Granderson struggled last year, hitting .249 but has posted a three year average of .275, 30 doubles, 15 triples, 25 home runs, 100 runs, 20 stolen bases. I’d take that line in the Bronx out of our one or two spot any day, especially considering the home/road splits of a guy in his prime (did I mention he’s 28) playing in Comerica Park, which is as close to the old time park dimensions as you can get (and when I write Old Time, I mean Yellowstone). Granderson struggled at home, hitting .230, .388 slugging, 10 home runs, but on the road he put up close to a .270 average (good but not where he’ll be in 2010), slugged .516 and popped 20 home runs in 322 at bats. Here’s figuring his road split resembles similar figures in 2010 and that short Stadium porch pulls in a better home resume than 2009’s road numbers.
Granderson also brings a couple key ingredients to the Yankees mix. He’s a solid defensive centerfielder, which allows Girardi to move Melky into left (more on Damon in a minute) giving the Bombers two above average defenders and one solid right fielder in Swisher. Granderson may not win a gold glove in 2010, but the defense just got a huge upgrade from this time last year. He also slots right into the number one or two spot in the Yankees line up.
Outgoing Yankees are top prospect Austin Jackson (22), lefty reliever Phil Coke and Ian “I’m not trading this guy for Johan Santana” Kennedy. Yes we are a couple years removed from Kennedy (and Hughes) being kept over Santana, but he’s the same guy. Yankees fans have grown tired of waiting for this control specialist to actually show case in the Big Leagues (and stay up, or even pitch well for a spell). I’ve read countless articles on five tool stud, Austin Jackson, but have yet to see that 5th tool (we’ll call it power) show up in the box score. 4 Home runs in the minors seems a little less powerful than I was hoping. I’m sure Jackson’s a solid Outfielder for the Tigers for years to come, but straight up, I’d take Granderson in a heart beat. Let’s also give credit where credit is due, the resurgence of Damsco Marte in this year’s off season made Phil Coke a little more expendable than he was in mid August as the only lefty in the Yankees pen. Kennedy will put up some good numbers in Comerica, but Detroit Rock City aint the Bronx and those numbers do not translate into Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. I like this deal for Detroit and the Bombers. Arizona, well, we’ll leave that to the writers in Phoenix to dissect.
Parting thoughts on some immediate intangibles; Granderson is coming in at a reasonable $23-$24M over the next three years, with a club option for 2013 at $13M (quite a discount compared to Damon). Granderson also will love the spotlight and should not have any issues with the NYC media. He’s personable, extroverted and carries a huge personality. All traits only add to his value. Speaking of Damon, this immediately puts negotiations with Satan himself (Boras, not Johnny who we all love) on Yankee terms. While I’d love to see Damon back in pinstripes in 2010, I have to take a couple points into consideration. No one saw him leaving Fenway following the season of Idiots and yet he did, and Boras has his sites set on 4 years, $12-14M per. Granderson puts all the cards in Cashman’s hands right now. Offer up a one (or two) year deal that includes a huge chunk of DH time at $8-10M. You have two shots at this one, Damon or Matsui would make a great DH for 2010. Granderson now gives you that option. Finally, BoSox, Marco Scuttaro just is not going to cut it. The desperate need for a Roy Halladay type deal just increased in the eyes of Sox fans. Last time I checked, Jason Bay was also waivering over a Fenway return. As usual, next year arrived a little early in the AL East.