I think you guys knew about the 3 way trade of the Yankees, Tigers and the D'Backs. The Yankees now have a premium center fielder in Curtis Granderson. But the Yanks gave something away just to get Granderson. The Yankees gave Ian Kennedy to the D'Backs and top prospect Austin Jackson and lefty specialist Phil Coke to the Tigers.
It's tough to give a lot of young and promising prospects especially A-Jax but I think the Yankees won this trade because they got a center fielder who can help them win another World Series title now (and not in the future). The Yankees are thinking about the present situation and what Granderson can bring to the table. So what do we really get from Curtis Granderson? Well here it is:
Last season the Yankees outfield defense was just average because of Johnny Damon's weak arm. It's a good thing they have Melky Cabrera in center to compensates Damon's weaknesses. With the arrival of Granderson, things will be different. We could see a top defensive caliber outfield in Melky Cabrera in left, Granderson in center, and Nick Swisher in right. All of a sudden there are no holes in the Yankees outfield defense and all three are capable of throwing an out because of their strong arm. Granderson's speed covers a lot of ground in center field and has had exciting defensive plays in the past (remember the over-the-wall catch which robs Wily Mo Pena an home run). Granderson is truly a defensive upgrade.
HOME RUN POWER:
Granderson has power especially hitting in right field which benefits the Yankees because of their short right field porch. Last season, Granderson hit 30 homers and might be adding some more if Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long managed to teach Granderson to lower down his strike- outs and improved his batting average especially from a left pitcher (he struggles against lefties) . The Yankees will still play their own game, hitting the ball out of the ballpark (leading the league in HR in 2009).
SPEED AND YOUTH:
Granderson is still young (28) and has not reached his peak yet. He can still be productive for 6-8 years. His speed is one of his greatest talents. He can steal a base, run down a ball in the outfield, and hit triples. Hitting triples is his specialty. During the 2007 season, Granderson accumulated 23 triples, which led all of baseball. The American League and Detroit Tigers record is 26 triples, a feat achieved by the all-time triples king, Sam Crawford, in 1914. With Granderson coming in and maybe Damon too plus the help of the Yankees mainstay like Jeter, A-Rod and Gardner, we will be seeing the Yankees doing a lot of running next season.
The Yankees really made a wise decision in trading for Curtis Granderson. They were able to get a premium center fielder with power which will be receiving $5.5 M only for next season. That is still considered cheap. This transaction has not only helped the Yankees to maintain competitive for next season but has helped them as well in cutting down their payroll. Here is a rundown of Granderson's contract:
10:$5.5M, 11:$8.25M, 12:$10M, 13:$13M club option ($2M buyout) plus an option in 2014
PRESSURE FOR DAMON AND BORAS:
Oh yes! Now the pressure is thrown back to Damon and his greedy agent Scott Boras. The Yanks are probably now asking where is the 4 year deal to Damon that you are shouting about for several weeks now. With the acquisition of Curtis Granderson, the Yankees are not pressured to sign Damon and they will stand firm for their 2 year contract offer. If that 4 year offer from other teams are just "talks" look for Damon signing with the Yankees on a $ 8-10 M annually, 2 year contract leaving Boras ashamed and regretful.
Or the Yankees could go for World Series MVP Hideki Matsui if Damon goes elsewhere. There is still holes in the Yankees line-up even with Granderson on board. The Yankees might still need Matsui's power and RBI's skills and giving protection to A-Rod by batting 5th.
GRANDERSON WEARS JERSEY NO. 28:
Last year, Manager Joe Girardi said that his jersey no . 27 will help the Yankees bring them to their 27th World Series Championship. That joke turned into a reality. In fact Girardi continued his "wacky ways" by making indications that he will wear jersey no. 28 in order to win back-to-back titles. The question is will Joe Girardi allow his "new" center fielder to wear jersey no . 28 and let the young Granderson bring the luck to the Yankees and possible bring them to glory land next season. After all Granderson has served as an ambassador for Major league Baseball International and is known to have a good personality which would helped the Yankees clubhouse.
Welcome to the Yankees Curtis Granderson! We will be looking forward for an exciting season ahead.