Dealing Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson: Yankees Take the Risk

Jordan SchwartzSenior Writer IDecember 8, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 24:  Curtis Granderson #28 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 24, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Yankees are reportedly nearing a three-team deal that would essentially send outfield prospect Austin Jackson to the Tigers in exchange for Curtis Granderson.

In the trade, the D-backs would get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, while Detroit would also obtain Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, and Phil Coke.

After years of shipping out young talent in exchange for veterans who failed in New York, the Yanks recently turned their focus to keeping their top prospects, resisting opportunities to trade away guys like Jackson, Jesus Montero, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes for pitchers such as Roy Halladay and Jarrod Washburn.

But with a chance to upgrade their outfield, the Bombers apparently feel like Jackson's ceiling won't ever exceed that of Granderson.

But is it worth the risk?

I have no problem getting rid of Kennedy and Coke, but Jackson has long been regarded as one of the organization's best prospects. In October, Baseball America named Jackson the seventh best International League player.

This past season at Triple-A Scranton, the 22-year-old hit .300 with four homers and 65 RBI in 132 games. He also stole 24 of 28 bases.

While Granderson is still young—just 28—he struggled in '09, hitting .249 with a .327 on-base percentage. He did hit 30 homers and swiped 20 bags in 26 attempts, but do you really want a guy with a lifetime .344 OBP at the top of your order?

Granderson had a historic year in 2007, when he had at least 20 doubles, triples, homers, and steals, but since then his numbers have dropped off a bit.

Why not just try to re-sign Johnny Damon—who had more runs, doubles, and RBI, as well as a better average, OBP, and stealing percentage than Granderson in 2009—for another couple years and then bring up Jackson as his replacement?

I understand Granderson is a defensive upgrade from Damon, but his play in left field didn't really hurt the Yankees during their recent championship run, and the Bombers aren't exactly in need of more power.

After winning a World Series, you wouldn't think the Yanks would be so willing to sacrifice the future for the present.


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Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at,, and

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