Why The Yankees Trade For Curtis Graderson Is a Mistake
There is a 3-team deal in place that would send CF Curtis Granderson to the Yankees; RHP Ian Kennedy and RHP Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks; and LHP Phil Coke, Daniel Schlereth and CF Austin Jackson are sent to the Tigers.
This deal is horrible for the Yankees. Austin Jackson was their top ranked prospect and set to start in CF for the squad this upcoming year. In Scranton-Wilkes Barre he hit .300 with 4 homeruns and 65 RBIs. He added 24 stolen bases in 132 games. He currently is 22 and will be 23 starting the '10 season.
Curtis Granderson is 28 years old and will be 29 who hit .249 with 30 homeruns and 71 RBIs with 20 steals in 162 games. On paper these guys are basically identical with Granderson aging him by 6 years. Either the Yankees are not as high on Jackson as they claim to be or this is just a Cashman/Boss Jr/Steinbrenner deal that has them thinking that they can go out and deal prospects again for players and still win, which has worked for them in the past. NOT.
Not only do they Yankees give up on a CF prospect, they give up a strong, young arm out of the bullpen. Phil Coke was Coach Girardi's lefty specialist during the season and postseason who at times looked dominant and other times Phil "Choke" was heard under the facade in the Bronx.
It's not surprising that they Yankees gave up on Ian Kennedy. It didn't look good during the '08 season when Phil Hughes and Kennedy couldn't muster the starting role with injuries or poor play. Hughes has come back with a vengeance and looks like if he is not made into a starter, he could be the heir to the closer role after Mariano Rivera retires. Kennedy was sent down in '08 and couldn't get himself back into the rotation.
With Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui free agents the Yankees currently have Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Xavier Nady and now Curtis Granderson as outfielders. Nady is probably on his way out, along with his 6.5 million in contract money, as he is a liability in the outfield, after having Tommy John surgery this past year.
This deal could be bad news for Johnny Damon because he batted second in the lineup and Granderson led off for the Tigers and doesnt have the power to hit anywhere else in the lineup. Granderson is a cheaper version of Damon and it seems that both Damon and Matsui can punch their tickets out of town.
This may not be it for the Yankees in the Hot Stove Season as they still need a starting pitcher, because as much as Girardi would like to, you can't have a three-man rotation during the season. Chien-Ming Wang's "health" is a concern and they still need a fifth starter, which could be Joba Chamberlain if they can stop with these stupid "joba rules" and just let him pitch.
They still have Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Edwar Ramierez, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, David Robertson and Mark Melancon coming out of the pen and their starters are still C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte if he comes back, and Gaudin can double as a spot starter. The starting pitching is what the Yankees need to focus on now, really really focus on.
Probable starting lineups for the pinstripes as of right now:
1. Jeter - SS
2. Granderson - CF
3. Teixiera - 1B
4. Rodriguez - 3B
5. Posada - C
6. Cano - 2B
7. Swisher - DH
8. Cabrera - RF
9. Gardner - LF
Still not horrible by any means, but this move just irks the mind as to why they would give up on Jackson who could have been a very good centerfielder who can hit for contact to a good centerfielder who hits some power. Power is something the Yankees don't lack and didn't need.
Or this whole article can blow up in my face and Jackson could be the next Delmon Young and struggle mightly as Granderson makes the Hall of Fame.
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