Sep
18

Gardy or Grandy in 2011?

By
Elsa/Getty Images

On twitter recently Stephen R. from TYU threw out a question about what you would give up for Colby Rasmus. It wasn’t considering team needs, salary, etc. but he wanted to know how Yankee fans valued their prospects vs. Rasmus. There were interesting responses, and one of the often repeated arguments was that Yankee fans would rather trade Gardner than Granderson. This brings me to my question: Who does more for the Yankees in 2011?

I’ll start by saying I am a big proponent of Granderson. I think going forward for 2011 and 2012 (at least) Granderson will outproduce Gardner. Looking at their 2010 seasons this assertion seems a little off the wall, but I think we have seen the worst of Granderson and the best of Gardner. Granderson has been a valuable player this year, Gardner has played at an All-Star level. I get that. My concern is going forward. Aren’t we seeing the absolute peak of Gardner’s abilities this year?

If the 2010 Granderson is the player he is going forward, he still provides value as an average offensive player with above average defense in CF. Working with Kevin Long has helped Granderson recently, though there is no way we can directly correlate that Long’s help “fixed” Curtis. Whether it was Long’s help or not, Granderson’s bat has picked up in the past month. Long will likely be around next year and Granderson is a willing listener and learner. Either way, Granderson definitely has room for improvement. Will he ever be the beast he was in 2007 and 2008? Probably not, though at just 30 years old on Opening Day 2011, he’s still in his expected prime and is definitely capable on improving his 2010 season. Granderson’s 2010 BABIP is .283 vs. a career BABIP of .316. I can’t ignore that his 2009 BABIP was .275 so I don’t want to say he has been unlucky for two straight years, but his batted ball data hasn’t seen any major shift in 2009-2010 from the rest of his career. His career LD% is 20.7 which he is matching this year and was at 21.2% in 2009. With his speed and line drive rate, I have to think his BABIP is due for a rise next year. Even if it doesn’t, he’s still valuable.

If the 2010 Gardner is the player he is going forward, he provides a ton of value. I’m just not convinced Brett will keep this up going forward, this is likely his peak. What can he realistically do better than he is doing this year? He’s not going to hit for power. I doubt he’ll become a .420 OBP guy. Are more of his balls in play likely to fall in for hits? Doubtful. His defense is great and isn’t something that he’ll necessarily improve going forward. Gardner to me is the epitome of a sell high piece right now. We don’t know that Gardner can repeat this next year. If he does, that’s great. If he doesn’t, then you’ve just lost a very valuable trade chip and might have a 4th OF on your hands. Noted Yankee hater* Keith Law is still not sold on Gardner. He doesn’t believe Gardner’s skill set will allow him to continue producing at this level. Whether it turns out to be true or not, that’s a fair assessment. I don’t advocate trading Gardner for a middle reliever, but if there are teams out there that are sold on Gardner’s 2010 as his true level, you have to investigate. Considering the financial cost, I believe Gardner, at least to some teams, would be more valuable on the trade market than Granderson anyway.

*not really

In 2011 Gardner could certainly be a more valuable player than Granderson, but Granderson is far more of a sure thing. Granderson’s potential peak is higher, but more importantly Gardner’s potential floor is lower.  Maybe the Yankees are 100% sold on Gardner and like his cheap production, but if these guys come up in trade talks during the offseason, I’d much rather Gardner be the one packing his bags.

  • lordbyron

    How about Andrew McCutchen in CF rather than Gardy or Grandy?

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      And what are you prepared to give up for McCutchen? Because whatever you offer, they’ll want more

  • Mickey Scheister

    I agree, I’d much rather see Gardy get shipped if the right package is purposed. Not for Chad Quails or any other middle reliever (as stated above) or another 4th OFer, but for a guy with fringe power or proven more than 1 year but not as toolsy as Brett. Gardy could be packaged with Nova or Romulo Sanchez for a young power threat like Rasmus, I’d do it. I still think Gardys value to the Yanks, even as a 4th OF, speed, great D and a high OBP guy, outweighs a younger Austin Kearns type gotten back in a trade. Gardy may not repeat his BA, power or walks but I personally feel he can reproduce that excellent D and SB. To have a guy on the bench that can steal a bag or come in and play and OF spot greatly is invaluable, but if you can get more than what you’ll ever think he’ll be, you do it all day.

  • Bryan V

    I have to agree. I like Gardner, and what he brings to the team. Even what he doesn’t bring (power) is made up for..and then some…by Swisher, Teixeira, ARod, and Cano.

    My only issue with trading Gardner would be the return. It better be good.

  • j

    Texas could want a CF so they can move Hamilton to a corner. They have some good young pitching. Gardner for Holland+? Thats really the only possibly could see, the other teams either don’t have a young pitcher to trade or don’t need a CF.

  • j

    If we did trade Gardner I think it’d be like the Garza-Young trade i.e. an big leaguer for a big leaguer.

  • kosmo

    I know I beat a dead horse when it comes to Granderson but I would either sign Crawford in the offseason and move Gardner to CF or maybe as an example trade Granderson for Kemp the disgruntled Dodger CF.There would probably be other players involved in such a deal a Yankee 2nd base prospect or pitching prospect.

    • pete

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha. You’d trade Granderson for Kemp? Really? You’d sign off on that one, eh? You’d let go of Granderson for Matt Kemp. Man that’s a heckuva limb to be out on.

  • http://www.twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

    Good piece, Steve. Ultimately I think both are back for 2010 and I’m a fan of that. One thing to consider in this question is the cost factor. Off the top of my head, Granderson is going to cost ~18M over the next two seasons with a $2M buyout after that. I’d imagine Gardner would make a small fraction of that. Of course, this would factor into their trade value – Granderson wouldn’t bring a whole lot back unless the team ate the contract, and much of Gardner’s value comes from him being so inexpensive. But if the team was able to move Curtis and save that money, it would bring flexibility in the budget elsewhere – no small consideration for a team about to try to ink Jeter, Rivera and Lee.

    • hello9

      Gardner made 0.4525M this year, I doubt he makes much more than that the next year. He’s 26 and just stole 40+ bases while more than holding his own with the stick (which he’d continue to do even if he regressed). He had the 5th highest WAR of any OF in the AL according to fangraphs. Grandy had a very good season definitely – but Gardner was almost twice as good as him and was in the Carl Crawford level in terms of defensive value. Let’s say the bottom falls out and Grander drops a whole 2 wins from this year to the next. Say hello to 2008/2010 Franklin Guti.

      • Poopy Pants

        Grandy had a very good season???

  • Ellis

    I’ll never understand the persistent undervaluing of Brett Gardner.

    I mean, you say Granderson (30) is at his expected prime while Gardner (27) has nowhere to go but down.

    You say Gardner “will never become a .420 OBP guy”, which has been reached this season by only Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto.

    Gardner has just put up a near-complete season with the 2nd-highest WAR on the Yankees (behind Cano), and he’s more expendable than a guy hitting .247 because “Kevin Long is working with him”?!?

    Gardner should be a centerpiece of the Yankees for years going forward – he’s simply one of their best players.

    • kosmo

      I agree with you.I sense that Granderson will never be any better than he is(or was).A professional hitter in the bigs for what 6 seasons needs help with his swing? All the meanwhile he´s being platooned.Granderson has power but most of his HRs are solo shots in low leverage situations.
      Gardner appears to me a solid .280-.290 hitter with a good baseball instincts.

      • Jonathan

        Um, Nick Swisher needed help with his swing…and he got it and look at the results, and he isn’t as talented as Granderson. I can’t believe you argued against Granderson for “only” hitting solo home runs in low leveraged situations. Remember Wednesday when he hit a go ahead 2 run home run in the 7th? I know New York is a what have you done for me lately place but 2 or 3 days? Not to mention, a HR off Beckett in his first AB, a game winning HR against Papelbon, plus the Arizona game winner….etc etc.

        • kosmo

          Your speaking of 2 games almost 6 months apart.Of course your speaking of exceptions rather than the rule.

          Swisher improves so there for it follows Granderson will improve.That´s bullshit.Swisher is also a SW which helps tremendously with his approach.

          • Jonathan

            are you kidding with that comment? that is one of the most ignorant things i’ve ever seen written on here. How often do you want this guy to hit a HR in high leverage situations? Ever single night? Guys just don’t hit go ahead and walkoff home runs daily.

            And your whole point was a professional hitter with 6 years in the league can’t fix his swing or it’s pathetic that he has to. I gave you a perfect example of the same thing happening and working with Swisher. And you’re right. The exception is that Granderson has hit a few home runs in high leverage situations and it isn’t the rule. But that’s the case with all the best players in the entire history of the game! Who hits a HR in high leverage situations more than half the time? Good lord man do you have any idea what you’re saying?

            • kosmo

              Don´t put words in my mouth and don´t twist what I say .I never ever said anything about “half the time“.Granderson sucks with RISP at the tune of .204 in 2010.ALL SEASON.Doesn´t that say anything to you ?

              • It’sATarp

                yea that says small sample size. Cano hit .200 with RISP last year. stop making stupid comments.

        • ZZ

          “Fixing” Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson are not comparable in anyway. People need to stop using Nick Swisher as a baseline to compare to what Kevin Long can do with Granderson.

          Nick Swisher pre-Long was a very good player with minor flaws in his swing. Curtis Granderson is an average offensive player with major flaws in his swing and set.

          Nick Swisher improved. He was not fixed. Curtis Granderson needs to be fixed. The example is not perfect. It is actually not even close.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Curtis Granderson, career, and this is considering the last two years: .269/.341/.478/.819. He’s not a high BA guy, but then again neither was Swisher, but you know, he’s done pretty darn well for himself. It’s a mega stretch to call him “average.”

            • ZZ

              I wasn’t speaking about his career numbers. The article itself refers to him as average this year and this is the 2nd year in a row that has happened.

              With Granderson, citing his career averages is very misleading. In 2007-2008 he is a very different player from 2009-2010. It is a very bi-modal distribution and likely at this point referring to his 2009-2010 numbers are more reliable when projecting him forward.

              • It’sATarp

                why? that makes no sense. once again the article points out Granderson has not done anything out of his career numbers in terms of types of balls hit. Which means basically there the luck factor. he’s also hitting more ground balls this year. if you compare his 2007 line drive, Gb, fly ball rates…it matches up almost exactly with his 2010 numbers. So instead of saying he’s no longer the same player, since the number tells us that’s not the case, you have to look at different factors and what you expect out of the guy in the future.

                • ZZ

                  That does not mean there is a luck factor.

                  Most baseball fans have no idea what luck means in regards to statistical sets and the use of the word is grossly overused and misused like in this post.

                  • It’sATarp

                    BABIP, do you know what that is? players have no control where their hit lands. If you hit a line drive it can very well be in a hole or find a player. Ground balls have more tendency to find holes than fly balls falling in to a gap. Line drives have the best chance to drop for a hit. whether it lands in front of a fielder or find grass is LUCK. Remember Arod’s hr of the camera in the WS? that was luck..Arod didn’t aim the ball at it. anywhere else it would be considered a double. That’s luck, no way you can say it’s not. So don’t go telling me i don’t know what luck is in terms of hitting when you yourself do not understand it.

                    • ZZ

                      This is absurd. You are making 2 different arguments.

                      Of course luck is involved at a baseline level. Luck factors into everything in life in some form.

                      On a significant statistical level, you are grossly misuing the concept to the point where the analysis is useless.

                    • It’sATarp

                      how man i making different arguments? enlightenment me on what you consider luck, BABIP and other factors all knowing one. Since you are speaking at higher statistical level, how is luck not involved in hitting?

          • Esteban

            So he was just lucky in 2007? If that’s average, what’s good for you?

            • ZZ

              Like I just said to bexarama, I was not talking about his career.

              I am talking about who he is right now.

      • pete

        “Granderson has power but most of his HRs are solo shots in low leverage situations.”

        I call bullshit. Not just because that’s not true, but because that would be completely irrelevant. No player has ever been able to or will ever be able to choose when to hit a HR. If a player could do that, he’d hit a HR every time.

        • kosmo

          Granderson
          High leverage situations .202 ave.
          RISP .204 ave
          2 outs RISP .222 ave
          within 1 run .226 ave

          I´m just saying his HRs are not usually in high leverage situations.Check like I did.

          Outside of a few very occasional key base hit he sucks.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            95 plate appearances.

          • Johnny O

            Come on, I thought we were better than that at RAB. What was Cano’s avg with RISP last year? Remember the MSM meme that he was unclutch? This year just proved how dumb that argument is and yet people continue to repeat it. Let’s not even get into the storyline about how “a-rod only hits home runs with the yankees winning or losing by more than 5 runs” from a few years ago. Last night obviously is good timing to bring up the stupidity of that argument.

            You’re doing the same for Granderson. For the same reason that RBI is a meaningless stat for judging performance (batters can’t control if any of their teammates are on base or not), you can’t say Granderson sucks because he hits solo HR’s rather than Grand Slams.

            Go pitch that argument to HOF’er Joe Morgan at espn.com.

            • Jonathan

              THANK YOU…go read what else he said above, it’s even worse. Not to mention it isn’t even true. Granderson has some of the biggest home runs of the year and had a massive 2 run bomb 3 days ago.

              • Johnny O

                But he’s only done it so far apart that it doesn’t count!

                /facepalm

                • Jonathan

                  my neck hurts from shaking my head for so long…

              • Poopy Pants

                I guess that means Flash had a great season a few years ago, right? He hit a big HR, so it’s ok he sucks the rest of the year.

            • JCK

              Umm, but isn’t Steve H essentially doing the same thing with Gardner? He’s just guessing that Gardner has hit his peak (just like people were [according to you] guessing that Cano would never hit with RISP). And he’s guessing that Granderson’s 2007 season wasn’t an outlier.

              Nothing in the article above convinces me at all that there’s any reason to think Steve H is doing more than using a Ouija board.

              We have an outlier for Granderson (one great season) and a sample size issue (one full season) for Gardner. And yet Steve H thinks the stats can paint the complete picture (without looking at factors like need, cost, market, age, etc.).

              Sorry, but that’s just poor reasoning.

          • pete

            you’re completely missing the point. The point is that that stats which encompass 95 PA are subject to enormous amounts of random variation. No player could ever play better in clutch situations than normal ones if given a big enough sample, and I doubt any player who was able to make it all the way to the bigs could have done so despite getting worse in big spots.

            • kosmo

              Granderson career

              High leverage sits .237
              2 outs RISP .237

              does that say anything to you ?

              He´s a below average clutch player.

              • Sweet Dick Willie

                He´s a below average clutch player.

                For a very long time, that is what many people said (and a few are probably still saying) about Alex.

                And up until this year, the same references were made about Cano.

                Maybe I’m in the minority, but I thought this whole notion about “clutchiness” had been dispelled.

              • It’sATarp

                dear god this comment is full of crap. Hitting in RISP encompasses many different factors. You look at avg and say this guy is not clutch.

                • It’sATarp

                  *i mean to say you CAN’T just look at average and say this guy is clutch or not. Here’s a question for you Do you think jeter has been clutch in the past few years and why?

            • JCK

              And you’re also saying for Gardner that one full season makes a career (Steve H says this is the peak), while for Granderson one great season in 2007 also makes a career (the other 5 were the anomalies, says Steve H, and we’ll be back to 2007 in no time). Huh?

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                Will he ever be the beast he was in 2007 and 2008? Probably not

                • JCK

                  Sure. But you also say Granderson has a potential higher ceiling (i.e., “we can get back to 2007, maybe”) while for Gardner this is his peak (i.e., “he’ll never bat .300 or have an OBP over .400 and he’ll never improve his base running.”)

                  I can give you the first – Granderson has shown what a career year looks like.

                  I can’t grant you the second. This is Gardner’s FIRST full season. He could get 30 more hits next year and 20 more walks and improve on his base running. That’s perfectly plausible. Gardner could be like Nick Johnson without the power and with more speed (and hopefully without the injuries). With above average fielding, that’s a player I’d like to keep around for $500k/year.

                  Someone down lower in the comments said your argument was really that Gardner has better trade value right now than Granderson. If that was your argument, then yes, you make it in a roundabout way. But if that was the point of your post, then my exception is apparently with your writing. You need to state your thesis more clearly and get to the point.

                  Also, stop relying so much on BABIP. That’s one of the most BS stats.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        most of his HRs are solo shots in low leverage situations.

        This is only half true. 12 of his 18 HRs are solo shots, but only two can be considered low leverage situations – a 3 run shot vs Toronto when the Yanks were up 6-1 and a solo shot against Oakland with the Yanks up 5-2.

        The rest were with the Yanks up by two or less, which in no way can be considered low leverage.

        • Jonathan

          great info. thanks for doing the leg work to prove it too.

        • whatever

          Hmmm. Up 6-1 or 5-2 may well be a high leverage situation if there is any threat of a Joba relief appearance.

          Clutch doesn’t exist.

    • hello9

      Yeah, the optimism for Grandy in this post vs the consistent pessimism for Gardner is a little puzzling. I can buy an argument that says Grandy has pretty much proven he’ll be a mid to low 3 war player and Gardy is much more volatile in terms of the value he’ll provide – in addition Gardy would bring back a much better return. I don’t know why those arguments took a backseat in this post.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I mean, you say Granderson (30) is at his expected prime while Gardner (27) has nowhere to go but down.

      Where do you think Gardner can improve though? I don’t see where he is going to get better than what he has done this year. His OBP is .387 now. It’s not going to jump the 0.33 to get to .420. Where will it go? The odds are better that it goes down that up, because as you noted, almost no one is in that .420 category. One extra hit and one extra walk per month would put him at .407. In the same vein, one less hit and one less walk per month would put him around .369. Which is more likely?

      Gardner has just put up a near-complete season with the 2nd-highest WAR on the Yankees (behind Cano), and he’s more expendable than a guy hitting .247 because “Kevin Long is working with him”?!?

      Long and Granderson really started breaking down his swing and altering mechanics right around August 12th. Since then Granderson is batting .267/.361/.526 with 8 HR’s (with a .280 BABIP so he hasn’t been A-Jax lucky). Those are numbers Gardner will never approach. He’s more expendable because his trade value is likely higher than Granderson due to their contracts.

      Gardner absolutely has been one of the Yankees best players this year, and per dollar probably their most valuable. If they are 100% convinced he can repeat this going forward I’m not advocating trading him. If they are not 100% convinced, it would be foolish to not at least see what is out there while his value is at an all time high.

      • Jonathan

        haha sorry to copy you but obviously we were typing those at the same time, you just beat me to it.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        What do Granderson’s numbers look like if you take a walk and a hit away from his month sample size?

        If you’re going to do that for Gardner, lets be fair and not give Granderson’s month sample size as the “new” Granderson.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          I’m not concerned as much with the new Granderson. Even if there is no “new” Granderson he’s established himself as at least an average MLB hitter with plus D in CF. The volatility that exists with Gardner doesn’t exist with Granderson. Gardner could turn into Scott Podsednik, who after a great rookie year regressed back to what his true talent level likely was. I don’t know that Gardner will, but while his value is as high as it is now, it’s worth seeing what the market would hold.

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            I’m not saying Gardner is untouchable, but I also don’t agree with people writing Gardner off when he has shown improvement over the last year, while Granderson has shown decline over the last 3 years.

            • jim p

              Not just improvements over the last year, it’s been every year, hasn’t it? Why he would get poorer as he approaches typical peak age escapes me.

      • Eric

        Steve -

        Your whole argument is based on that Gardner is not likely to raise his OBP and that Granderson will be better.

        That makes no sense. Even a non-improving Gardner (how likely is that given he’s still developing?) is better and more valuable to the Yankees and most teams than a much improved Granderson.

        What’s more likely, Gardner batting .300+ and an OBP around .400 or Granderson batting .300 and an OBP .380?

        I think we know Gardner can do that. I doubt many will honestly think Granderson can.

        • Jonathan

          what’s more likely, Gardner slugging .500 or Granderson slugging .500? you can’t just pick and choose. Power is more valuable than speed. That’s just the way it is.

        • Jonathan

          for the 10th time, HOW AND WHERE is he going to improve. His defense isn’t going to get better, it’s already very very good. He doesn’t have any power and never will. His OBP is in the high .300s and without power or a VERY high batting average it won’t be able to get much higher. Where is he going to get better? Just answer that simple question. The only place he can improve is base running. And base running is way below a lot of other talents in value.

      • Ellis

        Why does Gardner need to “improve”? If he stays just where he is I’ll be thrilled – he has the highest OBP (.387) on the team!! Granderson, btw, has the lowest (.322).

        All the arguments that Gardner will suddenly fall off a cliff seem based on “gut instinct” and not on any facts or numbers.

        • Ellis

          P.S. Everyone talks about Granderson being such a threat to steal – he has 11 stolen bases this year. 11! Even Pujols has more than that.

          P.P.S. I like Granderson, and I hope he sticks around and can improve. But I’d much rather have Gardner going forward.

          • Jonathan

            if you really want to use one season’s worth of info then Granderson has been more efficient this year. It’s a known fact and has been talked about in this blog many times that despite his speed, Gardner is not a good base runner.

            • Jonathan

              stolen bases are a very misleading stat in baseball. there are many times when a player could most likely steal but doesn’t for situations or who comes up after him or just to stay healthy throughout the season. there are players like Ellsbury who just run every time they touch 1st base but the real value in stealing a base is being able to steal one when you HAVE to in a tight game, and Gardner for some reason flat out sucks at it right now.

              • It’sATarp

                not to mention With Grandy hitting the bottom of the order, it hard to steal bases when Cervelli and jeter are first pitch swinging.

                • Poopy Pants

                  Yeah…Gardner NEVER has to deal with Jeter first pitch swinging behind him.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Gardner doesn’t need to improve. There just has to be some concern he regresses.

          • JCK

            Based on…?

            Your gut? And what if Granderson regresses? Why no concern about that? Again… your gut’s telling you he won’t, right? (Or are you looking at his stats since August 12? That whole small sample size thing doesn’t matter when it proves your point, right?)

        • Jonathan

          nobody said he needs to improve. the point is if you were to trade one you would try to cash in a piece at it’s highest value and Gardner is at his highest value and Curtis Granderson is not. Granderson has room in his game and has shown before that he can be much more. Gardner just doesn’t have the tools to add to his game. I just don’t get why people can’t understand this. The people in an uproar aren’t even arguing the same thing….ridiculous.

      • kosmo

        I don´t understand .So a guy with no more than let´s say 10 HR a season power has no place in a power driven lineup ? Everything is based on the premise that Granderson has power capabilities that Gardner does not.

        • Ellis

          Umm… Granderson has much better power than Gardner. Are you trying to say otherwise? I can’t really tell.

          If you’re saying that Gardner doesn’t need to have a ton of power (since the other Yanks hit plenty of home runs), then I agree with you. Gardner = perfect leadoff man.

          • pete

            If Gardner had an opportunity to trade his ability to steal bases for 40 HR power I’d take it in a second.

            • OldYanksFan

              What if it includes losing 50 pts of OBP? OBP is more important than slugging… especially on this team. Plus Gritner’s CS% and total# of SBs should get better. And while he is 27, he only has 2 years of MLB experience. Sometimes, guys just get a bit better with age and experience… if they are smart.

          • kosmo

            Ellis,

            Gardner=perfect leadoff man.

            I think most people have a rather inflated view of Granderson which I don´t share.

            • It’sATarp

              gardner is a great lead off guy, the fact his he’s having a career year, while grandy has been up and down this year. Gardner is still an unknown because it’s his first great year. for an example look at nyjer morgan last year and this year. He’s a similar comparison to gardner as they both possess the same traits (minus the douchy-ness of morgan). Morgan’s 2009 was insane, while is 2010 has been down right dreadful. With Grandy what he see in the second half is very much close to his career numbers and is the guy we were expecting when we got him.

              • JCK

                You can’t honestly say this is a “career year.” It’s his /first full season/. We have no idea if this is a career year or an average year.

                Granderson, meanwhile, has a larger sample size. He had a career year in 2007.

                Gardner might regress. He might not.

                Granderson might get better. He might not.

                The speculation here is all based on guesswork. Nothing more, nothing less.

                Both are in their prime. Garnder costs millions less and is 3 years younger. (Other factors to consider that no one here seems to be thinking about.)

                • It’sATarp

                  thus he would be better trade bait…we would get better value out of gardner than grandy…that’s the point of this article. and i would contend this might be the best we see Gardner since his BABIP and other numbers are well above what he did in the minors. i would keep both guys but if we had to trade one , gardner is the better option because of his value and would bring in a top prospect or more.

    • Jonathan

      You misunderstood his point. He spelled it out very well. He doesn’t think Gardner sucks, his skill set just doesn’t allow for any more projection. He can’t add power, he isn’t a power hitter. His OBP is already in the high .300s but without power or a very high average it’s tough to get to that .400+ range. Also, his defense is already top notch and can’t really get any better. So while he is a valuable player, this is his best case scenario. The only thing he could get better at is decision making and base running.

      Meanwhile, Granderson has the ability and talent to hit 30+ HRs steal 20 bases and play good defense. I believe this season was his rock bottom and he has looked MUCH better since he started holding on to the bat. I saw him in KC the first few games after he changed it and talked to him and he sounded very enthusiastic and excited about the obvious results.

      I think we should definitely sell high on Gardner if we can get something as valuable or more valuable than he is right now but with a chance to get more valuable. My guess is his trade value will never be higher and when you have a chance to sign someone like Crawford or Werth to replace him while also having a chance to add a great piece for him, you have to do it. If only Jeter would take a reasonable contract so the payroll wouldn’t have to go to 230 million to get one of Crawford/Werth, take on the salary of the guy we traded Gardner for, unless we get a great prospect package, Cliff Lee (a SP is a must and I dunno who we could trade Gardner for that would be a top line SP) and Joe/Mo/Derek.

      • JCK

        “without power or a very high average it’s tough to get to that .400+ range”

        Hmm? Power doesn’t contribute to OBP. Walks and hits (and SF and HBP) contribute (the type of hit is irrelevant). Maybe you’re thinking of OPS?

        Either way, Gardner (or anyone) can increase their OBP by making fewer (non-sacrifice) outs. Or, in Gardner’s case, walking more or getting more hits. Either is plausible.

        • JCK

          Ah, realizing that people will power get pitched around at times. Nevermind that part of what I said.

          Still, Gardner could be in the .400 OBP range solely due to his patience and his good eye. He also makes contact with something 97% of the pitches he swings at — the highest in baseball. He could certainly hit for more average, too. There’s nothing (but everyone’s “gut feeling”) saying 120 hits is his peak.

          • JCK

            To add on, the 97% stat is important because he also takes the most strikes in the league — something like 46%. If he starts swinging at a few more of those pitches he’s likely to get a few more hits. Average, raised, OBP, raised.

            Oh right, but I forgot, Kevin Long can only work with Granderson, right? Isn’t that what the RAB writers say? Kevin Long can help Granderson, but there’s nothing he can do to help Gardner improve.

            Right. I always forget that.

    • RabidYankee

      Exactly. I like how Steve H completely leaves out that Granderson’s OBP is around .320 and he can’t hit lefties to save his life.

      I didn’t like this trade when the Yankees acquired Granderson. He’s always had a mediocre batting average and bad OBP overall.

      The Yankees have always thrived with guys with high OBP who know how to work the count. Almost every Gardner AB goes to 3-2. I think Gardner has played well enough that they can focus solely on Cliff Lee instead of Carl Crawford this offseason.

      Despite people constantly underestimating him, Gardy has learned to hit at every level. I think he’ll also become a much better at stealing bases despite already stealing 50 this year.

  • Eric

    Wow, is that piece really slanted against Gardner or what?

    Gardner has played great this year and at the same time, you get a feeling that he’s not even at his best…yet.

    It’s like there are parts of his game that could use some polishing up such as being more aggressive both on the basepaths and during at-bats.

    All that will come with time. The skill is all there, just need some polishing up and he’s a star.

    He’s shown that he’s improving at each level and year over year. No reason to think he’s reach his peak going into his second full year in the majors.

    Keep in mind, he’s played hurt for most of the second half and yet you couldn’t tell until the past week.

    Trust me, the Yankees will want to keep Gardner…for their sake.

    Granderson on the hand, if this year hasn’t convinced you that he’s on the decline, then there nothing will.

    • pete

      “you get a feeling that he’s not even at his best”

      I get the feeling that he is exactly at his best, and is not at all a sure thing to repeat this level of production. He has great speed and a great approach, but he has no power. That means he has no wiggle room for bad luck. If his OBP dips below .350, which is perfectly possible for a guy who will never be pitched around, he’s not going to make up for it with SB.

      • Eric

        Then you obviously not watch enough of him.

        He already does not get pitched around right now. Every one of his walks is hard earned. Unlike others, he gets more balls that are called against him for strikes than everyone else in the league. jerkface brought that up over at LoHud and if you’ve watched him throughout the season like I have you would know that.

        His whole approach needs fixing up a little. Like for instance, he needs to be more aggressive earlier in the count. Right now, the book on him around the league is that he almost always takes the first few pitches, hence, he always get a fat pitch right down the middle.

        With time, he will adjust and swing at those pitches and more likely than not, those will be hits.

        Furthermore, his walks which is already very good will get even better and his strikeouts will go down. Most of his strikeouts are of the being called out variety, which means he’s being overly patient and not aggressive enough. Time and learning will only improve.

        Power is nice but we know that you can’t live on that alone. We’ve seen that. You need a balance. With the Yankees, there will never be a shortage of players that can hit for power. The fans, you guys, the front office will make sure of that.

        They need a guy like Gardner just as much as some 40 homerun guy.

        I would not be surprised at all if in the next couple of years, Gardner will be entering his prime and peak years, he will be giving you a .300+ BA, .400+ OPB

        With Granderson, he is neither here or there in terms of what they need. He neither gets on base enough or hit enough for power to really do much.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          if you’ve watched him throughout the season like I have you would know that.

          Love it!

          With time, he will adjust and swing at those pitches and more likely than not, those will be hits.

          No, probably about 34% of the time he swings and makes contact they will turn into hits.

          I would not be surprised at all if in the next couple of years, Gardner will be entering his prime and peak years, he will be giving you a .300+ BA, .400+ OPB

          I will be.

          With Granderson, he is neither here or there in terms of what they need. He neither gets on base enough or hit enough for power to really do much.

          Pretty much wrong there.

          • RabidYankee

            A guy who hits .247, .321, and can’t hit lefties. Now that’s the guy the Yankees should keep!

            The guy batting .285, .395 obp, and 50 stolen bases at the age of 26? Get rid of him!

            Great post buddy!

        • pete

          I think Gardner’s peak is a near-.400 OBP with a bunch of stolen bases and good defense. I never said the guy was going to fall off of a cliff. I just said that it’s perfectly possible that the guy could hit for a .350 OBP next year, and be worth half as much on the trade market, because his utter lack of power makes that .350 OBP much less valuable than the same # on a guy who hits 40 HRs.

          HRs>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SBs, no matter who you are or what team you play for.

          • JCK

            It’s also perfectly possible that he repeats this year. And that Granderson hits fewer homeruns with the same abysmal OBP.

            Anything is possible. You all are just looking at stats that (seem to) prove your point and ignoring everything else (like sample size, age, cost, need, etc.).

    • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

      Couldn’t aree with you more about Gardner—he’s improved at every level his second year there just as he has gotten a lot better this year than he was last year. What’s the big hype
      about trading Gardner or Granderson—the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. We’ve got an excellent outfield the way it is now which could even improve next year. Let somebody else give Crawford his 20m a year and concentrate on piching(Lee) and we’ll be a world sreies contender next year too.

  • Brett

    Trade Brett “The Jet” and I will no longer be Yanks fan!!! Granderson must go!!!!!!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Will you send back your season tickets too?

    • Jim

      You sure sound ignorant.

      • ecks

        Maybe he was being sarcastic…

  • Jonathan

    I don’t understand how people aren’t understand this. It’s a great and informative logical post…you guys keep saying he is going to get better…get better at what? Besides being a better base runner, his natural talents and skill set won’t let him add more to his game.

    • Jonathan

      understanding*

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      He can’t improve his pitch recognition or contact?

      • Rob

        No, not likely. He’s already elite for both. It would have to be a Youklian effort and can’t be counted on.

  • Rob

    Why not keep both and sign the righty bat that is Werth. Sit Gardner and Granderson and Swisher as needed. Give everyone 120 starts in the OF and another 10-20 at DH.

    It seems to me that we’re always so worried about full-time players, we forget that rotations can be very effective to keep folks healthy and productive. In the OF there are 486 OF starts available. Across 4 guys that’s 120 each. Throw 30-40 DH starts to the OFs and everyone is rested and productive even if someone gets hurt. All have missed time this year and Gardner should have been rested more.

    That’s the benefit of Gardner to me. You pay him like a scrub but get the benefit of a starter so long as as he’s still productive. You ride that Score Truck until the wheels come off. He won’t be overpriced if kept fresh.

  • viasistina

    Wow!! talk about assumptions..Granderson can go nowhere but up? based on what? His going down for 3 years? Gardener can go nowhere but down? Based on what? His being one of the engines of this team and tremendous improvement over last year? Watch Granderson whiff against some lefty and write me back. Secondly, why do Yankee fans always want to trade their young outfielders?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Where did I say Granderson can go nowhere but up?

  • Rob

    If Granderson and Gardner were balanced properly and with a righty bat like Werth they could be excellent in CF. Against LHP play whoever’s the hottest. Gardner’s OBP is a hedge against Granderson slumps.

  • Bryan V

    Okay. I didn’t read every post, but I couldn’t keep reading.

    Look…

    It’s about value. Granderson’s value is at a low point thanks to having a decent size contract, and not having a very good year (by his standards). Gardner’s value is at a high point thanks to being paid peanuts, while coming off of a very good year (by anybody’s standards).

    To put it another way…the Yankees could get a lot more in return with Gardner than they could with Granderson.

    And whereas there’s reason to believe Granderson’s value will go up, there’s reason to believe Gardner’s value will go down. Unfortunately, I don’t think we are the only ones that know this. So GMs of other teams won’t be fooled so easily.

    This is not simply a Gardner vs. Granderson debate.

    • pete

      thaaaaaank you.

      • Ellis

        Why does Gardner’s great “value” have to be used as trade bait, though? Why can’t we enjoy his value as a cheap, excellent player?

        • pete

          nobody said it has to. The argument is that if the yankees were to trade one of the two, Gardner would be the better choice.

    • Rob

      This.

      Both are valuable. The Yanks just need another OF to beef up the offense and keep everyone healthy and productive. If they had Werth they could have rested Gardner and Swisher much more. The cost of Gardner enables the luxury of Werth.

    • Eric

      That argument just does not make any sense.

      Why would you trade Gardner simply he has a higher value?

      I thought that’s the kind of player you need to hold onto.

      • whozat

        1) Because his perceived value may be higher than his projected value in the future
        2) Because you’d only do the deal for a piece that would be more difficult to replace on the FA market than a corner OFer

    • RabidYankee

      Gardner’s speed alone as a great asset that the Yankees haven’t had in a long time. Combine that with a .395 OBP and the guy is great.

      They said at the start of the year that even if he could hit .250 with a .340 obp he’d be helping the team. Gardner’s far surpasses that and proven that he can definitely hit above average.

      No sense in focusing on selling high on him. Keep him as the everyday guy in LF and go all in for Cliff Lee.

  • pete

    Wow, this thread is full of fail.

    Granderson is a quality defensive CF whose baseline is probably comparable value to Gardner – lower OBP, much more power. At 30, it’s hugely unlikely that he has entered some kind of age-based decline, so who’s to say some of his mechanical issues aren’t fixable? He’s been a monster for well over a month now. What’s more, this year plus last year will undoubtedly put Granderson and his $9 million salary in the “high risk” trade category.

    Gardner, on the other hand, is a very valuable player, with a Granderson-esque ~2 WAR baseline and not-quite-Granderson-esque ~6 WAR ceiling, according to most analysts. Unlike Granderson, though, he is making less than half a million dollars a year. That’s valuable to the yankees, but even more so to another team. That’s the kind of player (plus a couple of quality but not A+ prospects) that could feasibly fetch the Yankees a quality young pitcher entering his prime and on the brink of being expensive.

    Granderson could not do that. He has value on the trade market, but definitely not as much as Gardner. Considering they both have similar ceilings and floors as players, and, based on what was perfectly articulated in the article, Granderson would appear to have a bit better chance of reaching, if not his own ceiling, a higher level of production than Gardner over the next couple of years. Not so much as to make him more appealing to small market teams despite his salary, but enough so that it’s essentially a toss-up, production-wise, between his next two years and Gardner’s. By that logic, the haul Gardner could theoretically pull in would make him a more attractive option for the Yanks to shop, were they to decide to pursue a trade this winter.

    All of that being said, I don’t think they’ll trade either. Gardner’s speed, approach, and defense, plus the fact that he has had as strong of a year as he has had this year eases the risk of his being a starter on the Yankees, I would think. Even in a down year, he, like Granderson, should be worth at least 2 WAR, and probably more like 3. Also, his salary gives the yankees flexibility. I think the team is happy to have an OF that gets well-above average defense from left and center, average defense from right, and a solid chance at well-above average offense from all three for a reasonable price. It ain’t broke, so they won’t fix it.

    But since we’re to the predictions section, here’s another: from 2011-2012, Brett Gardner will amass ~8 WAR, and Curtis Granderson will be worth 11. Book it.

    • Ellis

      Well said (and I’m on the other side of the debate).

  • http://deleted Richard Deegan

    Obviously a minority, but I want them both, and forget about mega-bucks for 4-5 years for Crawford or Werth. Unfortunately, GGBG “don’t get no respect” simply because he’s not a bopper, never was and never will be. I can’t believe that more experience at his age won’t get him the extra coupla hits a month for a .300 BA. And I know the Yanks will sign a Crawford or a Werth just like the Mets grabbed Bay, to get a long-term bopper.
    In another area, anyone who’s ever been involved in a divorce case (A la les McCourts) knows that they’ll keep fighting for the house, but that meanwhile neither H or W wants to spend a nickel for painting it or its repairs.
    Thus I see 450 k GGBG + (woulda been Cervelli if the chubby catcher was still managing LA) for 4.5 MM Kemp. LA WILL dump salary!!!

    • pete

      You’re not a minority. I think there are like 5 people in all of RAB who actually want to trade Brett Gardner right now (not knowing what available deals were out there). The point was that, gun to your head, if you had to choose one, Gardner would be the right choice.

  • Johnny O

    Sadly, the Cards are unlikely to trade Rasmus for a Gardy-led package, and same with the Dodgers and Kemp. This is Yankee fans overvaluing our own talent. Maybe these deals could happy with one or more of hte Killer B’s and a CoJo/Adams type, which at that point we should just keep Gardner/top 5 org prospect.

  • john

    I think it would be fair to say this is Brett’s best case scenario this year, except for the wrist injury. I don’t think he’s got alot of pop in his bat, but he has more than he’s shown the 2nd half of the season. I think it’s fair to say we’re seeing Granderson’s floor and close to Brett’s ceiling, but that ceiling is pretty darn good and also pretty darn cheap. Last point, everyone is always available on the trade market, it’s just a matter of price – so I’m open to trading either depending on what Cash gets back for them.

  • Mickey Scheister

    Brett Gardner’s Career Numbers
    Games,  288 
    At bats 806
    Runs 151
    Hits  216
    Doubles 28
    Triples 13
    Homeruns, 8
    RBIs, 84
    Walks, 107
    Strike Outs, 160
    Stolen Bases, 80
    Caught Stealing 14
    Average .268
    OBP .359
    SLG .365
    OPS .724
    This years WAR, 4.8
    Career WAR 8.8
    An average of 3 seasons is a 2.93 WAR per year (yrs of more than 140 ABs)

    Curtis Granderson Career Numbers
    Games 796
    At-Bats 2996
    Runs 501
    Hits  805
    Doubles 142
    Triples 63
    Homeruns 120
    RBIs 349
    Walks 319
    Strike-outs 718
    Stolen-Bases 78
    Caught Stealing 19
    Average .269
    OBP .341
    SLG .478
    OPS .819
    This years WAR, 3.4
    Career 22.2 WAR
    An average of 6 seasons is a 3.7 WAR per year (yrs of more than 140 ABs)

    Now with all that, Grandy did have that 7 something WAR year that was just outta this world and Gardy seems to be playing a similar ceiling type year this year as Grandy did that year.  After that Grandy has been consistently in the 3ish WAR and had much more of a track record to repeat that performance.  

    Removing the salary from the equation and strictly speaking to production and future production.  I’d much rather have two or three more years of Grandy than roll the dice with Gardy for the same time.  If a pitching heavy team values Gardy enough to trade a big league ready pitcher that the FO likes, I’d love to see them sell high on Gardy.  

    I still feel Grandy will contribute at a higher level than he has in the Bronx this year for many years to come, based on his previous production, and being that his prime is now.  With Gardy, he’s just a couple years younger than Grandy and, IMO, doesn’t have near the ceiling that Grandy does.  I’d love to see Gardy and Grandy kept, but if another team makes an offer or if one must go, my vote is on Gardy (though I’d rather see him kept as a 4th OFer if nothing of value is presented to the FO.). Yes I’d rather see a Crawford/Granderson/Swisher OF than Gardy, soley based on a much larger level of production over a much long period, I’m not sold on Gardy as an everyday OFer longterm.

    BTW, it was really hard to do all this via a cell phone so my apologies if it’s jumbled or unclear, I think you get my point.

    • PaulF

      Gardy didn’t play full seasons in 2008 and 2009, so you can’t really just average his WAR per year.

      • Mickey Scheister

        I judged based on his talent level and usage, he wasn’t good enough to crack the starting line-up, Grandy was (for the Tigers). For this comparison, that could boost his value if he put up an average of 3 WAR in part time duties. He was more of a 4th OFer, pinch runner but he did have over 140 ABs, as I stated for this comparison. So I guess your implying since this is only Gardy first full year he’ll have a WAR of 4.8 for many years to come? I doubt he duplicates this year again, that’s why this article was written, sell high. I really don’t think Gardy has a full season OBP higher than he does this year. Long term he’s a great 4th OF and SB threat. IMO, I’d love to be wrong, I’d thoroughly enjoy Gardy as a productive lead off guy for years to come, I just don’t see it (for this team.)

  • tomaconda

    Most of you are insane. Guys who hit like Granderson are a dime a dozen. Sure he has great speed and his power number are decent for a center fielder but Gardner is by far a more valuable player to this team not only now but in the future. Gadner can be something that Granderson can never be and that is an elite leadoff hitter. With Jeter on the obvious decline that is a whole lot more important to this team. If the Yankees put Gardner in the leadoff spot in 2011 I am willing to bet he puts up all star caliber numbers. He is capable of a 400 obp and 60 steals while playing an elite centerfield. I dont know if some of you guys are too young to remember the last great leadoff hitter we had in Ricky Henderson but he was the type of guy who could change the momentum of a game when he got on base. With the guys the Yankees have batting behind him he could easily score 120 runs a year. The number 2 hitter (Jeter?) would see more fastballs and if he is the type of guy who can shoot the ball to the right side could end up with an extra 10-15 hits a year. Granderson is a number 5 or 6 hitter who strikes out a lot gets on base less but does have HR power that Gardner will never have but I would rather see Gardner leading off and Swisher batting 6th than Jeter leading off and Granderson hitting sixth any day of the week.

    • Esteban

      Really? Really? You’re comparing Brett Gardner to Rickey Henderson? You know who had pretty good power (.419 Career slugging)? Rickey Henderson. You know who doesn’t? Brett Gardner (.365 career slugging). C’mon bro, step your game up.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Seriously. Ricky Henderson is the extreme example, considering he’s probably the best leadoff man of all time.

      • RabidYankee

        I don’t know if he was necessarily trying to compare Gardy to Henderson, but that point is that a great leadoff hitter can be a tremendous asset to the team and of much higher value that Granderson batting .250, .320 obp, and 20-30 hr’s in the bottom of the order.

        Gardy can set the tone by getting on base and stealing bases at will. Hell, he’s fast enough to steal 2nd before Jeter has a chance to hit into a double play too.

    • Jerome S

      Dude, I wish Gardner was half of Rickey Henderson.

      • ecks

        Yeah, because then we’d have a hall of famer.

  • Pete

    You were wrong from the start about Gardy. Its ok to be wrong about a prospect.Stop the hate and move on bro…10.5 pitches per and a 385 obp say alot

  • Jonathan

    I can’t believe how poor RAB is handling this article. It was well written and very well explained that Steve didn’t want Gardner gone or didn’t think he sucked or Granderson was Mickey Mantle. Almost every argument going on here is unnecessary. The “pro” Gardner group is overreacting and not understanding what the article was really saying. I haven’t seen an article on here that was this misunderstood in a long time.

    • Ellis

      We’re just disagreeing that it would be better to trade Grit than Grandy. We’re allowed to disagree. Yeah, some comments are offline and reacting as if Steve had just bashed Gardner, but some comments are always offline.

    • RabidYankee

      The problem is that the article fails to mention Granderson’s poor average and obp this year or state the fact that both of these poor stats are career trends for him. Just like his inability to hit lefties.

      Should’ve just resigned Damon.

      It’s just a stupid idea to even think about trading Gardner at this point, just an intriguing topic to generate alot of posts.

      It worked.

  • pete

    This post got me thinking about something else that I think will have more actual bearing on the 2011 yankees (unless Florida calls up and offers JJ for Gardner and Banuelos or something): who plays center next year?

    I think most people here would agree that while Gardner may not produce offensively next year at the same level he has this year, he’ll hit at least enough to be an everyday player. Given that offensive positional value is irrelevant when talking about two players on the same team (switching Gardner and Granderson in the OF would have no bearing on the overall offensive output of the team), wouldn’t it make more sense to play Gardner in center?

    Granderson is a good defensive CF, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not quite elite. Typically, he’s in the +5-+10 UZR range out there, and he’ll be 30 next year. Gardner, who’s 27, would probably be worth somewhere between 15 and 20, based on prior performance in center, and current performance in left (admittedly, his CF sample isn’t huge).

    There’s no guarantee that a good defensive CF will make a good/better defensive LF, but, like, there kinda is. I think (based on almost nothing) that Granderson could put up LF UZRs of +10-15, vs. Gardner’s 15-20.

    If we consider both players at the peak of their utterly arbitrarily assigned defensive values at each position, we’d have a +15 replacing a +20 in LF and a +20 replacing a +10 in center. That’s a net gain of 5 runs above replacement, or half a win.

    Of course, if both players continue at their current paces for the next few years, it will be a pretty insignificant difference, but as Grandy crosses the 30-year mark, it’s more than possible that his defense slips. I think that going forward, this team would be at its best with Gardner in center and Grandy in left.

  • ZZ

    Fans way too often take about value without the context of the team at hand. I suspect it is because of the increased popularity of WAR, but who knows. Winning baseball games or World Series rings is not about accumulating the highest WAR. You have to build a team full of players with both diverse and complementary skillsets.

    Gardner’s skillset is great asset to this team right now and going forward. There is a chance that Granderson could “out-WAR” him, but that does not necessarily mean that he will be more valuable to this Yankee team (and that is not even accounting for salary). He is the type of player the Yankees are going to need with Jeter’s aging. He is a top of the order hitter that will really complement that mashers behind him very well. Hit for average, get on base, get in scoring position, and get driven in. He also holds his own vs LHP which is very beneficial for a LH hitter given the state of the game today and the direction it is going with all the LH starter and relievers.

    Granderson on the other hand has a very redundant skillset for this team and his flaws are really something that hurt this team as constructed. He is a good player, but in a lot of ways he contributes to a lot of the weaknesses in the offense this year. LH built for Yankee Stadium which is part of the team’s struggles on the road. Low average which hurts the team’s consistency with driving in runs. Struggles mightily with LHP which not only hurts this team in that sense, but has a ripple effect. This is an aging team that needs a lot of rest. So, the younger players really need to be everyday players to buffer against all the off days for A-Rod, Posada, Jeter, etc. It really puts a strain on the team when you not only have to worry about the bench in regard to age/injuries of older players, but players who really need to sit vs LHP.

    Salary differential it is not even close as everyone knows, but I will add one more thing. With Granderson you basically have to pay two players because he struggles so much with LHP. You need a caddy for him which hurts salary flexibility and roster construction even more.

    Finally, it is silly to say there is nowhere Gardner can improve. There is definitely room for improvement with his batting average. Someone that fast and with the bat control his has demonstrated can and there is a good chance will hit for a higher average. Bunting more and being more aggressive in select situations can help him here. He can cut down on the strikeouts with a slightly improved approached and drive in more runs with slight adjustments. One more thing is that as a young LH hitter a lot of them struggle with LHP. Facing LHP in the minors does not compare at all to the LHP in the majors. While he holds his own vs LHP, there is room for him to improve with more experience and coaching.

    • Jonathan

      so if you have Albert Pujols, you don’t want Joey Votto, and you’d rather have Podsednik because he isn’t redundant? Of course winning the WS isn’t about having the highest WAR, but I do remember winning the WS last year with Gardner contributing almost nothing in the playoffs or having anyone else like him in the lineup.

      • ZZ

        It is not Halloween yet. You need to keep those strawmen inside for another month.

        • Jonathan

          sorry if your argument is greatly flawed. If Granderson “out-wars” Gardner and is more productive then yes he is more valuable to the team. That’s exactly what it means. Are you sure you’re not mixing up Granderson and Teixeira?

          • Eric

            No Jonathon, your argument is flawed.

            Gardner was not the main component of their team last year in the playoffs. That’s why what he did or didn’t do didn’t have as effect on their postseason.

            He is very much a main component of their team this year. How play this year in the post season will affect them a lot this year.

            • Eric

              Sorry, fixed my post:

              “That’s why what he did or didn’t do didn’t have as much of an effect on their postseason.

              He is very much a main component of their team this year. How he plays this year in the post season will affect them a lot this year.

          • ZZ

            That is not how WAR works nor it is the way the statistic was conceptualized.

            If you are concluding that automatically having a higher WAR means that player was more valuable to a particular team you gone too far with the statistic out of its intended use.

            The is far more contextual variables to take into account.

            • Ellis

              Great point ZZ. Gardner’s team-leading OBP is the best asset for the yanks with all that power behind him.

            • Esteban

              Like what?
              And the Yankees don’t ‘struggle’ on the road. They’re tied for the 2nd best record in baseball on the road.

              • ZZ

                It is a relative measure to their home scoring. They are weighted significantly towards home scoring, more than in years past.

            • It’sATarp

              how?…explain to me how WAR is NOT to use to explain which player is valuable to a team. So would you say a 1 WAR player be more valuable than a 3 WAR player because of the 1 WAR player has a better skill set we need? The whole point of WAR is measure the value of a player in regards to how many wins would they contribute to our team. while the 1 WAR player has more of the skill set we need, the 3 war player would contribute more wins through other skill sets whether it be defense, power or etc. (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/bl.....mlb-211211)

              Yes Gardner is better value than grandy but we aren’t talking about actually trading Gardner…rather have an hypothetical world where the yankees want a prospect, so who would be of better value to trade?

              • JCK

                Yet WAR is a deeply flawed statistic. There are wild variations between different equations for calculating WAR. Look at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com — they each calculate WAR differently (and UZR and a lot of these new stats). And the results vary wildly.

                Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and rely so much on one stat (or just stats in general). It’s like trying to evaluate a Monet and only looking at one corner of the painting. You’re not getting the complete picture. At all.

              • JCK

                Also, I said this further up the comment thread, but if what you say is really what Steve H was trying to get across with this post, he needs to learn a thing or three about writing. He did not present this as a “who gets the best hypothetical trade value” proposition. He mentions trade value, but this piece reads like it’s trying to argue who is better for the Yankees (i.e., in the field) in 2011 — just look at the title!

                Steve H also presents it as a zero sum game — we have to choose one or the other.

                As you put it, that wasn’t his intention. If that’s the case, the writing is just… you know, bad.

  • Pete S

    I just dont get the fadcination with Granderson. I firmly believe his peak is gone too . We are gonna pay a bunch of change for a bust.

  • Pete

    I would rather A Crawford Gardy Swisher OF Move Jete down and hit Carl and Gardy 1,2

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      I take Jayson Werth as well. I know his home/away splits are little scary, but consider the whole package and the way he can shoot to RF as a hitter. I take him as well. The smallest part of me hates in overpaying Jeter (which will happen) because I think it precludes us for getting better talents.

      • Pete

        No way do I go for Werth.You are right his power would show well in YS but he is not a sharp baseball man and his base running will drive you mad. He makes Jorge look good. For what he’ll cost Id pass.

  • Mike HC

    I agree. Gardner would be the guy I trade. Of course, trades are all about who you can get in return and who would replace Gardner in left. Just about the least I would be willing to accept for Gardner would be a mid rotation type starting pitcher. Anything less and I would prefer to hold on to him. Plus, if we trade Gardner, we would need to sign a free agent to play left because I’m pretty sure there is nobody in the organization ready to step in. Damon, anybody?

    In reality, holding on to both of them is probably the best move for next year unless a team really blows them away with a deal we can’t refuse.

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      Gardner must likely won’t be the main piece in trading for premium talents. That’s the rub, who can you get for him?

      • Mike HC

        Well, I would keep him if every team in the league has the same thinking as me. But based on all the love from some other posters in here, maybe there are couple of GM’s who would be willing to give up a quality starter for Gardner and another middling prospect or two. I don’t have my pulse on the trade market, or the ability to call up other GM’s, or have scouts telling me who I should be targeting, so I can’t get more specific than that really.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    Gardner has a higher trade values than Granderson at this point. So, I would prolly trade Gardner when it comes down to it. I wonder if we can kick the tires on Marlon Byrd , he can prolly take the role of kearns and thames next year.

    Also, someone else suggested Rickie Weeks of the brewers who has the athleticism to play CF or obviously LF.

    I would prefer a hitter who can mash lefites to further balance out this lineup.

    • Mike HC

      Whats the point of trading Gardner for another outfielder though, especially for one who won’t be a great defender? Nobody is as good defensively and left field is very big in Yankee stadium, so defense is relatively important for the Yanks left fielder. And as others have pointed out, Gardner’s speed and hitting style is a good compliment for the other mashers in the Yanks lineup. The only reason I see to trade Gardner would be for starting pitching help now that CC and Hughes are the only sure staples in the rotation for the future.

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        I don’t mind keeping both. If I had to trade either, I would trade Gardner with the simple stated reason above. I honestly don’t know if he can a centerpiece of anything in acquiring premium talents.

        As to why I would trade Gardner pitching or otherwise OF, it is because I hope they are greater talent than Gardner such as Justin Upton, Kemp or Rasmus. I threw Weeks and Byrd in as example if Garder is gone for pitching.

        • Mike HC

          I got you. We are basically in agreement then.

  • Ellis

    Of course Gardner has higher trade value than Granderson – he’s better! Robinson Cano has better trade value than all of them, let’s trade him!

    • It’sATarp

      no one is saying to trade him, they are just comparing values IF that arises, like if the yanks really want Carl Crawford (unlikely) who would they rather move?

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      For a guy who only has accrued 288 games in ML , I like to see more before i confirmed he is better than Granderson. But , maybe I misunderstood the article, I thought the gist was if you had to trade either of them. Hence, I pick Gardner.

  • Mike HC

    Granderson has been clearly out playing Gardner for about 3 months now and has out performed Gardner for his entire career other than the first three months of this season. My money is on Granderson going forward.

    Lets also remember that Gardner is hitting .224 since the break and .188 this month and triple slash of .252 / .379 /.359 against lefties on the season. While Granderson is hitting .252 since the break and .280 this month, with a triple slash of .245 / .299 / .357 against lefties on the season. Gardner is not much better, if better at all against lefties and Granderson is a sure bet to mash righties. Again, give me Granderson.

    • whozat

      um…those 80 points of OBP make Gardner’s season line against lefties A LOT better than Granderson’s.

      • Mike HC

        Yea. I was clearly out of line there. My bad.

        But, the overall decline of Gardner as the year has gone on and the progression that Granderson has made, plus, based on what they have done in their careers up to this point, makes it a relatively easy decision for me that Granderson is the better player and will be the better player going forward.

    • bonos

      Let’s quote numbers and just because Gardner is playing with a thumb that will require surgery in the offseason and a bad wrist since June has no bearing on the situation. With all that and in just over a year of playing time, he still has a value much higher. Using numbers to clinch arguments – Everyone has access to them. On another note, a team trades for need. What need is greater than a 3 to 5 WAR OF. If Lee is a given what need is there for a #3 pitcher.

      • Mike HC

        See last years trade for Javy as why the Yanks would think the starting rotation is a need. The Javy trade obviously did not work out, but the intent would be the same.

        And if you don’t like numbers, then it has been pretty clear by eye that Granderson has been out playing Gardner for 3 months now. Like Poopy Pants said below, nobody knows for sure who will be better for the next five years lets say, but my money is on Gradnerson. And thats based on numbers, my eye, and my gut. You are welcome to your own opinion and would be the exact person I would want to trade Gardner to if you were a GM.

        • Mike HC

          To add, the fact that Gardner needs thumb surgery in the off season and has a bad wrist is more negatives. That is not an excuse for poor production.

  • Yankee22

    I think they should keep both granderson and Gardner. Then sign Crawford and move granderson to right, Gardner to center swish dh’s and gives Tex, or any of the outfielders a day of. That outfield defense would be the best in the league.

    • Tom Swift

      I agree, subject to the caveat that the only way this works from a budget POV is either we don’t pick up Cliff Lee or don’t re-sign Jeter.

  • Jerome S

    Remember how well Gardner was playing before that HBP in LA? What if that has anything to do with it? If his wrist gets better, could he hit .300 again?

  • Dream of Electric Sheep

    I under WAR as a concept, It’s a relatively easy way to compare players values . My question is simply this, for sites such as fangraph and B-ref , do they cal WAR differently? How much stock does WAR put in def?
    Does acct for ballpark factor such as size.

    • It’sATarp

      yes they Calculate WAR differently. Fangraphs use UZR for defense and BREF uses Total Zone defense. That mostly explain most differences between the two WAR calculations. (other factors too but im not 100% certain)

      • Dream of Electric Sheep

        Thanks Tarp. I was thinking about the marginal importances of the size of the home ballpark in this context as well.

        Yankees stadium LF is quite cavernous in comparison to say, Camden.
        Hence , is it logical to say play such Gardner who provides well above value in D to the Yankees than say possibly to the Os. Can one make an argument of such and evaluate the say baseball player base in that context and thus factored that in WAR as to the a player’s value to that specific team in lieu of this.

  • Poopy Pants

    Just let Cashman guess during the offseason. He gets paid millions to do so.
    Not one of us knows how either player with perform in the future.

    • Mike HC

      “Not one of us knows how either player with perform in the future.”

      Ain’t that the truth.

  • Bid Daddy

    I would trade granderson- .245 BA= Not good enough!

    I would trade gardner as well- 5 home runs?? Are you kidding?? take some muscle milk, buddy

    I would also fire kevin long- many new swings, same low average

    And i am a big proponent of firing Dave Island because Burnett and Vazquez flat out suck

    • Dream of Electric Sheep

      And yet you keep Joe G and Cashman ? Those two spearheaded this horrific effort ! I say fire them all ! Rome is burning and the Rubicon is crossed ! Fuck it, time for wholesale changes!

    • Esteban

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Mickey Scheister

      Well hello Mr. Troll! Are you employed? Recently fired? Have a bitter beer face? Your reasoning is terrible. First you say trade someone soley based on BA and HR totals, (Who would YOU trade them for?) then you wanna fire the reigning World Series Winning coaching staff members for no sensible reasons. Who would you hire to replace them? What are your expectations for everyone on the 2010 Yanks?

      I’m bored that’s why I’m responding to non sense.

  • OldYanksFan

    You can’t judge ‘value to the lineup’ in a vaccum. You must consider payroll and the huge commitments the Yankees already have. Cheap players that are better then average are VERY VERY important to this team.

    The question is not ‘Is Grandy better then Gritner’…. it’s
    Is Grandy better then Gritner + $9m of extra BP help… or
    Is Grandy better then Gritner + $9m of SS… or
    Is Grandy better then Gritner + $9m of #3/#4 SP.

    It would be nuts to trade Gritner.
    We kept Melky around for 4 years and Gritner is a lot more valuable.

  • OldYanksFan

    P.S. I do think Grady is PROBABLY the better player… although it’s sometime hard to qualify Gritner’s better D and speed.

    However, considing $$$ (which must always be considered), Gritner is far more valuable.

    • whozat

      And that’s precisely what could make him more valuable to another team than to the Yanks. The Yankees HAVE money, so 9mm is worth less to them than it is to other teams.

      The point is not “THE YANKEES MUST TRADE GARDNER”. The point is that, if there are other needs that must be filled on the Yankees, Gardner is a better chip to use to fill those needs than Curtis Granderson.

      • It’sATarp

        THIS …jesus christ i don’t get why people can’t seem to gasp this concept.

        • RabidYankee

          The biggest need is starting pitching. The original dilemma for the offseason was whether to pursue Crawford, Lee, or both.

          Gardner’s stellar play will allow the Yankees to go all in for Lee.

          • It’sATarp

            yea gardner made Carl Crawford unnecessary. i rather get a ace lefty than a speedy Of who plays good defense since we already have 2 of those

        • JCK

          The reason is because the author did a terrible job framing that supposition. If that was his supposition. He presented it as a zero-sum, Gardner vs. Granderson for 2011 on the Yankees argument.

          *shrug* You’re right when you say Gardner would get a better return on the trade market — for all the same reasons people have been arguing that he’s a better player (or an equal player that costs less). If only that’s how Steve H had framed this post we’d probably have avoided 100 of these comments.

  • Dalelama

    If the offer was good I would move Gardner… he has no pop and no one fears he can really hurt them…pitchers are learning that this season and as a result they are starting to pound the zone and Gardner’s productivity is dropping. Move him while his value is at its peak.

  • toad

    Gardner to me is the epitome of a sell high piece right now.

    Not a good argument. You are basically saying trade Gardner if someone will overpay for him. Well, sure. Trade Granderson too, if someone will overpay.

    The question is, assuming you get fair value in either case, which one will you be better off trading.

  • Tom

    I don’t understand why people are still high on granderson…? He is fast, yes…but strikesout too much to use his speed on the bases.

    He is a bottom of the lineup hitter, gardner has the potential to be the leadoff hitter (his numbers have been good there this season, and he has speed, patience and the ability to get infield hits b/c yes he is faster than granderson).

    Granderson’s only average/plus tool is power and neither garnder or granderson will ever hit in the middle of the yankees lineup, so that tool whether is great to have or not, on this team is not a need.

    Gardner not only is a potential 50 base stealer, but is still learning how to steal. He is much better defensively, as he is faster, gets better jumps on the ball, has played both LF and CF at an above avg level but has unquestionably the best arm in their outfield.

    Even if granderson some how improves over the next 2 years at 30 and 31, his numbers will look like what .260, .340 and 25 HR’s maybe 15 steals? And gardner at 28 and 29 has the same potential to improve, since this was really his 1st full season and he made huge strides, i will take gardner at .270, .360 and his speed and defense anyday over granderson. Any case that can be made that granderson can or will improve and be made for gardner as well. Gardner will not improve with power because he doesnt need to. Granderson needs to improve in several areas which he never will.

    I would be open to shopping granderson for just about anything even if the yanks have to fork over a couple of mill.

    comparison:

    Melky Cabrera
    2009 NYY 154 485 66 133 28 1 13 68 43 59 10 2 .274 .336 .416 .752

    Granderson
    2010 NYY 123 475 68 104 17 6 19 53 46 101 11 2 .247 .323 .451 .774

    in essence both these guys are comparable in numbers…granderson is a 4th OF’er definitly a platoon player since LHP eat him up, and that was with all the coaching tips this year. Stop finding reason to hate on gardner and start being realistic about granderson

  • Brian

    I find it interesting that people are still saying Granderson will finally come around…he has batted under .250 for over 250 games I think that is a pretty good sample size that tells us Granderson is not a good hitter. He will hit a fastball for a homerun but otherwise is useless at the plate. Gardner simply offers too much speed, defense and plate disicipline to be bunched in with Granderson at this point.

    If we were having this discussion at the end of the 2007 season than yes Granderson would be the guy but 2010 is the year and Granderson has already surpassed his peak and Gardner is entering his. A logical conclusion is to keep guy on the upswing and dump the dude on the 3 yr downswing.