Curtis Granderson Acquired by Yankees from Tigers in Three-Team Deal
According to Jon Heyman, the deal is pretty much done.
Last I heard, the Yankees are giving up No. 2 prospect Austin Jackson, lefty reliever Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy for the All-Star center fielder.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be giving up Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth in the deal and receive Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson in return. The Tigers will obtain Scherzer, Schlereth, Jackson, and Coke in the deal.
Curtis Granderson had somewhat of a down year in 2009, posting a wOBA of .340 compared to his career mark of .358, but he plays a good center field and should be able to rebound.
The short porch in right field should allow him to improve his power numbers, and a rebound on batted balls in play should make his overall hitting like look quite a bit better.
In 2009, he hit only .276 on balls in play. Due to his speed, he has been able to maintain an above average mark of .323 for his career. Even though he hit markedly more fly balls in '09, it is unlikely that he posts a BABIP as low as .276 in the upcoming seasons.
Granderson's biggest problem is his struggle versus left-handed pitching. For his career, he has a weak .614 OPS versus lefties and an .894 OPS against righties. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees play him with these platoon splits, but there is no doubt he is a very valuable piece.
He's owed around $25 million over the next three seasons, a bargain for a player of Granderson's caliber.
In exchange, the Yankees did give up some very good pieces. Austin Jackson has been a top prospect for a few seasons now, but I think his value decreased in 2009. He managed to hit .300 in AAA but didn't show much power and struck out quite a bit. Right now, it's unlikely that his skill set would transition well to a major league roster, but he definitely has room to improve.
The most likely outcome for Jackson at this point is a league average center fielder. The Yankees already have two players in Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner who can fill that role, so that made Jackson expendable.
I expected Ian Kennedy to play a significant role with the Yankees in 2010, pitching out of the bullpen and making some starts. He seems to have recovered strongly and put together a very nice string of starts in the Arizona Fall League.
His trade value may have improved after the 2010 season, but he's another guy who has limited upside, so he's not the type of player the Yankees should hesitate to move in the right trade.
The third piece that the Yankees gave up was a reliever for the entire 2009 season, Phil Coke. In 2008, it looked like he was going to develop into a very good reliever, but his propensity for giving up the long ball severely limits how useful he is as a reliever. Again, Coke is an okay piece but really not someone you need to hold onto.
I absolutely love this trade. The Yankees gave up three useful pieces but got a potential All-Star in return. Curtis Granderson is known as one of the best people in baseball, and adding that to the clubhouse can never hurt. Look for Granderson to rebound in 2010 and thrive in pinstripes.
This trade is a huge win for the Yanks and makes them an even more dangerous team than they were yesterday.
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