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Where Would the Yanks Be Without Granderson?

By Mike Silva ~ May 30th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

I was skeptical about the Yankees acquisition of Curtis Granderson in the winter of 2009. Although he was a good defensive centerfielder with pop, his inability to hit left handed pitching, high strikeout rate, and average OBP made wonder if he was a good fit.  I hated it even more when I factored the young depth of Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy included in the deal.

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News came on my show that winter and believed it was a great deal for the Yankees. He believed that Granderson could provide the type of production in centerfield that was missing since Bernie Williams. He believed he could fit into the offense in a similar way. He also believed he was the type of personality that would excel in New York.

My opinion didn’t change much last year as it took a huge September (9 homers, 25 RBI) to bring his numbers to respectability. Quietly, however, Granderson had a nice postseason against Minnesota and Texas. Since his insertion into the two hole late last year he’s hit like one of the best in the league. Right now, it’s hard to argue that Granderson is the best offensive player on the Yankees. Yes, better than Cano, A-Rod, and Teixeira.

Even more important, Granderson is just 30 years old. The Yankees have the oldest position players in the league (31.4 years), so anyone south of that number is a welcome sight. Considering their dearth of non catching positional prospects, it makes Granderson’s performance that more important. He very well could team with Teixeira and Cano to make up the core of the Yankees offense going forward.

Joel Sherman pointed out this weekend how the three way deal with Detroit and Arizona has worked out for all parties. The Tigers received a young pitcher in Max Scherzer to complement Justin Verlander, as well as Phil Coke and Austin Jackson. The D-Backs, surprisingly, landed a workhorse for their rotation in Ian Kennedy. The only thing that would have made this deal perfect for the Yankees is if they swapped Chamberlain for Kennedy. Easy to say now - Kennedy was coming off an aneurysm- but the Yanks could use a starter that gives them quality innings at the top of the rotation. They will attempt to acquire an “Ian Kennedy type” of pitcher this season. Meanwhile, although Chamberlain has improved greatly this year, he is just another middle reliever that can easily be obtained.

Granderson is providing the kind of production you would have expected from Alex Rodriguez pre-hip surgery. With Swisher in a season long slump, Posada and Jeter showing regression from age, and Cano in a month long slump it’s a good thing that Curtis Granderson is around. Without him, I don’t know if they would be as close to Boston as they are. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this acquisition.

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2 Responses to Where Would the Yanks Be Without Granderson?

  1. Bob Schuitema

    Hi Mike,
    Nice save! Last July/August, you wrote a column that basically said it was a horrible trade. I called you on it then and I am writing back to thank you for this follow-up column. To take the Joel Sherman point a step further, do you think that the Yankees would trade Granderson back to Detroit for Jackson and Coke right now? Jackson is hitting .223, is on pace to strike out 200 times this season, after striking out 170 last year, and has seven HR’s in over 200 games. Granderson hit seven HR’s between May 1 and May 16 alone. Coke has had his moments but is currently on the DL. Granderson is in the top three in almost every offensive category among the Yankees and looks like he might be headed for another 2007 when he had a season that baseball had not seen since Willie Mays back in the 50′s. Grandy may still strike out 150 times this season but considering that he hits HR’s, that is whole lot more tolerable than Austin Jackson striking out 200 times while hitting singles! NEVER grade a trade after 100 games!

  2. Mike Silva


    I was wrong no doubt. I think Kevin Long has been instrumental and he seems to excel at the top of the order. Now if they could only switch Kennedy and Joba.

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