Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » Granderson an Albatross in Many Ways

Granderson an Albatross in Many Ways

By Mike Silva ~ July 25th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

When I first heard the Curtis Granderson trade this winter I turned up my nose. I thought Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy could provide nice depth for the Yankees in 2010. After listening to individuals from both the New York and Detroit side I warmed up to Granderson in centerfield. All along I couldn’t get out of my head his futile numbers against LHP and the league average offensive year in 2009. It was also alarming that down the stretch last season he hit .223 with an OPS under .700.

As unimpressive 2009 was, 2010 is even less so. Going into today’s action he has 7 homers, 24 RBI, 7 steals, and an OPS of .703. Melky Cabrera was a more productive player last season. Even more frustrating is his production against lefties. His OPS of .555 is worse than career norms. Even the great Kevin Long hasn’t been able to fix Granderson’s ills. The Yankees will probably have to bring in a right handed bat to complement Granderson the last two months.

Now, to be fair, let’s not just throw Granderson from the bridge. Across town Jason Bay is having a similar lousy season. Other stars that came to NY - Chuck Knoblauch, Carlos Beltran, and Roger Clemens - had down first seasons. The problem is Granderson had warts offensively when he was a star player. A lesser version is totally unacceptable.

The main problem with Granderson is the usual issue in baseball: money. He is owed another $20 million the next two years. That’s reasonable, but the Yankees have $137.35 million invested in nine players for next season. As Joel Sherman points out, raises for Hughes and Chamberlain as well as contracts for Jeter and Rivera put them over $200 million very quickly. Despite what information we have at NYBD, Sherman believes the Yankees won’t be able to afford both Dan Haren and Cliff Lee. At the very least they might think twice before splurging for both.

That’s where Granderson comes into play. The Yankees could have Austin Jackson at low cost right now, a valuable lefty reliever in Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy over Sergio Mitre making starts in Andy Pettitte‘s absence. The money owed to Granderson could easily be earmarked for Haren, plus the pieces you traded to Detroit might be enough to get Haren here without giving up the beloved Joba Chamberlain. To top it off, perhaps we wouldn’t have to speculate about Lee or Haren, rather make it Lee and Haren. Better yet, maybe Werth or Crawford could be more in play.

I have heard enough whispers that Granderson might be one of the first players Cashman tries to move this offseason. Good luck. That appears to be the epitome of fifty cents on the dollar type of trade. No way he gets near the return he gave up. Despite my first impressions I gave the Curtis Granderson trade a chance. I hate to say that my initial reaction was on the money.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
Mike Silva
View all posts by Mike Silva
Mikes website

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook

5 Responses to Granderson an Albatross in Many Ways

  1. Bob Schuitema

    Mike, this article was pure genius! Why did you wait so long to write it? Maybe if you had written it back in mid-May, CG would have recovered faster from his injuries. Maybe if you had written it in mid-june, CG could have turned his season around a little sooner. But, you waited until today. I am guessing that you wrote it yesterday, it was posted this morning, and since its release, Granderson is 2-2 with two home runs. I’ll bet that you wrote a similar article about Teixeira recently. Again, brilliant! You’re like a psychic in reverse. Any other glimpses of your intellect that we can look forward to? I would love to check back in the future and see that you have written off ARod, Jeter, Mo, etc. Keep it up and this team will be playing until November for sure! You say that you gave the trade a chance: less than 100 games is a chance? You say that Joba is beloved? Where do you live? I’m in Michigan and I can tell you that Joba is far from beloved. Considering that you say that your initial reaction was on the money makes me think that you don’t know much about money, or baseball either!

  2. Mike Silva


    I am glad to be of service. I actually wrote this just as the time stamp stats - this morning.

    His performance against a weak KC club doesn’t change my mind. Also, don’t be surprised that “Grandy” finds himself a one and done NY athlete. Less than impressed with all facets of his game.

    As for the other guys. Yes, I am questioned Jeter and Mo hitting regression and said that Teixeira might be having a bad year, but never wrote them off.

    As for Joba, clearly you are not on Twitter or River Ave Blues and hear the Joba propaganda that has been spewed for the last 2 years.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. GetReal

    First of all, if Austin Jackson was still on the Yankees he’d be the starting center fielder in Scranton while either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday patrolled left field with a much bigger albatross contract. If you really think the Yankees were going to go into this year with an untested OF of Gardner, Jackson, and Swisher you are certifiably nuts.

    Next, Phil “valuable lefty” Coke has worse peripheral stats this year than last year yet somehow has a lower ERA. Non nerd perspective, he gave up a HR in every big spot last year, even against lefties. Were the Yankees to hold onto him, I’m not sure he’d even be on the team anymore. As for Kennedy, arguing he’s an upgrade over Sergio Mitre doesn’t hold that much weight. Who isn’t, exactly?

    Is Granderson having a bad season? So far, sure. Is it fair to call him an albatross? No. Kevin Long doesn’t fix people overnight. Look what he did for Swisher, who’s refined approach has him performing at a career year pace.

    Also, thanks for joining the millions of people who have given up on Joba, a 24 year old who still throws in the upper 90s. No one his age has ever turned it around after a bad year, ever. Especially not Phil Hughes.

  4. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog

    I’d echoed similar thoughts about the trade when I commented on a few blogs that thought it was very good. I hated the trade. In early ’09 I saw Jackson play… I had no clue who he was when the game began, but by the 7th inning, I already knew I wouldn’t forget the name Austin Jackson anytime soon. To me, looking at Granderson’s stats over the offseason, I felt like they were screaming “FADING PLAYER”…. The trade didn’t make any financial sense or baseball sense to me. Hate to say I was right too. I’m glad to see someone else could see it besides me. Go ahead, review Granderson’s stats… you’ll see it clear as daylight. In fact, one could even argue that 2007 was simply an out of character season for him, and doesn’t fit with his regular skill level. (that doesn’t mean I think PED’s, ’cause I don’t, it just means the guy hasn’t proved he’s more than a flash in the pan leading up to the trade…or since the trade…yet?)

  5. MikeD

    Sure, looking back, it appears that keeping Jackson, Kennedy and Coke would have marginally helped the Yankees, then again, who really knows how those individuals would perform on the Yankees in the roles they would have been assigned. Coke is having is a good year, but he was scary HR guy at Yankee Stadium and against lefties. In the wider expanses of his new park he’s been solid. Next year he’ll probably be worse. In other words, he falls into the fungible class of relievers who will vary from season to season. Kennedy? Another guy prone to the HR ball whom many scouts projected as a back-end-of-the-rotation starter for a National League team. Many question if could make it in the AL and the AL East. So, sure, he could have taken Mitre’s spot, but odds are if they kept him he’d be back in AAA, or mopping up out of the Yankee pen.

    So the trade really comes down to Granderson vs. Jackson and the additional money spent. Granderson was injured and got off to a slow start. Jackson got off to a fast start. Granderson seems to be hitting in a bit of bad luck with a low BABIP, while Jackson seems to be hitting in good luck, with a high BABIP with a ton of strike outs. Yet here in late July, we see Granderson with an OPS+ or 104 to Jackson’s 108. Not much of a difference. With two months left to play, there’s still a good chance (and I’ll add in likely chance) that Granderson will outperform Jackson, whose single HR illustrates one of the concerns the Yankees had with him, along with the odd routes he takes on baseballs in CF. Granderson was accused of the same thing, yet his defensive ratings remain strong, while Jackson’s are now in negative territory.

    Rating a deal takes more than a few months. My guess is Jackson is going to settle in as a .260-.280 hitter with low power and overall average defensive ratings, serving as a starter to 4th OFer type. No, stardom is not in the cards here. Granderson will continue to be a solid defensive OFer (better than Jackson) with will move into a platoon situation. It might have just happened with the acquisition of Kearns. He’ll be a productive hitter playing 70% of the time.

    The Yankees went into 2010 knowing Brett Gardner was going to be one of their OFers. He’s performed well, but that was a big question mark at the start of the year. No way a championship caliber team like the Yankees would go into 2010 with another question mark — Austin Jackson — as another OFer. They went with more of the sure thing. He cost more money, but money not something the Yankees should worry about. We just saw them acquire Berkman, Kearns and Wood for the last two months. Money is one of their strengths. They used that strength in the acquisition of Granderson.

    A year from now, even if Granderson is in a platoon, he will be a more valuable player than Jackson. Unlike your article which is looking back, I’m going on the record up front.

Leave a Reply