MLB Trade Talk: Would a Joe Mauer for Curtis Granderson Trade Really Work?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IDecember 2, 2012

MLB Trade Talk: Would a Joe Mauer for Curtis Granderson Trade Really Work?

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    As of Wednesday night, the Yankees have a vacancy at the catcher spot.

    Russell Martin decided to bolt the Bronx and sign a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    With Martin now gone, it leaves a lot of uncertainty and a lot of questions.

    There are free agents like Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski, but right now, both seem unlikely.

    The current Yankees catchers are Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart; both are better suited as backups and defensive replacements.

    In the minors, there is Austin Romine, whose progress has been hampered by injuries, and Gary Sanchez, who is still a few years away from being major league ready.

    So, in the simplest of terms, there's a gigantic hole in the lineup and in the field that Yankees GM Brian Cashman needs to try and fill.

    One story made a pretty interesting trade suggestion involving the Yankees and Twins.

    Frankie Garcia of Sports World Report made the trade suggestion of swapping Joe Mauer for Curtis Granderson.

    It seems like a crazy and off-the-wall trade idea, and I know a lot of you might be tired of hearing Mauer's name come up.

    In this latest story, let's discuss why the trade could work and why it couldn't work.

Why It Could Work for the Yankees

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    1. Adding Joe Mauer would be an instant upgrade to the lineup, especially over Russell Martin.

    2. The Yankees have the ability to afford an extra $23 million per season if needed.

    3. Mauer can be a part-time first baseman if they needed to rest Mark Teixeira or DH him.

    4. Normally, this trade would require a ton of prospects, but it's only suggesting trading Granderson, so the farm system doesn't get imploded.

    5. Yankee Stadium is custom-built for a left-handed hitter like Mauer.

    6. The Yankees would be adding a hitter who can hit for average instead of just another slugger.

Why It Could Work for the Twins

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    1. Curtis Granderson would fill the spot vacated by Denard Span, who was just dealt to the Nationals.

    2. Acquiring Granderson would only be a short-term deal, as he's only signed for one season.

    3. In July, the Twins could actually flip Granderson in a trade to acquire more prospects from a playoff contender.

    4. It would unload $23 million per season off the Twins payroll.

Why It Couldn't Work for the Yankees

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    1. Joe Mauer is the local hometown kid from Minnesota—he's the face of the franchise.

    2. Mauer also has a full no-trade clause, and who knows if he'd waive it to come to the Yankees.

    3. The Yankees would be adding $23 million per season, and they are trying to cut down the payroll.

    4. Mauer will be 30 when the 2013 season starts, and the Yankees have an older lineup to begin with.

    5. How many good seasons at catcher does Mauer have left before he has to move to first base?

    6. Are the Twins really only going to want Granderson for Mauer, as they could ask for at least four to five prospects in a return deal?

Why It Couldn't Work for the Twins

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    1. The Twins are in a total rebuilding mode, and Curtis Granderson doesn't exactly fit into that kind of plan for a young team.

    2. The Twins are trying to shed payroll with their youth movement; Granderson will make $15 million in 2013.

    3. How would Granderson's talent and power translate in Target Field?

    4. Would Granderson have the same kind of success in a Twins lineup with barely any kind of protection?

    5. Granderson is a good player and a nice guy, but the Twins fans would be really annoyed that their franchise and hometown star got traded.

Final Verdict

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    If you asked me on December 1 if the Yankees and Twins could pull off this kind of trade, my gut feeling would say no.

    Brian Cashman lately tends to fill needs with cheap veterans who can play for a year or two.

    Right now, I don't know if any of the current free agents fit that mold for a starting catcher.

    As far as trading for Joe Mauer, it would take lot of wheeling and dealing by the Yankees to pull off this kind of deal.

    Yankees top prospect Gary Sanchez would definitely have to be included. Do the Bombers want to part with him like they did with Jesus Montero a year ago?

    Plus, in the end, it's ultimately up to Mauer whether he wants to leave Minnesota or play out his contract.

    And with him being the hometown hero and local product, my gut feeling says he would say no to New York.

    So for now, I don't see a Mauer-for-Granderson deal happening.

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