Curtis Granderson an Interesting Option for the Chicago Cubs

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29:  Center fielder Curtis Granderson #28 of the Detroit Tigers hits his second home run of the game in the second inning against the Texas Rangers on July 29, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It has been reported most of the week that Detroit Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson could be had if the right offer were to cross general manger Dave Dombrowski's desk.

It has also been mentioned that two teams that would be interested in the services of Granderson would be the New York Yankees (of course) and the Chicago Cubs.

It is not surprising that the Yankees would be interested in Granderson because of the turnover in their outfield with the likely departures of Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, but also because they are the Yankees, and who aren't they interested in bringing in?

But as a Cub fan, the first time I heard Granderson might be on the trade market, I thought that Jim Hendry needed to be on the phone right away asking Dombrowski what he wanted for the All-Star center fielder.

Granderson would fit multiple needs that the Cubs have in that he is a left-handed-hitting center fielder who has speed and could lead off for the Cubs.

But what would you give up for Granderson if you were the Cubs?

Carlos Marmol? Jake Fox? Josh Vitters? Starlin Castro?

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune suggests that the Cubs should be willing to part with the live arm of Marmol and hot prospect Castro, who is likely on a year or two away from being a major leaguer.

Now I want Granderson as much as the next Cubs fan, but if the Cubs trade Marmol, who is going to close games?

Jeff Samardzija? Jeff Stevens? Aaron Heilman? Sorry, didn't mean to scare you with that one—but you get my point, right?

Even though Marmol went through his struggles, maybe he can reclaim the command he once had in 2008 and be the pitcher that Lou Piniella expected him to be.

I also think that Castro is an untouchable prospect who I believe will be the starting shortstop heading into the 2011 season, but I believe that former first round pick Josh Vitters could be had if Granderson is in fact on the trade market.

Vitters is still a promising prospect at third base but has not made it past High-A Daytona and hasn't yet shown his power or production at that level, so he could still be several seasons off.

Some names that I would also keep my eyes on as possible trade chips are pitchers Andrew Cashner, Esmailin Caridad, and possibly lefty specialist Sean Marshall.

Now I love the idea of acquiring Granderson and plugging him in at the top of the lineup, but we must realize that Granderson is really a glorified platoon player.

In 2009 Granderson hit .249 with 30 home runs, 71 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.

But against left-handed pitching last season, Granderson hit a measly .183 with two home runs and nine RBI in 180 at-bats.

If Granderson were acquired by the Cubs, they would likely need to keep Reed Johnson, a right-handed batter, or add another right-handed-hitting center fielder to spell Granderson against lefties.

So do the Cubs really want to give up a couple of good prospects or young major leaguers for a platoon center fielder?

Yes, because when Granderson is in the lineup against right-handed pitching, he is one of the best offensive center fielders, hitting at a .275 clip with 28 home runs and 68 RBI.

Even though Granderson might be a glorified platoon center fielder, he would fit a need that the Cubs need in their lineup. If I were Jim Hendry, I would go out and acquire him as soon as possible.


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