This winter, both the Yankees and the Red Sox added new center fielders to their respective rosters. Of course, the Yankees traded for Detroit’s Curtis Granderson, who is primarily known for his speed, power, and potential, while the Red Sox inked the accomplished veteran, Mike Cameron, in the hopes that his stellar defensive reputation benefits their ball club (Cameron can still hit, too). With that said, I wonder, who ultimately landed the better center fielder?
For the answer, to WAR we go (WAR totals are from 2006-2009):
One could certainly make the argument that Mike Cameron is actually a more effective player, or at least that he has been the more effective player (consistently) because of his enduring defensive value. Then again, Granderson’s potential, as seen in 2007, is certainly notable. Despite the statistical histories, if I could have either player at the same cost, it is Granderson’s innate ability to develop into something greater than he currently is that seems to trump all.
But, if I were forced to hazard a guess as to who will provide more value, according to WAR, in 2010, Cameron is likely the safer choice, although he could experience a dramatic age-driven regression. On the other hand, Granderson, with his five tools, can easily beat him if he manages a better line against lefties and improves a bit defensively.
Given the elements involved, it is difficult to assess which team obtained the better center fielder. Perhaps if we limit the question to this season — who obtained the better player for 2010 — Cameron could be seen as that guy. However, Granderson has much more promise than his aged Boston counterpart, which is obviously important.
In the end, both players will likely be effective this season (maybe equally so). We might be able to leave it at that.
Photos by the AP
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