Recently, many have wondered why the Detroit Tigers would spend money on Johnny Damon after they traded Curtis Granderson due to supposed salary concerns. It makes you question whether or not Granderson was, in fact, sent to New York for that reason (maybe there was another issue that forced Detroit’s hand). However, from Lynn Henning of the Detroit News we learn that Detroit likely did trade Granderson mainly for payroll reasons, as the organization had hoped to alter its spending this winter. Henning writes that owner Mike Ilitch, going into 2010, had planned to employ greater budgetary discipline so as to “prune” payroll. The Granderson trade, as well as the decision to not offer arbitration to Placido Polanco, who later signed with Philly, were indications of this strategy. But, as Henning notes, Ilitch has since grown “nervous” regarding the offensive capabilities of his team, and this has led to a “revised” line of thinking. As seen by their interest in Johnny Damon, the club’s stance from December to February has “softened.”
Now that Detroit is seemingly prepared to spend more than they had originally hoped to spend this season, it makes you wonder whether or not the Yankees “got away with one” with the Curtis Granderson acquisition. Today, if Brian Cashman were to approach Detroit’s GM, Dave Dombrowski, about the young center fielder, perhaps he would not be named as an available piece. In fact, when you consider that the Tigers’ division rival, the Twins, had a productive offseason, which is partly why Detroit is compelled to sign Damon, trading Granderson seems even more unlikely.
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