Does Granderson make sense for the Yankees?


Steve at TYU takes a look at Curtis Granderson to see if he’s really a fit for the Yanks. Granderson’s lefty pop would fit nicely in the Stadium, but as Steve notes, he should start taking the ball back up the middle to get back to his offensive levels of a few years ago. Remember, Jason Giambi had a similar problem: he had to go to all fields in Oakland because of the park, but once he got to NY he started trying to pull everything, which dropped his overall production.

Anyway, Steve says there’s a fit for the Yanks if the price is right, which pretty much holds true for every player in the game. It’s good stuff, so make sure you head over and give it a read.

Categories : Asides


  1. Salty Buggah says:

    If the Yanks do not trade for him (say the asking price is too much), I can see many people, especially Francesa, next year complaining to get him. HE HIT TEH 30 HRs!!!

  2. JGS says:

    he strikes out a ton, and can’t hit lefties. who wants a $24M guaranteed platoon player?

    • pat says:

      Esp. when we’re gonna have to give up premium talent to get him.

      • andrew says:

        We said this about swisher too…

        • MikeD says:

          What premium talent did we give up for Swisher? Swish was also supposed be part of a platoon (with Nady), makes less, and his BABIP suggested a rebound. Nothing about Granderson suggests a rebound unless he accepts part-time playing status.

        • JGS says:

          he didn’t get hits off lefties in 2008 but still had a .359 OBP, and for his career he actually hits lefties slightly better albeit with less power. Granderson has never hit lefties remotely well and now is almost an automatic out against them

          and if we can get Granderson for the talent level we gave up for Swisher, sign me up

        • whozat says:

          You might have. People who bothered to do some research didn’t. Who ever called Swisher a platoon player? And who thought they’d need to give up premium talent? People were talking about having to send Damon+cash, and they wound up sending jack squat.

    • thurdonpaul says:


  3. Tom Zig says:

    Nice work, Mr. The Artist

  4. PhilinLA says:

    He’d be a very good fit for the Yanks.

  5. Salty Buggah says:

    I’m serious here: Do you think Kennedy gets it done? I doubt it but still. It seems like a good trade to me.

  6. Crazy Eyes Killa says:

    One scenario I’ve never thought of until now: what if you let both Hideki and Damon go. You trade for Granderson AND sign Cameron on a one year, put Melky in right and move Swish to DH. That would be some ridic OF defense.

    • JGS says:

      Granderson’s UZR the last two years


      • Crazy Eyes Killa says:

        so put cameron in center Grandy in left

      • iYankees says:

        More data:

        2006: +13.7
        2007: +14.2
        2008: +-8.9
        2009: +1.6

        • JGS says:

          yup–he was a good fielder, hence his defensive reputation

          2009: 141
          2008: 111 (in 141 games)
          2007: 141
          2006: 174 (!!!!)

          those are his strikeouts. I want no part of this guy unless he costs nothing

          • iYankees says:

            Over the past 2 years, he has battled a few injuries which have hurt his level of play. Perhaps this explains the dip in defense, but I’m not sure, of course. He strikes out a lot, however, the utility of his other tools could very well negate that one flaw. He just has to be able to hit lefties, though, that’s the biggest issue (he doesn’t have to mash, just hit them at a respectable clip).

            • JGS says:

              and he now has a full season’s worth of plate appearances that says he can’t. Ryan Howard is the poster child for “he can’t hit lefties” but that is really only because he is so good against righties

              Howard vs. LHP: .226/.310/.444
              Granderson vs. LHP: .210/.270/.344
              Jose Molina against everyone (career): .235/.277/.332

    • Tom Zig says:

      I don’t know if Melky would be an upgrade defensively over Swisher. Melky hasn’t played much RF in his career and Swish only had a -1.2 UZR/150 this season.

      • iYankees says:

        I think it was Swisher’s arm that killed him. His range out in right was above average. I definitely think Melky would be an upgrade, but if the Yankees were to trade for Granderson, I would then expect them to trade Melky and bring in another left fielder.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      “That would be some ridic OF defense.”

      But is it worth the cost? Prospects + a lot of money for Grandy and Cameron.

      • JGS says:

        well, it’s money you won’t be paying Damon and Matsui, and Granderson is only due 5.5M next year

        the prospect cost is too much though

      • Crazy Eyes Killa says:

        If you let 2 bats walk, you need 2 bats going forward, none of us know what they are going to do obviously but they can’t just do nothing and let guys walk, you want Shelley Duncan DH-ing a sizable chunk of games next year? Cash doesn’t either

        • Tom Zig says:

          Z-mac and IPK only project to be like middle of the rotation starters, giving up one of them plus AJax (who is being replaced by Granderson, so you’re not really creating any holes) isn’t a prohibitive cost in my eyes. (maybe I’m wrong and just under valuing IPK, Z-Mac and AJax?)

          Although I’m willing to listen to what other people have to say on this issue.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            Here’s what I see. Grandy has to provide more (at least equal) value over his remaining contract than $24 million+ Whatever value A-Jax and IPK/Z-Mac will provide in those four years. It all depends on what value you think everyone will provide. I dont think Grandy will provide that much to make it a good deal as he’s been on the decline and is currently pretty much a platoon player. He did provide $15.2 mil in WAR dollars in 09 so it probably will be a good deal. But what if he decline even more in both facets of the game? (OPS+ has gone from 135, 123, to 100 in the past 3 years). And you have to assume that the value of Ajax and IPK/Z-Mac wont be a lot, which it can be if Ajax provides a decent bat and good D while the pitchers eat up innings at least league average (and I think they can provide above-avg innings, making them even more valuable)

          • Salty Buggah says:

            And you have to remember that middle of the rotation starters are very valuable.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          True but I am one of those who want Matsui and Damon back on short 1+1 deals. I think Matsui will sign but if Damon doesnt, I’ll be more than happy with Cameron. No Grandy though (considering he’ll cost at least a modest price in prospects)

  7. Teix is the Man says:

    Colin Curtis and Jason Hirsh for Granderson and Verlander. Make it happen Cash (If they want Shelley they can have him too)!

  8. Only for a super low price. And that’s not gonna happen.

  9. Hey ZZ says:

    I think the Yankees will be interested in Granderson but I think someone will be desperate enough to give up a couple really good prospects for him. I put my money on the Cubs overpaying for Granderson.

  10. MikeD says:

    Not a big fan of this potential move since Granderson seemingly has lost the ability to hit lefties. He did better a few years ago, but his BABIP that season suggests he was a bit lucky.

    One of the advantages the Yankees have had over the years with their key lefty hitters, be they named Damon, Matusi or Tino, is they handle lefty pitchers well, turning a potential negative hitting scenario into a positive. When Matsui strides to the plate and the opposing manager takes out a righty pitcher to go to what in many cases is a weaker lefty option just to face Matsui actually strengthens the Yankees chances of scoring. Granderson, however, has turned into such an automatic out against left-handed pitchers that he could be exposed in key situations and big games, similar to what the Yankees did with Ryan Howard.

    Teams have always thrown lefties against the Yankees, so either a lefty hitter for the Yankees has to handle lefties, or he has to accept being a platoon player. I don’t see Granderson giving up his full-time status. Pass.

  11. Doug says:

    well, since nobody seems willing to give up ajax + z-mac and assuming most would have ajax > melky, how about melky + z-mac for granderson?

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Melky will cost too much money and is under teams control for only 2(?) more years. He is less attractive to the Tigers.

      • Doug says:

        don’t disagree. just trying to get a feel for what RABers ARE willing to give up for him

        • Drew says:

          I think they want us to sign Betemit then flip him and Jason Hirsh to land Grandy.

        • pete says:

          less than it would probably take. I would trade AJax for Granderson straight up in a heartbeat, but the tigers would never go for that. I wouldn’t want to add any other player of significance simply because you’d be trading 2 complimentary-type players for 1. Curtis granderson is not a star, and with his lefty splits and 29 years of age, he’s not going to be one. He’d be out #9 hitter. An awesome #9 hitter, sure, but is a better #9 hitter worth trading a cheaper #9 hitter and a possible #5 starter or quality reliever? I don’t think so.
          In my opinion, if you’re going to trade prospects, it should be for something of more significance than granderson. You’re not looking at the 2009 yankees (I hope) and saying “man, if we improve that #9 spot, we’ll repeat.” You say “we’re a little shaky at the end of the rotation, so let’s try our best to conserve our future resources so that we can rectify this issue in a year”

  12. Drew says:

    Per Granderson’s defense. It’s no shocker his UZR/150 was -9 in 08. He had Marcus Thames next to him in left, and Maggs in right. Those are two bad defenders. Couple that with the biggest outfield ever and your centerfielder is in trouble. In 09 he had a slightly less mobile Maggs in right and again a ginormous outfield.

    I’d assume his Defense in YSIII would not be an issue.

  13. The Artist says:

    Thanks for the link, Mike. Much appreciated!

  14. Drew says:

    How do we think teams around the league value Kevin Russo? Is he in any way a trade chip?

  15. JMK aka The Overshare says:

    I’d give up Gardner (we’ve been over this but I HATE Gardner), Betances, Melancon and maybe someone like Bleich. If they’re looking for a position player instead of a Bleich or Dellin, how about CoJo, Higgy, Russo, Suttle or maybe a DeLeon?


    • Drew says:

      Eh, they have their own Gardner in Wilkin Ramirez and Don Kelly.

      • JMK aka The Overshare says:

        Hmmm. Wilkin plays LF, or at least he has in the minors and in his short appearance on the Tigers this year. Kelly is a Hairston Jr.-type player with less of a bat.

        Alright, we’ll try again. I’m not a huge Granderson fan. Those splits really worry me, though I think he can still play good D when healthy, steal 25-30 bags and his around 25-30 homers. But dude, those lefty numbers are BAD. Anyway, we’ll strike the first deal.

        DeLeon, Dellin, Melancon and Z-Mac for C-Grand. Highest I’d go. I wouldn’t include Jackson, Romine, Montero, Viz, slade or Man-Ban. Anyone else is fair game, though I would be really shocked if Detroit would take that package.

  16. Drew says:

    How about a bit of a blockbuster?

    Grandy and Miggy both? Frees up 130 Million worth of obligations for the Tigers and gives us a DH for a longgggg time.
    I know I’m dreaming but is it really out of the realm of possibility?

    • pete says:

      …building your team around a “DH for a longgggg time” is not a good strategy for building a team, which is what you’d have to do if you made that move. Especially when you can have the combination of Matsui/Damon/Posada/A-Rod/Jeter/Montero be your DH for an equally “longggg” time without pillaging your farm system.
      What exactly is it with people here and their obsessive desire to make trades that don’t even fill genuine holes, rather than provide (often very slight) upgrades to positions that are really of little concern.

      • JMK aka The Overshare says:

        Trading for Granderson and Cabrera would hurt flexibility, I think.

      • Drew says:

        Well, we wouldn’t exactly be “building around” Miggy. We’d just have a 26 year old freak for a long time.

        • Drew says:

          Also, I wouldn’t want a pillaging of our farm system. They’d have to get a couple major league ready players. Say Joba/Phil, Melky/Robo, then we’d have to give up some prospects, say ZMac and Romine, maybe Ajax too.
          I’m not saying I’d make that exact deal but the Tigers would have to consider it and it wouldn’t be a fleecing of our system. They’re in economic hell and this is one way for them to find their way back in the black.

        • pete says:

          yes, but considering what it would take to get that package (Hughes, Joba, Montero, AJax), you very soon would be. Eventually your lineup would look like this:
          SS Jeter
          RF Swisher
          DH Miggy
          3B A-Rod
          1B Tex
          2B Cano
          C Romine?
          LF Ajax
          CF Melkner

          Basically, you’d have 3 great hitters with a most likely negative defensive contribution, 3 solid hitters with most likely negative defensive contribution, and 3 weak hitters with hopefully a positive defensive contribution. Not to mention, you’ve probably got about $240 million in payroll. It’s just wildly unnecessary and hurts the long term flexibility of the club.

          • Drew says:

            That trade package you put together could probably land 98% of players in the game.

            For me, Montero would be untouchable and it would only be one of Joba/Phil. Also, our CFer would be Grandy not Melky.

            The main reason I even thought about this is that Detroit needs salary relief.

            • Doug says:

              yeah, but they have so much $ coming off the books next season (almost $60M), that they should be building around cabrera, not trading him away

              • Drew says:

                Word, good point but I only see 40 Mil coming off plus an increase in arbitration.

                Either way, as I said in my initial post, I’m dreaming but I don’t think it’s impossible. We’d have all the leverage, they have needs and we can fill them; money and some youth.

                • Doug says:

                  from MLBTR: “However, following the 2010 season, the contracts of Ordonez, Bonderman, Robertson, Willis, and Inge will be coming off the books in Detroit, freeing up more than $57MM.”

                  didn’t verify the #s

                • Doug says:

                  think it comes down to whether the tigers are stupid enough to play ordonez often enough to have his option automatically kick in

                • Drew says:

                  Ah true. For some reason they are assuming Maggs option won’t vest, that’s the extra 18 mil. After an atrocious start to this year he managed to get the PA’s, I don’t think next year will be much different.

                • Drew says:

                  lol Boras will bring the pain if something fishy like that goes on. Basically, if he’s playing well coming out of ST, they have to play him.

                • Doug says:

                  he needs 562 PAs for his 2011 option to be guaranteed. no way the tigers let him get that

                • Drew says:

                  I don’t know. That’s probably less than 120 games. They can’t not play him if he is performing. Boras would have the commish’s office on speed dial.

                • Doug says:

                  131 games for him 518 PAs this season. so looks like it’d take about 140. could be some PHing in there, though.

                  i really see no chance the tigers let him get near that

                • Drew says:

                  Yeah only about 8 games were pinch hitting so I guess it is closer to 140.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      For the long-term its really bad but a Tex-A-Rod-Miggy 3-4-5 is just…I dont even know a word to describe it, that’s how great it is.

      • pete says:

        i’ll take a lineup that’s strong 1-9, defensively proficient, and flexible for the future over a great 3-4-5 any day of the week and twice on sundays.

  17. pete says:

    CF was fine in ’09. Unspectacular, sure, but they got the job done. If anyone other than melkner’s playing CF for the ’10 yankees, it should be Mike Cameron, since he a) doesn’t cost us anything in terms of prospects, b) plays better D than grandy, both last year and historically, and c) can most likely be had on a stopgap-esque 1 year or 1+option deal.
    Granderson’s a fine player, but he’s not the kind of player that an older team coming off a world championship trades young prospects for. As of now, he wouldn’t really fill a hole as much as provide a moderate upgrade to our weakest offensive position. The yankees have no need for him, and therefore should not trade players who, like jackson, could either provide cheaper alternatives or be used in trades to fill actual needs.
    Nobody minds the thought of having granderson as a no. 9 hitter and every day centerfielder, believe me, but if you’re trading away your younger players, it shouldn’t be for a no. 9 hitter, especially when the hybrid no. 9 hitter/CF you already have is a 3.5 WAR player.
    Trading for granderson wouldn’t be a terrible move, but in light of the fact that you could get a player of equal or better value (cameron) without giving up any prospects, and on a shorter commitment, it would make little to no sense. The more I think about it, the fewer reasons I see to get Granderson, and the more I see to get Cameron

  18. Mike Z says:

    The Yankees should keep the prospects that it would take for Granderson. I hope the Yanks resign Damon and Matsui first. Then go sign Cameron for one year at 9/10 million.

  19. joel says:

    limited player. If we can’t get someone really good, we should stay pat with what we have and focus on the starting pitching. Here is my blog posting on comparing Bernie Williams to Granderson and others. The main stat is OPS+ and he is woefully short of Bernie, closer to Melky than Bernie.

  20. Alex S says:

    i wish we could sign holliday for 3 years no long commitment

  21. Teix is the Man says:

    Sign Placido Polanco to play second, and move Cano to left
    -Totally kidding’d

  22. Yo Gard says:

    “there’s a fit for the Yanks if the price is right, which pretty much holds true for every player in the game”

    I know what you’re saying, but there are players who wouldn’t be good fits for the Yankees even if their services were free. Guys like Yuniesky Betancourt, Mike Jacobs, Jose Guillen, etc.

  23. Tommy says:

    Granderson’s age 22 season = High A with an .823 OPS.

    A-Jax should not be a part of this discussion, especially at a time where outfield is the spot that could use some depth and youth going forward at the major league level and throughout the entire organization.

  24. Will in NJ says:

    Personally, I do not see why the Yanks would even think about granderson. There isnt a glaring hole at CF that requires giving up any of our top prospects. Focus on the backend of the rotation and the bullpen. Unless Cash can pull of a swisher deal, I don’t see why the yanks would want granderson.

  25. Bernie says:

    I guess the speculation is the Yanks will keep Damon and let Matsui go. I hope it’s the other way around. Damon is a pro at the plate but he’s such a liability in lf. I know Mat has no position anymore but he hits lefties as well as anyone. Is Cerveli replacing Molina? I almost hope they keep Molina to break in Montero.

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