With Granderson Trade, Yankees Can't Be Serious About Doc Halladay

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IDecember 8, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 19:  Curtis Granderson #28 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the New York Yankees on July 19, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If reports from reliable sources in Indianapolis are accurate, the Yankees just acquired center fielder Curtis Granderson from the Tigers and two prospects from Arizona.

In return the Yankees have apparently given up starter Ian Kennedy, left-handed reliever Phil Coke, left-handed reliever Michael Dunn, and highly touted prospect Austin Jackson.

One would have thought that these same prospects would have gone a long way toward a trade for Toronto ace Doc Halladay.

When Halladay recently notified Toronto brass that they had until the start of Spring Training to trade him or he would veto any trade, the price for the big right-hander went down.

The four players New York is apparently sending away to get an outfielder who hit .249 in 2009 and is abyssmal against left handed pitchers, are not chump change by any means.

Granderson also strikes out more than you would like in a player who will probably hit in the two hole behind Derek Jeter. When you consider that the Yankees already have a right fielder who strikes out enough to kill too many rallies, Granderson is not going to help that picture.

One must think Toronto would have thought long and hard about getting rid of Halladay's salary and the headache he has been to them over the past eight months in exchange for players of the caliber the Yankees have just sent packing.

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What this says to this writer is that the Yankees never were serious about going after Halladay.

But is still leaves one curious about what the Yankee had in mind in making this trade. Granderson is an All Star center fielder. But he is not the best at that position and is not a substantial upgrade over either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner on defense.

Both Cabrera and Gardner had better batting averages than Granderson did in 2009.  And without a doubt Gardner is a greater base stealing threat than Granderson is.

Some thought has to be given to the idea that this move sends a loud message to Scott Boras, the agent for free agent outfielder Johnny Damon.

Damon patrolled left field for the Yankees in 2009, but he has become a liability on defense over the past two seasons.  He was paid $13 million in 2009, and Boras has said he expects a long term contract for Damon in that salary neighborhood.

If the Yankees keep Melky Cabrera, he will be the left fielder with Granderson coming over. Damon may come back as DH, but there is no way Cashman will pay Damon $13 to be a part-time DH.

And part-time is all manager, Joe Girardi, wants from a DH, because he has made it clear he wants flexibility there so he can give catcher Jorge Posada, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, and other players some rest by having them rotate through the DH slot.

Granderson is a curious trade at most, and it surely must give Theo Epstein in Boston real hope that he will now be the only bidder for Doc Halladay.

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