Lots of opinions floating around the blogosphere.
Greg Fertel (gets the prize for best write-up and analysis of the night):
Granderson looks tuned for a big improvement a la Nick Swisher in 2010. From the Yankees’ perspective, how could you not like this move? They added a 29-year-old center fielder with plus defense and power who is only making $25 million over the next three seasons. Put his bat and the new Yankee Stadium together, and we could be in for some gaudy numbers.
From the Yankees perspective, this deal is almost too good to be true. Heading into his age 29 season, Granderson is a legitimate +4 win center fielder signed to a bargain contract for the next four years. I ranked him as the 22nd most valuable asset in terms of trade value in baseball over the summer, and the Yankees are getting him for a variety pack of role players. He instantly makes their team better, giving them a legitimate all-star center fielder who should thrive in Yankee Stadium. For as much as the Yankees have a payroll advantage, they continue to win because Brian Cashman targets the right players. Granderson is a fantastic acquisition for them.
“New York has to try to get better on every front because every team is going to keep gunning for them,” Damon said. “I think having a guy like Granderson, who has the potential to be a really good player, if you can pick up a guy like that and not lose too many people from your big-league club, that’s a positive.”
As unpleasant as giving up Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson is, the Tigers did manage to net themselves a handful of players who will be able to help in 2010. For the most part these aren’t prospects where fans need to hope that they pan out. The Tigers added a starting pitcher, 2 bullpen arms, and hopefully a centerfielder for the near future.
While initial fan reaction seems to have been overwhelmingly negative, thus far, put me in the ‘meh’ category as far as our poll goes. The plus side of the deal is that we, effectively, turned a reliever in Schlereth, into a starter in Kennedy. This effectively fills a hole in the rotation, at relatively little additional cost: Jackson is arb-eligible, but will certainly be cheaper than a free-agent. The negative side, is that we swapped about five years of control over Scherzer, for two years of Jackson – and, in addition, Kennedy has not exactly shown an impressive track record at the major-league level.
Ian Kennedy is also underrated. His minor league track record is pristine, as was his health before his fluke of all flukes injury in the spring. 15 MLB starts haven’t been kind to him, but most of them came in 2008, when mechanical problems hurt his control and velocity. In the NL West, I bet he shines. But I’ve also always believed in him more than anyone else.
For the Yankees, they were given the rare chance to significantly improve their Major League team in both the near and long terms while not giving up any immediately ready MLB players. Austin Jackson may be a great prospect, but in the best world he’ll be about as good as Granderson is now, and the Yankees will hold Granderson for at least 3 more seasons. They did what they do best: leveraged a substantial budget to take a now-costly player off a poorer team’s hands. It worked, and we now have a quality center fielder in his prime for the first time since David Cone was pitching for the Yankees.
My last thought: I feel bad for Tigers fans. Granderson was a serious fan favorite, and the team was only forced to trade him because he is one of their only movable contracts. They are stuck paying 10 million or more to Carlos Guillen, Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and Magglio Ordonez, all of which were immediate dead weight on the roster after being signed. A friend of mine convinced me that a Miguel Cabrera trade is likely. If they do that, we should be on the look out, because the Red Sox could be interested.
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