good fielding but below average hitting outfielder that gets more expensive over the next few years. We can get close to that production next year out of Garbrera for less money and a higher upside.

    Thoughts about signing Mike Cameron and sending Garbrera to left field?

  9. Doug says:

    let’s just play along…what in addition to ajax would they ask for? would someone like mcallister be enough or would we have to send them back a hughes/joba?

    • Will (the other one) says:

      I can’t imagine they’d take anything less than Jackson + Hughes/Joba, probably with a mid-tier prospect thrown in as well. There’s no way Detroit sells low on Granderson to anybody, much less to the Yankees.

      • Steve H says:

        Much less to the Yankees?

        That’s a myth, that they wouldn’t do a trade because it’s the Yankees. They will take the absolute best deal available, regardless of the team he’d be going to.

      • Joe says:

        granderson for jackson, hughes/joba and a mid tier prospect?? cash will hurt his hand trying to hang up the phone fast enough.

        I think granderson’s a good idea, just not for that price.

      • Doug says:

        i would tend agree with you, unless they have such financial problems that they “have” to cut payroll. and like someone mentioned earlier, there’s no way they can get rid of their other high priced guys like ordonez and bonderman.

    • Steve H says:

      I doubt it would be Hughes/Joba or even Mcallister. If A-Jax was the centerpiece and the other guys involved weren’t top notch, I’d be interested (though unless they really need the $$ I doubt it) Seriously, what is A-Jax’ peak, is it as good as we have already seen Granderson be?

      • AndrewYF says:

        Granderson is Austin Jackson, but with power.

        • Free Mike Vick says:

          power as a LH hitter in YS.

          me likey.

        • Steve H says:

          Agreed. So if the cost is A-Jax plus not much else, I’m game. I understand the advantage A-Jax brings as a cost controlled young CF going forward, but that’s only if he pans out.

          • jsbrendog says:

            exactly, and like i mentioned below, slade is brewing in the minors for 3 or 4 years, which is right about the time granderson’s contract is ending/winding down to the option year, no?

            • jsbrendog says:

              so it’d almost be like handing the reigns to ajax a yr earlier than anticipated except that it is granderson and the possible length of his tenure in the bronx might not be as long as ajax’s. but at the same time he is a proven commodity and ajax may never drop his k rate or put it all together

              • But, if AJax can give you, say, 70% of Granderson’s production, but for 2% of the cost… maybe swapping Granderson for Jackson isn’t really worth it.

                • Steve H says:

                  That’s the big if though, I can certainly see both sides of the coin. Considering the Yankees financial clout, and title ready team, I’d take the shot and go with Granderson. Nobody thought it would take 9 years after 2000 to win another title. I say, without completely selling the farm, strike while the iron is hot. If Granderson were 33 I wouldn’t be interested, at 29 I am.

                • Considering the Yankees financial clout, and title ready team, I’d take the shot and go with Granderson.

                  Considering the Yankees financial clout and title ready team, I’d NOT trade for Granderson, because we can win the title without him and we can buy someone better than him later, when we actually need him (rather than just want him.

      • Doug says:

        there’s no way they’d do it for anything less than ajax + mcallister (or some other pitcher not named hughes or joba)

        • Reggie C. says:

          I’m fine with that cost.

          Then sign Cameron and Matsui.

          OF: Cameron – Granderson – Swisher
          DH: Matsui

        • Free Mike Vick says:

          A-jax/Z-mac/ another lesser prospect. we’ll eat the contract of course.

          i’d do that and wouldn’t lose a bit of sleep.

          • jsbrendog says:

            that’s another thing, if the yankees eat the contract then it should limit the return. I would guess a good amount of teams woudl want the tigers to pick up at least some of it no? eh maybe not it is relatively cheap.

            • Free Mike Vick says:

              i would think the tigers would want anyone to eat the contract…because thats the whole reason they are dealing him.

              it really isn’t a bad contract. it just has some on the back end.

              and the tigers have no money.

  10. Dan Robinson says:

    Signing Mike Cameron only for a one year deal, or one year with club option

  11. Bo says:

    Its about value.

    What if they can get a few pieces for him and save $ in the process?

    Hes probably at the peak of his value right now. The Tigers have 100 mill in dead cash on the books in the form of dead players like Willis and Robertson. They have few assets to trade to get better. Him and E Jackson are those guys.

  12. currambayankees says:

    Not worth trading for this guy.

    • Steve H says:

      All depends on the price. I assume it would be too high, but worth kicking the tires on.

      • jsbrendog says:

        exactly, the price is what it comes down to. It depends on what everyone else offers. The yankees must just decide what they’re willing to offer (either a concrete offer or a list of guys to choose from) and stick to it. deal or no deal and see if it comes out as the best offer.

  13. pete says:

    eh. if he were a free agent i’d be all over him like a fat kid on a cupcake, but he just ain’t a good enough/sure enough player for me to want to trade someone for him, considering the fact that carl crawford will be a FA next year. But i’ve always leaned conservative on these things.

  14. JobaJr says:

    I’d send them Jackson and Austin Romine for Granderson. He’s a solid 25 HR hitter each year. Put him in YS, he hits you 35.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      They have Avila. Romine won’t appeal to them as much as he would to most other teams.

      • jsbrendog says:

        they’re dying for BP arms, why not ajax as a centerpiece and then a couple MiL reliver types with high ceilings and an albaladejo? it all depends on what everyone else is offering. If no one else offers anything great then who knows what the yanks can get him for.

          • jsbrendog says:

            yes, we have all read the post. congratulations you are like the 3rd or 4th person to post it. good job.

          • jsbrendog says:

            going by your post (which lacks anything worthwhile or substantial) then there is no reason to even discuss it and try to have an informed conversation about what one thinks it would take to try and come to an agreed conclusion of a POSSIBILITY.

            no, bya ll means we shouldnt even discuss it. I think that post meant more to the effect of the people who are like WHY DIDNT CASHMAN TRADE IPK/MELKY FOR HALLADAY?!?!!!?!!?! and not me speculaing that that might get it done above IF no one else offers anything great and they feel they HAVE to move him

  15. A.D. says:

    This is the the type of deal the Yanks would want to do in the mold of the Nick Swisher deal last year, presumably giving up more than last year (which wouldn’t be hard), but nothing major, only Detroit isn’t going to see it that way, they’re going to want premium players, unless they’re just incredibly scared about paying his 2011-12 contract.

    Granderson’s career line: 272/344/484
    Gardbrerra last year: 273/338/400
    Cameron last year: 250/342/452

    Granderson would be far more long term solution that Cameron, but Is that added production for Granderson over Gardbrerra really worth some solid prospects?

    • Reggie C. says:

      Its a sizeable production upgrade, especially if Granderson can return to career averages. Sure he’s overpaid judging from last season’s output, but he’s a lefty hitter which could help at least repeat the power output.

      • Steve H says:

        Yeah, and Granderson career on the road is a robust .284/.353/.516. Even in a down year like last year, he went .267/.345/.516 on the road. That is a beast of CF when you throw in the good D.

  16. Chili Davis says:

    Twenty HRs on the road, 10 at home last season for Granderson. With the short porch and his lefty bat, it’s not crazy to think Grandy could be a 35-HR guy as a Yankee; however, it might cost way too much to get him and he only hit .183 against lefties last season. Still, it’s worthwhile for Cashman to do his due diligence and call Dombrowski, which I’m sure he will.

  17. jsbrendog says:

    so this ties in with the slade prospect profile. If the cost of Granderson is ajax plus let’s say a zmac or nova or something then the question becomes do the yankees think:

    a) granderson will rebound and fulfill the worth of his contract/years?


    b) will slade be ML ready in their estimation byt the time granderson is nearing the end of his contract.

    i honestly don’t know how I feela bout this. Obv if it involves a joba/hughes/jesus etc then go eff yourself detroit, but with Detroit hurting sdo muich for relievers why couldn’t it get done with an ajax and then quantity, like 3 reliever type guys or two even?

    • Free Mike Vick says:

      well….i don’t think baseball is to a point where we can start mixing in just drafted players into our plans on a major league level right away.

      what i’m trying to say is…the yankees should not make any move this offseason with Slade Heathcott in my mind.

      • jsbrendog says:

        no, but what i am saying is that by trading ajax for someone who is a solid cf and a similar comp to him but has already panned out who is under contract for 3 or 4 more years makes more sense if you have a cf prospect in the low minors who COULD be that far away. Again it shouldn’t make a big decisive difference but it’s basically just trading an unknown for a known with knowledge you MIGHT have a replacement ready at about the right time.

    • Reggie C. says:

      At the cost of Ajax, Zmac or Nova, i believe:

      a) If Granderson could return to career avgs, this guy could become another 30 hr hitter who hits .270. That makes him a heck of a 5th/6th place hitter. Its 3 seasons at which point we judge the OF market for comparable, cheaper talent (if there is any).

      b) Slade Heathcott is hopefully a 1 year, 1 league guy at least. Development is a bitch and you never know.

      Cash’s sticking points: No Joba, Hughes, Jesus.

  18. Drew says:

    I love me some C-Grand.

  19. Jim Lane says:

    I’d like to hold off on trading AJax and sign Carl Crawford next year. You have to assume he’s going to look for a nice contract and we currently have no one signed long term ion the outfield. I’d rather land Crawford for 0 prospects and pay him than trade away our best hitting prospect for Granderson.

    • Mike bk says:

      well AJax certainly isnt our best hitting prospect, but i understand what you meant. It is sort of like the Johan/CC move of a couple years ago where you can go deal for Granderson or wait a year and get Crawford for just money. Really what we are talking about if we move on Granderson is: Ajax+Z-Mac/Nova+Damon or Cameron (since one of them would probably be here without Granderson)

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      I see visions of Curtis, A Jax, and Crawford in 2011. That would be great. Swish as DH / backup OF and 1B.

    • J.R. says:

      A-Jax is pretty far from out “best hitting” prospect.

  20. DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

    I mentioned I wanted this guy on the Yanks last night on here. I would be willing to give up a lot to get this guy as our CF. He is a very good all around player, has a great attitude and is the anti Cano as far as hustle is concerned.

    Curtis is fast but unlike Brett G. he can actually field his posotion and knows which route to take to a ball, and which way to turn on a ball over his heard. Melky is a useful player and if he is not needed in the trade would be a good fourth or RF if Damon grabs the money bag elsewhere.

    I like Curtis even though he almost broke my finger last year in Baltimore.

    • Steve H says:

      I stopped at the anti Cano.

      • jsbrendog says:

        new DBHOF. nice.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

        Steve H, you sir are not telling the truth. You would not bother a response without reading the whole thing. But your intent is noted.

        • Steve H says:

          Nope. You said Granderson is the anti-Cano as far as hustle. That was so asinine I stopped reading. Unless, of course, you have watched all of Grandersons games for the past 3 or 4 years, then I will take you seriously and continue to read your post. I doubt you have sat thru the last 500 Tigers games, so your point is meaningless.

          • jsbrendog says:

            stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

            but he’s seen it with his own eyes!

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

            I am glad you know how many Tigers games I watch. Steven, here is the thing Curtis try’s hard, and runs. Cano does not. You do not have to watch 162 games to see Robbie is a country club player.

            Robbie has as much or more talent than anybody playing 2nd base. But he is a bum. He throws away at bats, and does not run hard. He is the worst 320 hitter I have ever seen and there is reason he bats so low in the order, no mental toughness. The guy will mash on crap pitching but falls apart when we really need a hit so many times.

            Some of the things Robbie did his first year or two I would not make too big of a deal about due to his youth but after being in the league this many years it only says one thing the kid, that he does not get what the game is really about.

            Maybe you do not either?

            • Steve H says:

              /alex gonzalez’d

            • jsbrendog says:

              Steven, here is the thing Curtis try’s hard, and runs. Cano does not. You do not have to watch 162 games to see Robbie is a country club player.

              are you kidding me? well to use a phrase form your book I am glad you know how robbie cano plays baseball. I am sure because you watch a few games a year you know what he thinks and that he doesnt try hard and not that he is just super talented naturally and makes it look easy.

              you call him a bum, question his mental toughness, and whine about him like you’re his psychiatrist. you bring nothing worthwhile to any discussion here.

            • jsbrendog says:

              ANNNNNNNNND in true DBHOF fashion you personally attack another commentor because they “do not udnerstand baseball. jesus fucking christ. You realize you are the butt of most jokes here?

              Some of the things Robbie did his first year or two I would not make too big of a deal about due to his youth but after being in the league this many years it only says one thing the kid, that he does not get what the game is really about.

              Maybe you do not either?

    • A.D. says:

      but unlike Brett G. he can actually field his posotion

      Only BG can field his position…so what does that mean?

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

        No he really can not. He is fast, but he is not a good CF. You must listen to the game on the radio and think when Sterling pretends the ball is about to go out and he catches it, that he made a good play. Go ahead quote some stats, I am ready to yawn.

        • jsbrendog says:

          Go ahead quote some stats, I am ready to yawn.

          it is so not nice to have you back. good to know you see it with your own eyes and that is the only thing that counts. wonderful.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

            Stats can be good, but like a politician they can be bent to make a point. If Brett is really good in CF why do we need somebody else? Is it because Brett can not hit? or because he is a horrible base runner even though he is the fastest guy on the field most nights.

            BTW I do not have hate for Brett, but he is a one dimensional player and not even very good in that dimension.

        • A.D. says:

          Given that the scouts & the stats say/show he’s a good CF, along with the various analysts, and the Yankees seem to believe that (using him as a defensive replacement), I go with the fact that he’s a good CF. In addition watching on TV you can see he gets places on the field other people don’t

          On top of that, you’re the only person I’ve seen knock his ability to field.

          • jsbrendog says:

            On top of that, you’re the only person I’ve seen knock his ability to field.
            with zero evidence or credibility behind what you are presenting

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

              Bretts field position is usually off. Brett has trouble on balls over his head. Brett has only one tool in the OF which is his speed.

              Watch when he is no longer on the Yanks, this guy will disappear faster than Andy Phillips from the bigs.

              Typical hometown fans think their “gritty” lovable guy is really good even when you see he isn’t.

              • jsbrendog says:

                brett gardner has a 7.2 uzr and a 15.4 uzr/150 in 99 ngames in 09 in cf. fine, it is not a perfect stat but you are the ONLY person multiple people here have seen criticize him while simultaneously scoffing at statistics that show you are mroe than likely mistaken.

                brett gardner only has 2 things, speed and defense. That is why he even makes rosters. Freddy guzman lacks defense. That is why he goes from minor league team to minor league team.


          • JMK aka The Overshare says:

            On top of that, you’re the only person I’ve seen knock his ability to field.

            Not true. I have. Gardner’s range is very good, no question. His speed is premium, which is why he’s able to overcome the poor reads and poor routes he takes to the ball. He’s not as bad as Jacoby Ellsbury by any means, but he doesn’t have a refined sense of ball trajectory. His arm is merely okay. I’m not saying he’s a bad fielder; he’s above average, but the dude is one-dimensional. It just so happens that the one advantage he has (speed) allows him to mask his deficiencies pretty well.

            You can disagree with DBHF, and you’d have good reason to for many of his points, but he’s on-point with Gardner being overrated in the field, though he’s not a bad outfielder, as DBHF claims.

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

              Maybe I overstated things by saying he can not field his position but I am just so sick of hearing about how he is a great CF.

              “I’m not saying he’s a bad fielder; he’s above average, but the dude is one-dimensional. It just so happens that the one advantage he has (speed) allows him to mask his deficiencies pretty well.”

              I guess the problem I have with that is what does above average mean in 2009?

              I would prefer to have a guy that is great in CF, who can also run pretty good, knows how to run the bases, and gets some hits. Granderson can do all of these things, if he is available let us get him and maybe if the Tigers are lucky we can give them the gritty loveable lil guy Brett because I would rather have a full “growed” man who is an all around baseball player in CF.

    • Charlie says:

      yuck. theres quite a bit of wrongness in this post

  21. tim thomas says:

    wouldnt you assume that brett gardner would be a part of this trade as well?

  22. Pete Law says:

    What about David DeJesus in LF? Brooklyn-born – slightly older on a worse team with a lower payroll.

    Wouldn’t the prospects cost less to the Royals for DeJ than to the Tigers for Curtis?

    • A.D. says:

      They should be, but the Royals may just have no real intention for trading DeJesus, unless they were overwhelmed for him, while the Tigers may not need to be overwhelmed, thus making the trade fairly similar.

    • Steve H says:

      Ugggh. Went thru this last year. He’s average, at best. He excels in 0 categories. 0.

      The prospects would cost much, much less than Granderson, because Granderson is a much much better player.

  23. cr1 says:

    This is the kind of player I had in mind when I was whining on earlier about a credible outfield.

    I’ve no idea whether a reasonable deal can be put together, but I’m pleased to note that our FO is on point.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      “This is the kind of player I had in mind when I was whining on earlier about a credible outfield.”

      Me too. He is what a good outfielder use to be. Curtis is better all around than anybody we have had in our OF in many moons. We have had guys that do one or two things very well but always lack something, he does not.

    • Steve H says:

      Credible outfield?

      Did I miss something, or did the Yankees not just, you know, win the WS? I’d consider that credible.

      • cr1 says:

        You know your argument is weak when you counter a statement about a particular segment of the team with a defense of the team as a whole, which did manage to win the WS in spite of having an OF that is perhaps its weakest element.

        If you want to defend the OF, try to find something to say that is specifically about them.

        • Steve H says:

          Ok, Damon and Swisher are well above average hitters. Melky is an average hitter. Damon is poor defensively, Melky is good, and Swisher is average. 2 of them are switch hitters without drastic (Granderson-like) splits, and Damon can hit lefties. And regardless of all of that, they were good enough to win a WS.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:


            We have had a lot of DH types in the OF. I do not think anybody was talking about the hitting ability, it was more about the all around package and fielding your position.

            Another point, the HELL WITH LEAGUE AVERAGE. LEAGUE AVERAGE SUCKS. There are very few guys that play a good OF anymore.

            I like Swish, I sat in right field in ballparks all over this land this year just to see Swish. I root for him. If I wore a shirt with a slogan and a players name on it from the Yankees it would be his.
            But he is not a very good defensive OF. Is he passable, sure. Is he league average, sure. Is he really good. No sir.

            Is Melky a good CF? No sir. Is he passable? Yes.
            Is he better than league average? Maybe he is but that is not saying much in 2009.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

          That wont happen.

          I guess we have the best manager and peanut salesmen because we won the WS?

          The 06 Cards won the WS right? with not so great staring pitching.

          We won the WS with maybe the worst OF I have ever seen win a World Series. I am talking from a defensive standpoint.

          A lot of the people on here seem like the type of people that call other ugly people ugly, but when somebody calls their ugly sister ugly they get mad. Dude I get it we all like the yankees that is why we are here but the Yanks OF on D has been UGLY for a long time.

          Thank you cr1, you are now my second favorite person with a 1 in their name right behind my boogie down brother KRS-1

  24. CB says:

    That meant an increase in fly ball percentage, to almost 50 percent. Since ground balls go for hits more frequently than fly balls, Granderson’s lower BABIP, and therefore lower batting average, is easily explainable.


    Thank you. The idea that BABIP is a pure index of “randomness” or “luck” is one of the most conceptually flawed ideas to come out of sabermetrics. It is one of those assumptions that people make in order to construct simpler statistical models. This happens in a lot of fields. But over time the assumptions in the model stop being understood as assumptions and start to get taken as descriptions of how the real world works empirically.

    We know that ground balls turn into basehits around 28% of the time. Flyballs turn into basehits around 21% of the time, IIRC.

    BABIP is a complex phenomenon. You can’t just assume it’s an index of “luck” because it contains an aspect of randomness in it. Similarlry you can’t just portray it in a simplistic model like BABIP = LD% + .12.

    The initial HIT F/X data should have made people really rethink how BABIP is understood once and for all. But that still hasn’t happened.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      But that’s in part because Hit f/x isn’t yet readily available. I’m still excited for the first place I can see Pedro Feliz’s avg hit mph versus a typical player.

    • One of my newfound pet peeves is when people conflate randomness and luck.

      • CB says:

        That’s correct. Even inside of purported sabermetrics circles randomness is often misunderstood.

        I think you’ve mentioned you like Nicholas Talib’s work. He has some good stuff on this subject in his “Fooled by Randomness.”

  25. Charlie says:

    i hope not.. Granderson’s not really that great or cheap. Plus i love ajax. I think he could probably outplay granderson by 2012. So, sorry tigers, no thanks (if i were cashman).

    • Mister Delaware says:

      Based on? I like Jackson just fine but to decide that in his 2nd full season he’ll surpass Granderson sounds more wishcasting than anything else. At some point expectations have to be adjusted on a guy who has 30 minor league HRs over 2,500 PAs.

  26. Sean says:

    why would the yankees trade away their top prospect in jackson for a dude thats gonna fall off the map. How pissed off would we be if a-jax tears it up in detroit while we are stuck with granderson for the next couple years?

    the farm system is not a pool of players to trade away, the good ones should be taken care of so that the teams dont have to spend millions on a free agent

  27. John NY says:

    As mentioned in the article, Granderson’s fly-ball rate has been on the rise since 2007. You assume he’s hitting 2nd in front of Jeter and behind Tex. He’s been the Tigers leadoff guy so you get that mentality at the second spot. Which, to me, signals his approach will most certainly adjust slightly.

    I think everyone agrees Granderson has the Yankee type attitude and can certainly step in the club house and be liked. If Damon gets greedy, I’m fine with this move if the Yanks pull it. AJax/Nova and a player to named should be enough. Keep ZMac!

  28. Question: Why does anyone respond to DBHOF? He has his opinions, they’re not malleable, and they’re not based on anything other than his own observations. There are no facts in his analysis. It’s like arguing with your cat, except your cat might respond if you yell loud enough.

    • jsbrendog says:

      i’m sorry. It’s like a drug. I will ignore him. but I couldn’t help it above when he, in one post, called cano a bum, said he saw it with his own eyes, and wuestioned steve h’s knowledge about how baseball works/is played.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      Joe P, just because I do not give a guy a plus or minus number does not mean there are no facts involved. You may want to think I do not back anything up, because I do not provide a graph, but a fact remains a fact even if it is not backed up to your liking.

      Baseball is a game where touch and feel mater, not just raw numbers.

      The internet is great in that it allows fellows like you to present your case why your data thrown together in new ways, is worth while. The down side is the smugness and lack of historical depth that is overlooked.

      I do not judge a player based on just what was there last year but the quality of the baseball they play. Baseball is not Oregon Trail (i use this as an example because I do not recall the first stat geek apple 2 game), it is a living breathing game. A human game.

  29. larryf says:

    For me, this is a tough one. Granderson is much better than Grelky. 30 Homeruns/speed on the bases and a great defender and not yet 30? He hit some bombs at the Stadium this year. Batting second or first-he would be a great addition. Trade Grelky and Nova for him….or AJ/Nova and 1/2 of grelky….

  30. Michael says:

    This is a golden opportunity for Cashman and company. Detroit needs bullpen help, and we have a plenty to offer. Additionally, they are looking to deal Edwin Jackson as well. We could put a blockbuster together, and get both Granderson and Jackson by trading Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy, and a couple of B level prospects like Kevin Russo and Rumolo Sanchez. This leaves a lineup of Jeter, Granderson, Tex, A-Rod, Matsui (who we would sign for 1 year), Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Melky/Gardner. Pitching would be CC, AJ, Jackson, Pettitte, Joba/Hughes with bullpen of Aceves, Gaudin, Robertson, Marte, Hughes/Joba, Mo. Very solid team; poised to defend their crown.

    • We could put a blockbuster together, and get both Granderson and Jackson by trading Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy, and a couple of B level prospects like Kevin Russo and Rumolo Sanchez.

      No. No, they won’t take that. No.

      Your trade proposal sucks.

    • J.R. says:

      I think you’d have to do Jesus Montero+ Hughes+ Ajax and other pieces to get Edwin Jackson and C-Grand.

    • whizkid says:

      It depends how desperate the Tigers need to cut payroll, but the Yanks probably have too many prospects that all can not be protected from the Rule 5 draft, so I wouldn’t be against trading 3,4 prospects for Granderson. 1/2 of Grelky + Russo + Horne + Melancon? Then sign Cameron on a 1 yr for insurance and Ajax gets a Sep callup? If the Tigers are really desperate, throw in 2,3 more prospects for Jackson? We certainly have the depth for that… And again, with the Rule 5, we’d probably lose 2,3 guys without comp anyway… Kennedy + Duncan + Sanchez for jackson? If they want Ajax/Hughes/Joba caliber talent back, that’s talent for talent trade and we shouldn’t get involved…

  31. List of players under contract to another team that the Yankees should attempt to trade for this offseason:


    [end of list]

    • Steve H says:

      Well, to a point. I’ll take Hanley. But I do agree, since the Yankees, despite their high payroll, aren’t saddled with any horrible contracts right now, any trade they make will be given up low cost value. I think in the right case you make the trade, but they don’t have to do anything. If they do make a trade, it better be for a young player they will have under control for a few years.

      • jsbrendog says:

        horrible contracts:


        again, the production is nice, but it is, in terms of contracts, a horrible contract

        • Steve H says:

          It’s not horrible yet though, it’s not a Zito/Soriano/Wells contract in that he’s overpaid and underproducing. And the way they structured A-Rod’s contract will help down the road, as his salary goes down when he gets older. The worst part about that contract was negotiating against themselves and overpaying for him. But again, I’ll take an overpaid player who produces over one who doesn’t.

        • ARod, WAR Dollar worth and actual salary compensation:

          2004 – $20.9, $22.0
          2005 – $32.1, $26.0
          2006 – $16.9, $21.7
          2007 – $39.2, $22.7
          2008 – $27.1, $28.0
          2009 – $20.0, $32.0

          This is only the second year in pinstripes where ARod hasn’t approached or surpassed his contract value, and he missed the first month of the season (and slumped through the second while recovering). A full clip of ARod in 2009 probably approaches 32M in worth.

          ARod’s not overpaid. Not yet, at least. And remember, his contract is frontloaded. He’ll make less at the end when he produces less.

          • jsbrendog says:

            everything about his pre2007 is moot because it was signed in texas and they were paying som. so far in his 2 yrs as a fullon yankee signee he has not lived up to his contracts. yes you make good points as to why but it is still a bad contract for length, his age, and $$

            dont get me wrong i am nt hating on arod one bit

          • Mike P says:

            I usually agree with you, but the notion a contract is better ’cause it’s front loaded is just plain wrong. Because of inflation, you always want to back load contracts. As absurd as it seems, the Yanks would be MUCH better off having A-Rod play for free for 9 years, paying him 300 million in the last year of his contract and budgeting accordingly.

      • Well, to a point. I’ll take Hanley.

        I’ll take Hanley too, but the fact remains that it would be far to expensive to trade for Hanley this offseason, so he also is not a player under contract to another team that we should attempt to trade for this offseason.

        • Steve H says:

          Hanley yes, it ain’t happening. But I still think there may be an opportunity to take advantage of the economy and acquire a young, well paid player for less than 100% value in terms of personnel, but giving the receiving team more financial flexibility.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Granderson represents a potential significant upgrade to the Yankee offense and he’s not a bad defender.

          Granderson isn’t locked into his mid-30s. If the execution costs are limited to Jackson, McAllister or Nova, & Melancon, then why not end the platoon situation?

          The cost might not be prohibitive.

  32. UnNamed Yankee Source says:

    TO DET: SCRUBS & Kei Igawa
    TO NYY: Mags and Granderson

    We eat the contract, and get Granderson, the cost minimal.

    Bye, Bye…. Matsui and Damon.

  33. Mike HC says:

    I would give up nothing for him. I would not even do AJax for him straight up. There are other outfielder we can sign and we would not have to give up anything.

  34. UnNamed Yankee Source says:

    How much is Ivan DeJesus these days?

  35. Jake K. says:

    It’s important to note that Granderson is basically a platoon player. A really good one, but a platoon player nonetheless. He would need to be out of the lineup against lefties.

  36. Will Soltren says:

    Getting Granderson isn’t a bad Idea. he make little money and he can keep the OF spot until Carl Craw of T.Bay is a F.A. next year.

  37. Mike R says:

    I live in Michigan and believe me, the Tigers are not trying lighten their payroll by giving away their best all-around player. Dombrowski is testing the market and hoping someone will over pay. I for one hope the Yankees don’t get involved because the last thing the Tigers need is to trade Grandy for one or two of your over hyped top prospects. That is unless Hensley Meulens is available.

  38. Amol says:

    I wouldn’t assume that the Tigers would require Austin Jackson be part of the deal. I think it’s more likely that Melky Cabrera would be traded, as the Tigers don’t have a center fielder to replace Granderson, and while Jackson may have the higher ceiling, he doesn’t seem ready quite yet. It might sound insane, but I think Cabrera and Phil Coke might be enough to make this deal happen. In fact, if we were dealing with the Royals or the White Sox, I’d be certain of it. I haven’t paid enough attention to Dave Dombrowski to know whether or not he’d go for it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cashman fleece Detroit.

    • Camilo Gerardo - your inception? fuck perception, go with what makes sense says:

      maybe a MR, Cabrera and Romine or something similar.. maybe

  39. Mike R says:

    Heck! Why not Cabrera straight up? Those rubes in Detroit don’t know who they’re messing with. Don’t they realize we been buying championships since their great grand pappys were just boys?

  40. Joseph P. says:



    Sabathia, Burnett,Lackey,Jackson,Pettitte

    I know we dont have unlimited payroll but we can dream

  41. [...] I think he would be a good fit, but only for a good price, which probably won’t happen. River Avenue Blues has a good read about the subject. What do you guys [...]

  42. [...] is attractive for a number of reasons, as I outlined in this post. He’s trended downward since his breakout 2007 season, but as with Nick Swisher’s 2008, [...]

  43. [...] been written about his offensive dip last year. Joe noted his shift from groundballs to fly balls last month, however Bill at The Detroit Tiger Weblog took a much more in-depth look at Granderson’s [...]

  44. [...] any free agents this week, but remember that the wheels of the Curtis Granderson trade were first put into motion at least year’s GM [...]

  45. […] we learned that Granderson would become available, the fit seemed logical enough. While the Yankees didn’t necessarily need a center fielder, […]

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