The Big Trade

It wouldn’t be the winter meetings without a big three way trade. This one is pretty substantial.

As the reports stand, here’s who is trading places.

To New York Yankees: Curtis Granderson
To Detroit Tigers: Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke
To Arizona Diamondbacks: Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy

From the Yankees perspective, this deal is almost too good to be true. Heading into his age 29 season, Granderson is a legitimate +4 win center fielder signed to a bargain contract for the next four years. I ranked him as the 22nd most valuable asset in terms of trade value in baseball over the summer, and the Yankees are getting him for a variety pack of role players. He instantly makes their team better, giving them a legitimate all-star center fielder who should thrive in Yankee Stadium. For as much as the Yankees have a payroll advantage, they continue to win because Brian Cashman targets the right players. Granderson is a fantastic acquisition for them.

From the Tigers perspective, this deal makes some sense, even though they’re giving up the premier player in the trade. Scherzer is a terrific arm, ranking 44th on my trade value series. He’s a quality pitcher who has five years left of team control, giving the Tigers a frontline starter on the cheap who will be in Detroit for the foreseeable future. Jackson should be a decent player, though not a star, and could hold down center field for the league minimum. Schlereth and Coke strengthen the bullpen.

The Tigers aren’t as good today as they were yesterday, but they did manage to shed some payroll and still have a premium young player under team control for significant years. I’d rather have Granderson than Scherzer, but considering the cost differences, this deal makes some sense for Detroit.

Arizona, though… what a mess. Jackson and Kennedy will shore up their rotation, but they aren’t worth a kid as good as Max Scherzer. Jackson’s a mid-rotation starter whose salaries are escalating in arbitration, while Kennedy is a back-end starter who missed most of 2009. They didn’t get better, they didn’t save money, and they didn’t get younger. This move is just not a good one for the D’Backs, unless there’s another impressive piece going to Arizona that hasn’t been reported.

A+ for the Yankees, who continue to show that they know what they’re doing. Not a bad deal for Detroit, who needed to save some cash. But man, I’m sorry for D’Backs fans, who just saw their team screw up.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


327 Responses to “The Big Trade”

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  1. RKO36 says:

    Just a few hours ago I didn’t want this deal to happen, but now I’m warming up on it. You’re a lot more enthusiastic than me. It’s hard to watch one of your team’s top prospects be traded, but like you said Granderson is a 4 win 28 year old center fielder. I guess this is a good move for the Yankees.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      This is an amazing deal for the Yankees. Jackson is a decent prospect, but not a future star – he was always going to have a problem cracking into the Yankee line-up. He’s not significantly better than Cabrera or Gardner.

      Kennedy and Coke are easily replaced. They have value, but not substantial value to a team like NY with resources to fill out their rotation and bullpen with established players.

      Seriously, this is a young, cheap, all-star for three guys who probably weren’t ever going to have a significant impact in NY.

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      • RKO36 says:

        Yeah. I guess you’re right. And I was just thinking that Granderson is a better option than resigning Damon. Younger and cheaper. They can play him in center and Melky in left.

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      • JDSussman says:

        They won’t play Melky in left. That would be a complete fail.

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      • Tom B says:

        Moving Melky to right field and playing Swisher in left would be much more intelligent.

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      • CasanovaWong says:

        Melky has 10x the range of Swisher. Putting him in the tiny YSII Rf because he has a better arm than swish would be very very dumb. Yankee Stadium left field is gigantic and Melky would be much better suited there. Range is much more important than arm strength.

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      • Steve says:

        Swisher improved his arm fairly drastically this season.

        yes, this is based on nothing more than my eyes, but it was a pretty dramatic improvement.

        how? he started working with the pitching coach.

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      • Tom B says:

        Right center is anything but tiny in YS, and if having a guy with better range and a better arm over there means the CF can shade towards left, to help the left fielder cover the canyon, this can only help.

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      • More information in the name link, but here’s how i rank the trade by team:

        The Tigers
        The Tigers by far got the best end of this deal. Seeking to shed payroll, fill in some bullpen holes, and acquire cheap, young talent, the Tigers traded away one of the games best value players (Granderson) who plays a mean CF in terms of both offense and defense, in addition to a soon-to-be 27 year old hard-throwing right-handed SP (Jackson) who over-performed last year and generally has below average, but improving control, no strikeout talent and two years left until he reaches free agency. In exchange, the Tigers received four quality players and met each of their goals. The prize of the Tigers’ acquisition was Max Scherzer, a soon-to-be 26 year old, hard-throwing right-handed SP (Scherzer) with high strikeout talent, above-average control and three, possibly four, more years of team control before he becomes arbitration eligible. If Scherzer does not qualify for super-two status next offseason, the Tigers will end up paying a better-than-Jackson SP less than $1 million, while Jackson probably makes at least $10 million over that same time frame. In addition to Scherzer, the Tigers also acquired two relievers: Phil Coke, a solid and above average RP who limited the walks and struck out more batters than the league average while playing in the AL East last year, from the Yankees and Daniel Schlereth, a closer-of-the-future kind of RP with great stuff and questionable control, from the Diamondbacks. Considering that Lyons and Rodney are free agents, this gives the team more leverage when dealing with Brandon Lyon and a viable set of cheap, late-inning relievers for the Tigers. The Tigers also got Austin Jackson, one of the Yankee’s top prospects, who profiles as a league-average (or better) hitting CF with great speed and range to replace Granderson. At just 22 years old, Jackson has a lot of upside and 6 years of major league control left to his name.

        Conclusion: The Tigers accomplished everyone of their team’s goals with this trade. They shed payroll, replaced semi-expensive players with cheap replacements, filled bullpen holes and upgraded their starting rotation.

        The Yankees
        The Yankees also made out big with this trade. With Johnny Damon departing to free agency and 4th OFs Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner and not-quite-ready CF prospect Austin Jackson left to fill both center and left fields, the Yankees were in search of one, if not two, outfielders. Although you can never discount the Yankees getting involved in the Matt Holliday/Jason Bay sweepstakes, this helps the team fill up centerfield at a great value and it gives the team a lot more negotiating leverage against Scott Boras and his clients (Damon, Holliday). Granderson is without a doubt an all around upgrade over the aging and expensive Damon and if the Yankees can clobber everyone on their way to a world series title with Damon in left and Cabrera/Gardner, I see no reason why they can’t do it with Granderson in center and Cabrera/Gardner in left. With Granderson, the Yankees acquired a not-cheap, but not-expensive player with some of the best all around tools in the game (walks, hits for power, quality range, average arm) and probably have plenty of money left over — especially if they let Damon walk — to make another big free agency splash while keeping the payroll under the 2008 mark. And what did it cost them? None of their core young talent (Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Mike Dunn, or Francisco Cervelli). Just a slightly above average, but still useful reliever (Phil Coke) and a starting pitcher with no room on the roster and more hype than true talent (Ian Kennedy, aka “the next Greg Maddux”).

        Conclusion: The Yankees got what they needed — a quality outfielder and leverage in the free agency market — at a great value in terms of both $ cost and players traded

        The Diamondbacks
        Oh boy, where to begin. The Diamondbacks got ripped off. They traded away a young, cheap ace pitcher and high talent potential closer of the future and bought high on a hard-throwing (but improving) SP (Jackson) who over-performed last season and has at least two less years of team control to his name in addition to a brand name minor leaguer with limited “success” at any level of play since 2007. For a guy who is supposed to be “the next Greg Maddux, he needs to start limiting the walks (his career major-league equivalent BB/9 is 3.95). Kennedy is still relatively young (soon-to-be 26) and has been getting better at the strikeouts in AAA, but he’s entering his “prime years” and has yet to show any significant major league success.

        Conclusion: Kennedy may provide the Diamondbacks with a quality arm, but the risk inherent in him putting it all together (in addition to the probable regression from Jackson, a pitcher who outperformed his peripherals last year and also has a four year trend of increasing FB tendencies) makes trading away a cheap stud like Scherzer and high ceiling reliever like Schlereth an unwise gamble.

        ____

        All in all, it’s not like anyone expected the Diamondbacks to contend in 2010 anyways. Perhaps the team, realizing this, decided to take the long-term risk with Kennedy (who the Yankees had no room for), while gaining another arm (Jackson), who, in addition to Webb, the team can unload for some quality prospects to a contender come July. The Tigers and Yankees won big on this deal and the Diamondbacks took on a whole lot of unnecessary risk (and some salary), to which I call them the unequivocal losers of the deal.

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      • CasanovaWong says:

        Tom B, Why wouldn’t you just out the guy with the better range in LF?? That doesn’t make any sense to put the weaker fielder in the bigger part of the field and then move the CF over so he can help.

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      • Tom B says:

        considering the speed of the CF’s we’re dealing with here, LF is not “that” big… Swisher used to play CF so it’s not like he would be inept in LF. The plus arm is best served in RF stopping guys from going 1st to 3rd. He would cover just as must ground laterally in RF as he did in CF, so it cuts down the RF gap even more because he can play farther from the 1B line. Swisher did play CF he is more than capable of covering LF in Yankee Stadium.

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      • PL says:

        Wow dave, you sure so think highly of a guy who OPSd 400-something against left handed pitching last year and has declined with both bat and glove over the last 3 years. You must be the source of Grandersons ridiculous over-rating, thats a bummer.

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  2. Chris says:

    Its an absolute no-brainer for NYY.

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  3. CJ says:

    Not only that, but Granderson is similar to Damon in that his swing is tailor made for NYS. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop 30+ HR next year

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  4. Levi says:

    More realistically though, Granderson is a declining CF who can’t hit lefties to save his life.
    Honestly, .183/.245/.239 this year is bad enough. Granted in a pretty small sample, but .210/.270/.344 over 685 PAs in his career vs LHP. That’s a full season of roughly Mendoza batting. Ouch.
    Granted, Austin Jackson will only ever be a solid CF in the major leagues and Kennedy won’t be more than a back of the rotation innings eater. Still, I don’t think Cashman made the right move here. Granderson has proven over the past 3 years he’s not getting any better.

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  5. Kevin says:

    Austin Jackson isn’t really impressive. He’s young, but his K rate is frightening and he doesn’t have the power to make up for it.

    I’ll take this trade as a Yankee fan and smile.

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    • Mike Emeigh says:

      Jackson’s K rate isn’t frightening; anything better than 1K/4AB is acceptable. It’s unusual for a 22-YO to post that kind of line at AAA and “not” be a useful major leaguer, and I think he still has some growing to do.

      I also think people are overvaluing Scherzer. It’s still a better than 50/50 proposition, in my opinion, that he winds up in the bullpen over the long haul.

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  6. Mowses says:

    I’m so glad not to be a D’backs fan. Giving away Scherzer was a really bad move.

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  7. Jip Bloop says:

    Sucked against lefties in 2007 & 2008 too, but still posted amazing overall numbers for a CF.

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  8. Paul Thomas says:

    What on God’s green earth are the Diamondbacks doing?

    They just traded two better pitchers for two worse pitchers. That’s all this is. It just immediately makes their team more expensive and worse. It’s not even “filling a hole” or something sort of vaguely excusable like that. The team is now strictly worse than it was yesterday.

    Both of the other teams make out like bandits because the D-Backs just gave away about $40M. Two big-market AL teams that needed no help get way better at virtually no cost.

    FML.

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    • JDSussman says:

      @JimBowdenIV D-backs view Scherzer as back-end reliever long term….which explains their side….Jackson behind Haren, Webb gives them 3 solid starters

      Ridiculous.

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      • B says:

        I don’t see how they can possibly view Scherzer as a back-end reliever. Did they not take notice of the 170 innings of productive starting ball he gave them this past season?

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      • circlechange11 says:

        The only thing I can imagine is that, due to Scherzer’s high pitch counts early in games, often resulting him being removed in the 6th … that it diminishes his value as a possible front line starter. When i see him pitch, his stuff has been electric, but he does rack up pitch counts.

        Plus, he (Max) has 2 different colored eyes … leading to the PERFECT nickname … “The Terminator”. *grin, but somewhat serious*

        I know Zavada, and he and Schlereth are really good buddies. Actually, Dan just visited him for a local hunting trip. Strangely, one’s success likely led to the other being tradable. AZ also has LHR Schoenweiss returning after the death of his wife. I don;t think there’s room for 3 LH relivers in the pen.

        E-Jack is for real and could likely be even better in the NL (Wasn’t he a LAD prospect? Or was it TBR?). Kennedy (hopefully for AZ) replaces garland’s production.

        IMO, it’s hard to evaluate NYY prospects, b/c they get so much more attention than they deserve, likely due to the prestege of the Yankees.

        This has the “potential” to be a decent trade for all 3 teams. Grandy is obviously going to pay off in NY, even though he’s WORSE than Ryan Howard against LHPs (even WORSE than Ryan Howard, I say). Schlereth and Coke likely go right into DET’s horrible pen, Jackson makes the MLB club, and Schlereth joins V and Porcello.

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      • JDSussman says:

        circle,

        Jackson was both an LA and TB prospect. While he could do better in the west, he has a lot of regressing to do from his first half. In fact, he did regress from the first to the second half. He doesn’t have the SO rates to be a top starter.

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      • Richie Abernathy says:

        It doesn’t matter if they view him that way because the other 29 teams see him as a damn good starter, and his trade value in return should reflect that, not their own perspective.

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      • circlechange11 says:

        I agree. I do see Jackson as being either a very capable starter … or possibly taking his 95-96mph heat to the bullpen.

        Scherzer has the potential to be “lights out”, but that does not mean he will eventually become that. I’ve seen him pitch quite a few times and he is impressive when he’s “on”, he just isn’t “on” enough. I saw him outpitch Grienke in KC (Scherzer’s return to Missourri). When he locates his 94+ heat low and on the corner, hitters are helpless, AND he has a solid change and plus curveball. The problem is that it doesn’t seemt o all come together for continuous innings very often.

        I still thinks this trade “could” work for all 3 teams, although I wouldn;t have given up Scherzer. AZ was likely looking to replace Garland while adding another starter. Some of this may have to do with the AA prospect (forget his name) that doesn’t appear to be as good as he was suppossed to be coming out of high school (one who could potentially replace Garland). As soon as I hit submit, his name will “come to me”.

        Josh better hope this trade doesn’t bite him, because moving up to the “#1 Disappointing Byrnes in Arizona” would lead to firing … especially when you combine the EB signing with the hiring of the manager he chose.

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      • BX says:

        Because its always great when Jim Bowden gives them a thumbs up.

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      • B says:

        I’m just not seeing how this trade works for Arizona, if what Dave gave us is in fact the entire trade. Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy would both have to bust out beyond any reasonable expectation, and even then the process behind the trade was poor the D’Backs just got lucky. Whatever, I’m a Giants fan, I guess it works out well for us.

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    • Joser says:

      Considering the economy in the area, I’m not sure I’d call Detroit a “big-market” anything at this point (or for quite some time in the future). It might have been once, but it has been shrinking (both demographically and economically) for quite some time. Phoenix may have gotten hit hard by the recent real estate collapse, but it was booming prior to that; Detroit has been collapsing for years.

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      • BX says:

        I do agree that Detroit is no longer a big market, BUT, this is still absolutely regardless, even if the team making out like the Tigers did was a “small market”.

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      • stormhit says:

        Detroit and the metro area of Detroit are two completely different things. The metro area had been growing until quite recently.

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  9. Mowses says:

    I’m not sure this move helps Byrnes secure his job

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  10. JDSussman says:

    Trades like this show how important the ability to pay someone’s salary is. Yankees gave up close to nothing.

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    • bebop says:

      Granderson makes 5.5m next year, 8.25m in 2011 and 10m in 2012 with a 12m option for 2013. These next to years are small change.. Detroit shouldnt have let Magglio’s option vest..

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    • Tom B says:

      The tigers took on almost 80% of their team revenue in payroll over the last few years, their “ability” to pay out a contract that they gave him had little to do with it.

      In the same light, are you honestly insinuating that the Yankees are the only team with the ability to pay an all-star CF 5, 8, 10, and 13 million over the next 3 years? You can’t play the pity card when then Yankees make intelligent, fiscally responsible moves.

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      • JDSussman says:

        Tom B,

        No I’m actually not insinuating that at all. Yankees made a great move. Nor are they the only team with the ability to pay an all-star CF 5, 8, 10, and 13 million over the next 3 years.

        However, I don’t think the Yankees gave up a proportionate amount of talent (as say AZ did) because of the salary Granderson is making.

        I’ve never bashed the Yankees brass for investing in their team. I think more owners should. There is no “pity” card here.

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  11. Matt says:

    Good trade but he’s going to have to be platooned. Unfortunately, Curtis can’t hit left handed pitching. 2007 was his best season offensively, and vs LHP in 2007 he hit……… .160avg, .225obp, .269slg adding up to a spectacular .494 OPS.

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    • Don W says:

      Paul O’Neill couldn’t hit left handed pitching either. In fact his #’s were worse than Granderson’s, (0.598 OPS vs LH’ers for O’Neill & 0.614 for Granderson), even though Granderson put up some of his in a cavernous ballpark.

      Hope that this works out that well for the Yanks.

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    • No I in blog says:

      Lefty-mashing Mike Cameron is a free agent, last I checked, and also plays a great CF…

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  12. Zach says:

    Dave, I’m not quite sure I’d call Granderson a 4-win CF. He’s hit that level exactly once in his career (his ridiculously awesome 2007). He’s a nice player, and this was a good trade for the Yankees, but I’m not sure they’ll get much more value out of Granderson and Cabrera (whichever plays LF) next year than they did out of Damon and Cabrera last year.

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    • RKO36 says:

      Since he’s been a full timer he’s put up 3.9 WAR, 7.4 WAR, 3.8 WAR, and 3.4 WAR last year with a .276 BABIP.

      That’s a 4 win player.

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      • Zach says:

        I dunno, I see a guy who seemingly had a career year in 2007, a guy who’s aging, losing speed and defensive ability (-9.4 and 1.6 UZR/150 the last two years in CF after 14.1 and 12.9 in 2006-07), and I’m just not sure I’d pencil him in for 4+ wins. He might very well rebound, I just see a guy who was 5th among AL CF in WAR last year (and 6th in 2008), and see a good, not great player.

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      • Tom B says:

        and when you trade prospects for good players, you win.

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    • geo says:

      I’m with you, Zach. Granderson is being over-valued in that he’s trending downward. I think that “nice player” descirbes him exactly.

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    • B says:

      “Dave, I’m not quite sure I’d call Granderson a 4-win CF. He’s hit that level exactly once in his career”

      …really? Are we really pointing out the difference between 3.9 and 4 WAR? Sure, Granderson has only been 4+ WAR once (when he was 7.4), but he’s also put up 3.9, 3.8 and 3.4. Over the last 4 years he’s averaged 4.6 WAR per season…

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      • Zach says:

        So that 7.4 WAR season doesn’t jump out at you as perhaps a major outlier? I guess the issue with Granderson is whether you see last year’s hitting performance as a fluke, and whether you think his last two years of (averaged) below-average defense are also a fluke, or whether you perhaps see a guy who’s no longer an elite defender, a guy with a decent but not great bat, and figure he’s a nice player, but not exactly the centerpiece of a team. Granted, he doesn’t have to be on the Yankees, but I’m just unsure where all the optimism comes from. If he hadn’t posted that 7.4 WAR season in 2007, but instead had been at something like 4.5 wins, would that change people’s minds?

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      • Basil Ganglia says:

        @Zach: “So that 7.4 WAR season doesn’t jump out at you as perhaps a major outlier?”

        Even if it’s an outlier you can’t throw it out. The fact that he put up the number is evidence of ability.

        If he had put together a 5 WAR season, I gather that you would have no problem considering him a 4 WAR talent, because then that season wouldn’t be an outlier and you would have no problem including? But the fact that the did even better than 5 WAR would make him a lesser player in your eyes????

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      • B says:

        Along what Basil said – basically, posting a 7.4 season indicates he’s better than if he had posted a 4.5 season instead. Sure, it’s an outlier, I think we can all agree on that. I don’t expect him to ever repeat that kind of performance. But it does indicate ability to a degree. Your points on defense seem reasonable, he’s probably worse defensively than he was a few years ago. Even assuming he’s a 0 defender, though, he’s still a 4 WAR player (he’s averaged ~+15 runs per year offensively over the past 4 seasons). Especially at his salary, that’s a good piece to have, and Austin Jackson is not the kind of prospect that should stand in between a team and someone like Granderson…

        Anyways, the important thing is, an outlier is still a data point that must be considered, even if it’s unlikely to be repeated.

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      • TCQ says:

        Zach,

        How do you discount his 2007 season as an out lier and then then turn around and use it as a data point in a “three year downward trend”? Gotta make up your mind.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        Everyone please learn what outlier means. Only then can you use the term.

        btw: his 7.4 WAR year was not an outlier. And really isn’t even close.

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      • B says:

        “his 7.4 WAR year was not an outlier”

        What population are we talking about here, exactly?

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        The population that the entire thread is using. It’s not that hard to figure out.

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  13. Dave Cameron says:

    The can’t-hit-lefties thing is really overplayed. Yes, he struggles against southpaws. That just makes him an all-star instead of the best player in baseball.

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    • lookatthosetwins says:

      If he’s a 4ish win player while sucking complete ass against lefties, doesn’t that make him more valuable than that if the team can platoon him?

      If he’s below replacement level against a lf pitcher (I don’t think he is) then platooning him will increase his WAR.

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      • RollingWave says:

        Melky Cabrera hit .268 /.343 / .420 against LHP this year, while not exactly awe inspiring, is certainly at least an upgrade over Granderson against lefty. (yes i realize for his career it’s worse.)

        So regardless of who else they sign (or don’t sign) I think it is likely that they will use Cabrera to platoon for Granderson next year at least part of the times.

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    • Matt B. says:

      Easy, signed Evan Longoria!

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  14. Benne says:

    This can’t be all the D-Backs are getting. I mean, it makes no sense whatsoever. What is Byrnes thinking?

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  15. Justin says:

    I’m not as high on the Yankees side as Dave, but I agree they didn’t give up anything that was extremely valuable to them.

    I really have no idea what the D’backs are doing.

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  16. BA Baracus says:

    I had my doubts about Cashman but he is quite the operator. I think the Steinbrenner boys are smarter than they look. Let Cash do his thing. Not only will they trim payroll, but they will be instantly better.

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  17. bebop says:

    I think Boras just flinched..
    does this spell the end of Damon’s NY playing time?

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    • Tom B says:

      I highly doubt they are going to get damon to budge on his 4-year contract and no pay-cut desires. Now that we have made him completely replaceable he has no leverage to work with either.

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  18. Alex says:

    I actually love this deal for Detroit. I’m probably a bigger fan of Scherzer than most, but I think if they can take it easy on his arm a bit, the Tigers are looking at a future ace caliber starter. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him put up a 3.5 ERA, 200 ks, etc. in 2010. He’s got great stuff, solid control, seems to know what he’s doing. Schlereth is a wild card as he needs to improve his control, but no one can doubt his stuff. And Jackson is another high upside player who may never develop into a star, but certainly could end up being a decent big league CF who plays great defense and steals some bases. If he can improve his plate discipline, and his power develops like it should, he could end up being a very good player. The Tigers got one complete stud in Scherzer and a couple of high upside, extremely talented young players, cut payroll, and now control these three for a long time.

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  19. Will says:

    The important thing to remember about Granderson is he will be 29, which means he could actually get better. Even if he doesn’t, this is still a good deal for the Yankees (and a pretty good one for the Tigers when you consider their situation), but if he does…

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    • Travis L says:

      Downvote, nonsense comment. It’s more likely that he’ll regress than improve. I think the Yanks can expect 12-15 wins over 3 years for $31 million, shoring up one of their weakest spots. Even in that light it’s an amazing trade.

      I hate the Yanks, but kudos on this one.

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  20. geo says:

    Funny how Austin Jackson has gone from untouchable in Yankees fans minds (and somebody I kept reading some were hesitant to see included in a trade for Roy Halladay) to junk in so short a span of time.

    And suddenly Scherzer is seen as a back-end reliever in the long term?

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    • Rob in CT says:

      Untouchable in which Yankees fans minds? None that I know…

      IPK, Ajax and Coke for Granderson works for me.

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    • Mike K says:

      Jackson was never untouchable, just with the dearth of position-player prospects in the upper system many were loath to trade him w/o getting an impact player back, on the right side of 30. Granderson is that at least.

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  21. Rodney King says:

    Wow, what are the non-Yankee teams doing here? I don’t get it, these sound like the usual overhyped Yankee prospects that they’ll never miss. Amusing that Kennedy finally is getting traded, after the past few years of rumors including him as a “key piece”.

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    • Scott says:

      I remember thinking that Tabata was overhyped as a Yankee prospect, but he’s looking pretty good these days. They could end up missing him in a couple years.

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      • Richie Abernathy says:

        They won’t miss a corner outfielder who hits single digit homeruns in a full Major League season.

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      • Davor says:

        Yankees were concerned that Tabata had no chance of reaching his potential in their organization. He was benched twice, and was very bad that season.

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  22. Gary E. says:

    With Boras as his agent Damon is not going to sign a short term deal with the Yanks. Boras will steer him to the best financial package despite Damon’s desire to stay in NY.

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  23. James says:

    I do not agree with Scherzer being significantly better than Jackson. Scherzer has had some injury concerns, Jackson has not. Scherzer pitched in the NL while Jackson pitched in the AL. They less than a year apart in age and Jackson is a converted position player so I also don’t see why Scherzer has more development ahead of him than Jackson.

    I actually think they are pretty even in production, the difference is price and Scherzer is obviously cheaper right now. However, given the durability gap I can see why Arizona would do this. I actually think Kennedy will have a good season for them as well. Giving up Schlereth hurts but two starters for one starter and one reliever doesn’t seem like the automatic loss so many think it is.

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    • B says:

      It’s easy, really. 6.34 K/9 vs. 9.54 K/9. Even if Jackson’s improvement in control is for real, Scherzer is still close to his equal in that regard. It’s not like we’re talking about GB pitchers here….there’s just no reasonable argument I see that Scherzer isn’t significantly more valuable than Jackson.

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    • Paul Thomas says:

      Scherzer put up an FIP of like 3.5 in his second big-league season.

      I’m not sure people appreciate how rare and good that is.

      He’s also under contractual control for 250% of the time that Jackson is. He would actually have to be vastly worse than Jackson on the field of play for that deal not to be a horrible one. Since I suspect he will actually be significantly BETTER…

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      • James says:

        I think you guys are seriously downplaying the injury concern here. Scherzer missed time in ’06, ’07 and ’08 with arm trouble. Last year he was healthy but topped his career high in innings by roughly 65. That worries me A LOT. Now he’s going to the harder league and won’t get 7 starts vs. the Padres and Giants (against whom he had a 2.60 and 2.63 ERA btw) which will push his pitch counts higher.

        I’m not saying Jackson is definitely better than Scherzer, merely that I don’t see Scherzer as definitely better than Jackson either. Again you also point out his FIP in his second big league season, 3.87 btw, not 3.5… but he’s less than a year younger than Jackson so I don’t see the point in that argument. 3.87 FIP in the NL with an injury history vs. 4.28 FIP in the AL and a workhorse track record… I don’t see how you can say that one player so clearly superior to the other.

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      • BX says:

        He already is significantly better than Jackson, unless you think half a season with a .249 BABIP is better data to gauge performance than the 2.5++ seasons of him, even factoring in improvement.

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      • James says:

        re: BX’s comment…

        Jackson’s BB/IP beginning with ’06: 6.19, 4.92, 3.78. 2.94. Is it that hard to believe a 26-year-old converted position player might be continually getting better as he gets older?

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      • B says:

        “Is it that hard to believe a 26-year-old converted position player might be continually getting better as he gets older?”

        Even with the improved control, his K-rate still sucks, and Scherzer has fairly comparable control anyways (to the improved Jackson).

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      • Randy says:

        It’s important to focus on the statistics of Scherzer vs. Jackson, and ignore that Jackson put up his stats in a tougher league, and to not look at actual games where you can see that awkward action and worrisome head jerk of Scherzer.

        And it’s important to forget that Scherzer can’t get into the 6th inning and that Jackson gives your bullpen almost an inning per start more rest, and that Scherzer starting means his low ERA is combined with another inning of subpar relief pitching. And to not worry about the Verducci effect, or that Scherzer had to be shut down at the end of the season because he was breaking down again.

        Analysing trades is all FIPS and WAR. You can do it in your mothers basement without even watching a game or considering anything that can’t be easily measured.

        I mean, what is 5 years of control of an outstanding young starter worth, when he gets hurt or has to be relegated to the bullpen for most of those years?

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  24. Alon says:

    Jesus Captain Christcakes, as if the Yanks needed MORE help.

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  25. bebop says:

    A Verlander/Porcello/Scherzer rotation is certainly boss.. Plus they shored up their bullpen..

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  26. Whateverfor says:

    The rest of the AL East wishes that MLB was like a fantasy league so they could veto trades. What a joke of a trade for Arizona.

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  27. R M says:

    This trade simply boggles the mind. The fact that teams would willingly give already the best team in baseball a great, cheap, young player at the position it needs the most for loose change is almost comical. This looks like a deal that would go down in a rookie fantasy baseball league!

    I’m glad I’m not a D-Backs fan but as a Red Sox fan, this pisses me off. They could have easily given a better deal for Grandy, put him in center and shifted Ellsbury to left. OF problem solved, a lot cheaper/more long-term than signing Bay.

    There’s absolutely no good reason for the Yankees to be able to get a deal this good….Granderson is dirt cheap through 2013!

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    • Don W says:

      How do you think the Yankee fans felt when this came across the ticker:
      November 28, 2003: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Boston Red Sox for Michael Goss (minors), Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge de la Rosa

      The D-Backs wanted Nick Johnson AND Soriano from the Yanks!

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  28. PhD Brian says:

    Man, I hate the Yankees while I scratch my head at the Diamondbacks.

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  29. BK says:

    I don’t think the Dbacks got totally screwed here. Scherzer is due to a dropoff a la the Verducci Rule predicts that he’s due for some big-time injuries this year.
    2008 IP: 56 majors, 53 minors so 109
    2009 IP: 170.1 major, 4.2 minors so 175
    That’s a BIG JUMP in innings pitched. Add that to his already injury-prone frame and wild delivery and it almost seems like a certainty to me. Getting a solid #2/3 in Edwin Jackson is a good move. Webb Haren & Jackson are possibly the best 3 man in the NL. Add to that an Ian Kennedy who could be #4 or #5 in a year & that’s a decent rotation.

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    • Travis L says:

      Verducci *Rule* now? Really?

      First off, it’s grossly overstated and somewhat simplistic. Adjusting for non-arm related injuries (IIRC, some of the initial injuries were things like “falling down stairs” and missing a year), and it wasn’t nearly as significant.

      I’m OK with calling it an effect, but let’s hold off on making it a rule just yet.

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      • B says:

        Even calling something as…trivial and poorly thought out as the “Verducci effect” an actual “effect” is a stretch. It’s a trivial and arbitrary thought thrown out with no real research behind it. I mean, I think it’s a reasonable enough theory to give a little weight to – sure, I could see it being plausible, but treating it as anything more than a footnore is really giving Verducci a lot more credit than he deserves…

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      • I’m like 70% certain BP actually did some research on the verducci effect and found it valid. I remember reading an article on it a few years back. It used to be called the “rule of 30″ though

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    • B says:

      Also, I think you’re being more than generous calling Edwin Jackson a 2/3 starter. What about a career 6.34 K/9 are we not seeing? He’s had one season where he’s been more than a backend starter (this past season), and it still wasn’t by that much…

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      • Randy says:

        We see actual results. E-Jack has thrown 397 innings of 113 ERA+ the last two years while at the same time Scherzer threw 226 innings of 119 ERA+ in the junior league. Basically their ERA+ is about the same adjusted for strength of competition, so if E-Jack isn’t a 2-3 starter, neither is Scherzer.

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      • The Typical Idiot Fan says:

        “We see actual results”

        We see someone who knows nothing.

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      • Randy says:

        Okay, typical idiot fan, we see that Jackson was ranked as the more valuable starter than Scherzer this year by Fangraphs ITSELF. And that’s without adjusting for league strength and the fact that Scherzers lack of innings per start meant those innings need to be replaced by bullpen dregs. If you make those adjustments you see that Jackson’s lead in value grow.

        Then we see that Scherzer’s peripherials are declining as well…

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  30. Adam says:

    As a yankee fan I love this deal, Granderson admittedly had an off-year for him, but the guy is an all around force, hits for power, steals bases, plays above average defense, and most importantly for the yankees he’s not a hundred years old like most of the team. And in return we gave up a lefty who gives up home runs like its going out of style (Coke) an oft-injured soft tosser (Kennedy) and a speedy centerfielder who doesn’t hit for power and strikes out like crazy, what’s the downside of this again?

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  31. JoeR43 says:

    Well 2nd year in a row that I, as a Red Sox fan, watch the Yankees trade a scrap heap of journeymen for an All-Star. Not just an All Star, an All Star in one of the few positions they don’t already have a guy either at or close to that level.

    In summary, UGH.

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  32. SteveP says:

    I’m not the biggest Granderson fan around, but as a Yankee fan I do really like this deal. Granderson’s not flawless, but he’s smack dab in the middle of his prime and is signed for a reasonable amount for the forseeable future. Until recently, it’s rare that the Yankees would have made a move for that type of player and rather would have gone after an older “more established” and past his prime player. Yeah, Granderson K’s a lot and he can’t hit lefties, but he’s still an explosive talent and a defensive upgrade at a premium defensive position. And as for Austin Jackson, well his extreme upside is Curtis Granderson. He has the same K issues (probably worse because he’s putting up the same K numbers but at AAA) and has nowhere near the power that Granderson does. Kennedy is an AAAA pitcher and Phil Coke was nice but they have internal options to replace him (Mike Dunn) or could make another splash in free agency with Mike Gonzalez or to a lesser extent, Joe Beimel.

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  33. Bodhizefa says:

    When did the D-backs hire Bill Bavasi?

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    • JoeR43 says:

      TRADE TRADE TRADE TRADE MORE TRADING
      Bill Bavasi: it’s not the quality of trades that matters, it’s the quantity.

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  34. Xavier says:

    As a Yankees fan, I’m happy.

    Other than the obvious, it’s hard to get too broken up over the loss of any particular reliever. In my mind, we’ve basically gotten all the possible upside out of Austin Jackson AND added some power for the cost of Ian Kennedy.

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  35. Tony says:

    I’m superbly annoyed that the Cubs didn’t have a young CF prospect, because we easily could’ve matched the Ian Kennedy/Phil Coke.

    As for this trade, overall, I agree with Dave. Big win for the Yankees, decent for the Tigers, and WTF for the Diamondbacks. Byrnes is either a genius or an idiot. Maybe Ian Kennedy is better than all of us think. I doubt it. I think most organizations have end of the rotation strike throwers like Kennedy. The other possibility that would make Byrnes look alright is if Scherzer doesn’t stick as a quality starter (lack of a 3rd pitch or durability). That said, even if that did happen, I still don’t think they got enough value for Scherzer now.

    Yankees got a steal. A decent LOOGY, an overrated CF prospect, and an end of the rotation arm for Granderson? Even if you think Granderson has plateaued, that still isn’t that big of a package. I mean, at some point, you can’t keep praying for AJax’s power to develop. Furthermore, for all the talk about the Yankees forcing him to cut his swing down, he still struck out a lot.

    As for the Tigers, they need Scherzer to succeed as a solid starter for this dealt o be really worth it.

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  36. Falco says:

    In regards to Yankees prospects, most of them are quite good. It’s just they’re not good enough to start on the Yankees.

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    • philosofool says:

      Meh. Yanks prospect aren’t typically better than any other team’s prospects. They also tend to send prospects away in trades because they can afford to take on payroll. Their system is just okay.

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  37. BX says:

    May I please become the DBacks GM and reverse this trade? Please.

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  38. Mike says:

    People are drastically underestimating what this economy is doing to teams. Detroit HAD to make this trade to start getting out from some of their larger contracts. While I think they made out extremely well due to the inexplicable Diamondbacks’ decision, of course the Yankees are going to make out in trades like this, they are able to take on large salaries (yes this contract should be considered large in the current economy) without giving up a lot in return.

    It’s the same thing that happened to Cleveland. They gave up Cliff Lee for what seemed to be an underwhelming haul, but they really had no choice. They had to take the best offer at the trade deadline, whatever that may be.

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    • No I in blog says:

      Lee made $5.75 mil on 2009, most of which they had already paid, and he had an $8 mil option for 2010 with a $1 mil buyout. I really doubt that $~2.5 mil they owed broke the bank.

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      • Mike says:

        They could have stomached the remaining 2009 salary, but knew he was walking in free agency and probably didn’t want to compete with a Halladay trade in the offseason.

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    • R M says:

      Maybe that was the case with C Lee, but Granderson is under team control for the next 4 years and an extremely low cost when you look at the value he provides. He’s not even going to hit $10 mil a year until 2012. To say that this trade had anything to do with cutting payroll is just pulling reasons out of thin air. The tigers have one of the highest payrolls in the game….they’re not going to cut it down by dealing away superstars who make under $10 mil a year.

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      • Mike says:

        This is exactly the point I am trying to make. The Tigers overextended themselves and even though Granderson provides plenty of value relative to salary, the economy is forcing them to shed salary. They would shed the salary of other players as well except those guys (see Willis, Ordonez) will not be able to be moved.

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      • Tim says:

        This is correct. The salaries that needs to be dumped are: Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, and Jeremy Bonderman = $34.5 million in 2010. Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, and Brandon Inge = $37.6 million in 2010. Granderson is simply not a factor in the silliness that is the 2010 Detroit payroll.

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      • Tim says:

        @Mike: File under: swallowing elephants, choking on gnats.

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      • R M says:

        Mike, what point? Shedding an 18th of their salary, that happens to be one of their best players, isn’t salary-related trade.

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      • Mike says:

        To answer all below me: If they could shed those other awful salaries, they would have. I guarantee you they would like to and that there are a total of 0 takers for the others. The only moveable piece is Granderson, because as you are all pointing out, he is still valuable for the number of dollars over the life of his contract. That point is not difficult to grasp.

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  39. Bodhizefa says:

    This actually messes up the market for outfielders pretty handily. The biggest and best payday for all the outfielders just got filled with an alternative, so this means almost all the outfielders on the market are going to end up losing money off this trade. Someone’s going to get a really good deal on an outfielder like Mike Cameron at this point.

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  40. philosofool says:

    This should affect some fan projections (which might already be too locked-in to change much.) Granderson should gain about 5-10% homers and Scherzer should see his HR/9 go down quite a bit. I’m updating my projections now.

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    • There are plans for before/after splits for players with major changes so don’t worry about things getting too locked in.

      Also, just a note about Granderson’s -8 some UZR in 2008. He was injured and said himself that it impacted his ability to field.

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    • Randy says:

      Scherzer should see his ERA and FIP shoot up pitching against better competition.

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  41. Mike Green says:

    There is ample evidence (UZR, XBH rate, SB/CS) that Granderson has lost significant speed from where he was a couple of years ago. He will be turning 29 in March, and the odds are that he will continue to lose speed and be an average or worse defensive centerfielder over the remainder of his contract. Projecting him to be a 4 WAR player going forward would require an offensive improvement, and that is unlikely. His career slash line of .272/.344/.484 is probably a reasonable expectation for his offensive production over the next 3 years.

    I’ll mark him down for 8.5 WAR over the next 3 years. That still makes him a very valuable addition for the Yankees, but it is easy to get carried away with things. He has delivered less value the last 2 years than Mike Cameron did.

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    • Tom B says:

      your “evidence” is fairly circumstantial… lets see what he does on a good team in a park tailored to his abilities before you start writing him off as a regressing 29-year-old.

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    • B says:

      If he just hits at the average rate he has the past 4 seasons, he’s a ~4 WAR player with 0 UZR defense at CF…

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    • R M says:

      Is that 8.5 WAR over the next 3 years just an arbitrary number that you came up with? Even if his speed is in decline, which I doubt it is, he put up 3.4 WAR last year with a down BABIP. If his BABIP rebounds, which it should, his wOBA should be back in around the .370 range….he would need a huge defensive dropoff to come close to offsetting that. Even with 2009’s numbers, he would be worth 11.5 WAR over the next 3 seasons, and in all likelihood he is going to be worth more than that.

      He would practically have to become the world’s fattest man to lose 1-2 WAR off his seasonal totals purely related to loss of speed.

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  42. Chip says:

    I read at this site less than a month ago a projection for Jackson to be a league average hitter next year, at age 23. If he’s halfway decent defensively, the Tigers just 6 years of 3-4 WAR for probably around 10 mill less than 4 years of 3-4 WAR

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  43. longgandhi says:

    Is this really such a big deal? Granderson might be a 4-win player but he either replaces Damon (3-win player) or Cabrera+Gardner (4-ish WAR last year). Yes, it’s an improvement but it’s not an earth-shaking improvement like replacing Sidney Ponson with CC Sabathia. Lefties have been a big problem for him and now he’s in a division with Matusz, Lester, Price and a collection of decent lefties in Toronto. Over the next few years, that’s probably a little tougher than what he was facing in the AL Central.

    The Tigers shed some salary and got a higher upside arm in Scherzer but he has had a history of durability issues. I think last year was the first time in his career he topped 110 innings.

    And the D-backs got a durable starter in Jackson who has a pretty decent minor league pedigree, is just one year older than Scherzer and now gains the benefit of pitching in the NL and in one of the more anemic divisions for offense unless SF makes a big splash.

    It seems like there’s some good and bad for everyone involved but nothing here that signals a dramatic change in any fortunes.

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    • KW says:

      Austin Jackson’s 2009 MLE is something like .259/.308/.343 with a very high BABIP (.390) and a high K rate (24.4%). There’s a chance he doesn’t live up to the hype and is simply melky cabrera with better speed and defense. I’m not sure that translates to 18-24 WAR over the next 6 years.I would say Austin Jackson’s ceiling would be Curtis Granderson’s. The Tigers are absolutely trading down, but saving $ while doing so.

      It’s an earth shattering improvement because granderson would fill the LF spot and be a pretty good bet to put up 4+ WAR every year for the next 4 at an almost known cost (cheap) while Damon would most likely not be able to reproduce his prodigious 2009 but costing at least $7mil+ for 2+ years. That’s without counting his potential regression and potential injury history. Cost certainty, youth, roster flexibility (no need to DH Granderson, unlike Damon) and hopefully health all factor into this decision highly.

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    • Tom B says:

      he’s also coming out of a division where he faced cliff lee, sabathia, danks, sowers… i don’t think it will be any more difficult for him.

      the biggest difference for him will be moving from this:
      Dimensions: 345-L, 382-LC, 420-C, 365-RC, 330-R

      to this:
      Dimensions: 318-L, 399-LC, 408-C, 385-RC, 314-R

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      • longgandhi says:

        To respond to two at once, I’m not sure cost certainty is as big a deal for the Yankees as it is for other teams. If this was the Mariners making this deal, at least in terms of overall payroll, I think that point would have more relevance.

        As for facing lefties, Sabathia wasn’t in his division last year and Lee wasn’t in the AL at all for a portion of the season. That won’t be true with the talented young lefties in the AL East, who are under control for a few more years. I’m not sure I would put Sowers in that category anyway.

        The dimensions of the park aren’t as big a factor if Granderson isn’t a pull hitter. I guess knowing his spray chart would help in that regard but if the majority of his power comes in the alleys, then those dimensions work against him, don’t they?

        I don’t debate that it’s an overall plus going forward, but I just don’t see this as a monumental improvement that many here are making it out to be.

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      • Tom B says:

        2 points…

        Almost every HR Granderson hits goes out to Right field (you can check this yourself on hittracker).

        Granderson has played in the AL Central for the last 6 seasons, not just last year. He has faced every one of those left-handed pitchers and more and those appearances are certainly included in his career splits that everyone seems to(should) be referencing. Pigeon-holing anything to just last season is ignorant, especially around here.

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      • longgandhi says:

        One more point: about Damon, he has played at least 140 games for 14 straight seasons so I’m not sure they’re gaining much protection from injury. Damon DHed only 4 times last year and 29 over the past two seasons. I’m not debating there’s a net gain with youth, but again, it’s not like they’re getting rid of Juan Gonzales. All I’m saying is that it looks like a net gain of 1 win which does not warrant all the hand-wringing/ticker tape parades we’re seeing in this thread.

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      • longgandhi says:

        Good points, Tom B. but my point was that he’ll still be facing quality lefties so the concern about his inability to hit them has not been mitigated by the change of scenery. As you stated, we have six years of data to show this is a concern.

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      • Tom B says:

        Point is he was already putting up all-star caliber numbers despite facing those lefties.

        Your statement was:
        Lefties have been a big problem for him and now he’s in a division with Matusz, Lester, Price and a collection of decent lefties in Toronto. Over the next few years, that’s probably a little tougher than what he was facing in the AL Central.

        Seeing it as “tougher” now that he’s in the AL East, insinuating that he will perform even worse, is pure speculation.

        As far as Damon goes, it’s not necessarily an upgrade skill wise, but it essentially replaces Damon with someone that will give us the same production and taking 7 years of wear and tear off of that player going into this season. The injury concern with Damon is going forward, not so much what he has already done(and his hamstrings are cause for plenty of concern).

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  44. petejohn says:

    What the hell is AZ thinking? They simply gave away two intriguing young arms for two inferior ones. I’m sure someone mentioned that but I’m in a hurry and did not read through all the comments in great detail. Anyway, this is beyond strange. Even if Granderson declines a bit, the Yankees did not lose much and will not have to pay very much to a pretty daggone good centerfielder. That frees them up payroll wise, as if they needed freedom anyway, to bring in a new round of expensive players if they so wish. It seems that since their payroll went down last year (Even with that flurry of big-name signings) and Cash wants it to go down again, they are trying to streamline their team a little bit financially. Never a bad idea there, especially if you get better in the process.

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  45. Yardsma says:

    I think this is the perfect time to do some Matt Murton Fan Projections!Come on we can get him to 30 fan ballots!

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  46. ay9451 says:

    i’ve only skimmed the comments so i could be mistaken, but one aspect that i think is being ignored is the room that the yanks gain on their 40 main roster. to protect some key players from the rule 5 draft they ended up with 39 men on their 40 man roster, one spot for pettitte, matsui, damon, or any other free agent they might go after. they’ve since got rid of bruney and in that deal protected someone else who we dont know, but what this deal does is consolidate the talent of coke, kennedy, and jackson into one – granderson – which leaves them the space to go out and make a splash in the FA pool

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  47. Jerry says:

    Added to the Yankees formidable lineup, if they bat him third and “rest” Granderson against the tough left-hand starters he can easily bat .265, hit 35 homers and drive in 85 or 90 runs. They’ll get close to “Damon-in-his-prime” numbers for less dough and no “long-term contract for an older player” risks.
    I like Phil Coke, but this was a no-brainer.

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    • Tom B says:

      batting him third would put arod and tex… where exactly?

      more likely he bats second, behind jeter, with a nice hole on the right side to smack GB’s through.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Actually, I’d prefer him down towards the bottom of the lineup. Bit of an OBP liability (relatively speaking), and speed at the top of the Yanks’ order has less of a premium because A-Rod and Teix can get runners home from first just fine.

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      • Tom B says:

        yes but you also can’t just lay in crazy offspeed junk to a-rod and tex if there is speed on the bases.

        i can see him at the bottom as well, the problem is we don’t have a better 2 hitter(unless cano steps up his zone contact tremendously), or a better leadoff hitter than jeter.

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    • don says:

      35 HRs seems like a lot for a guy who’s averaged 24 over the last 4 years, even with a closer right field wall. I don’t think 20 feet is going to double his home run total at home.

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  48. Brian G says:

    Dave maybe you can warm me up on this deal. First off I am not a Granderson fan. Tough to like a guy who averages 145 K’s a year bats under .300 and seems to me be a guy who swings for the fences. The Yanks at some point have to stop getting guys with bloated salaries and Granderson is getting an average of 8 mill over 3 years which seems to me to be over his worth. Jackson who could be their starting CF this year has a greater upside, is more athletic, and is obviously 7 million dollars cheaper. To me the way to go here is keep Jackson and build through the system and add complimentary pieces as free agency winds down.

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    • R M says:

      In what universe is 8 million a year a bloated salary with Mr. $30 mil Alex Rodriguez on the team, and in what universe does Austin Jackson have a higher upside than Curtis Granderson?

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    • Steve says:

      if only there was a site that told us whether or not he was worth $8M/year, and perhaps at the same time pointed us to some better stats than BA and K’s.

      maybe someday.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      Is this like Klaw baiting, only Dcam* baiting?

      *Yes, I realize that nickname is lame.

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  49. Brian says:

    I think the Yankees should go find Nook Logan to platoon with him.

    He’s a nice player. He’s a top 10 or so CF’er. He’s a very good hitter against righties. I still think they should platoon him.

    On the plus side, the AL East rivals (Red Sox and Rays) don’t exactly have a ton of lefty starters. It’s Lester and Price and that’s about it right now.

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  50. Brian G says:

    Another aspect of this trade is Granderson is terrible vs. lefties so late in games the Yanks will do what with him exactly? There is a lot not to like about Granderson and his declining offensive numbers outside of HR’s show a guy who gets lucky when he hits the ball and not a guy who is a good hitter. Add his bat with Swisher, AROD, TEX, and Jeter and you have 4 guys who average over 100 k’s a year in your lineup.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • snapper says:

      K’s don’t really matter for hitters. You’ll notice a ton of the best hitters in baseball are among the K leaders. A K is no worse than a pop-up and often better than a GB (no DPs).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • R M says:

      People look at 2007/2008/2009, see the downward trend, and say decline, but it’s really not decline at all. 2007 is a clear career outlier, fueled by an unsustainable .362 BABIP. 2008 is your average Granderson season, with a fairly reasonable (for a player with speed) .317 BABIP. 2009 is a year of bad luck with a .276 BABIP. This could be attributed to his incredibly low GB/FB ratio, but with his LD rates unchanged, his GB/FB ratio will probably head back towards career norms in 2010, and so will his BABIP. Grandy is 28….right in his prime. There’s no way he’s already in decline.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        You know who people were using the exact same arguments against last offseason? Derek Jeter.

        How’d that work out for the MFY crowd?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  51. Brian G says:

    Its not the starters you have to only worry about. Teams can bring in a lefty to get him out and end threats. Damon batting in the 2 hole last year had a lot of late inning hits with 2 outs that kept innings alive. Now all teams have to do is a bring a lefty reliever and the Yanks rally is done.

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    • Steve says:

      if only there was a rule that allowed a team to substitute for a hitter in certain situations, “in a pinch” if you will…

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  52. Brian G says:

    When you strike out a lot and only get on base at .327 clip than that is a problem. Swisher K’s a lot but he gets on at about .370 clip which helps. Granderson doesn’t walk much and K’s too much for #1 or #2 hitter. Middle of the lineup you can hide it a bit but not in the front of the lineup.

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  53. Dirty Water says:

    Meh

    How anyone would be excited about this trade is beyond me. It’s probably true that Jackson and Kennedy would have never played a starring role for the MFY but is Granderson really an upgrade?

    Seems to me that the Yanks just traded a decent, cheap CF’er for a more expensive one, that’s all. Gardner was more valuable than Granderson for 2009 when he cleated up, and personally, I hated the little bugger because he disturbed teams whenever he got on base. Granderson isn’t that player anymore, and he’s a step down defensively too.

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    • Tom B says:

      sure, comparing gardner(who will never bat over .250 or hit a ball farther than he can throw) to granderson(all-star, power, will likely not bat under .270 again) is completely reasonable… lol :(

      he wouldn’t possibly hit more HR’s with right field being 20 feet closer. he couldn’t possibly get better pitches to hit batting in front of teixeira, or see more offspeed pitches when teixeira/arod are at the plate. there’s no way any of this could work out in his favor.

      seems to me like you just can’t write an unbiased opinion about anything to do with the yankees. i’m sure there is some sux blog with pink hats you can post on instead… i hear pete abe is bored.

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      • Dirty Water says:

        Ah, Pete Abe is a sellout douchbag who can’t analyze to save his life. You can have him. Please.

        No MFY hate on my opinion though. I really do not see the upgrade with this trade. Sure, Granderson could reestablish his game but when a player goes downhill 3 years straight, well, that’s a trend.

        RF in the new toilet will help him, no doubt, but I really don’t see what Cameron’s jacking off about here. Granderson was great yesterday, he ain’t all that today.

        maybe this trade was just a concession that Gardner, Melky and Jackson will never make it. In which case, it is an upgrade, albeit an expensive one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        You are so blind you can’t see your own hate. It’s OK, this is fairly typical.

        It’s time for you to learn what trends are, why a player might have had a poor season, the difference between the fences at the 2 stadiums, and just how inexpensive Granderson really is(and how the Yankees really gave up nothing of necessity). Jackson was a prospect, and the best deal you can possibly make is trading “prospective value” for “actual value”. Relievers are highly replaceable. Sure, I wish we didn’t lose IPK, but he had already fallen out of favor with the front office and a trade as soon as he righted himself was inevitable.

        Nothing you just said makes any sense, you are on the wrong website if you think calling it the “toilet”(which is laughable by the way, have you ever actually been to fenway?), or typing MFY on every post will give you any credibility.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dirty Water says:

        Hey, I did say he could prove an upgrade. What else do you want?

        But to explain further. I’m on the other side of the fence regarding MFY finances, which is why I’m no fan of this trade. I do believe they have limits, and I do believe the economy will hurt their avg ticket of $70, as it will Yes revenues. Considering that, this i a bad deal because one would have to really dig deep to find where Granderson is worth $10m more than Melky/Gardner.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        DW,

        I think when you’re the “Big Dog” in a market size of 20M people, that you can pretty much do whatever the H— you want. I’m not saying that as commentary,I’m saying that as reality. I don;t think any other team in major american sports sits in NYY situation of market size, tradition, success, etc. It’s not just the number of people in the market, but their interest in baseball and their spending capability (fans).

        “Limits” in regards to the NYY is so different than how everyone else can or does use the word as to essentially give it different meanings. Yes, in theory, the NYY probably do have a spending limit. Then again, in theory, France probably could defend Paris … and the Cubs theoretically could win a World Series.

        BOS fans never seem to mind when they land players (VMartinez, etc) that are from teams that are trimming the budget, nor do they complain when they spend big to win a WS … so nowhere on the planet does BOS get any sympathy for whining about NYY.

        The problem with this deal, for the rest of MLB, is that it is the rare, smart deal made by the NYY. They actually made a deal that they won’t have to break the bank to fix with FA. See, even old dogs can learn new tricks. If NYY ever get “consistently smart”, it’ll be over for everyone else.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dirty Water says:

        So you and Tom B both.

        Look, I’ve already stated that this trade may work, although I also stated that it may not because, in what world is Granderson worth $10m more per year than Melky/Gardner?

        Imo, those two brought rich value to the MFY in 2009, and there’s no reason they would not continue to do so in the future. No, neither are world class, but they did bring youth and its byproducts to work every day they played. And for a team with a starting lineup bordering 35, that’s not nothing.

        As far as the MFY having limitless finances; maybe you’re right. Maybe they will have limitless finances forever. It’s just that I doubt it in these strenuous times. I think their big signings will come back to haunt them sooner than anyone expects.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        In the world where melky and gardner are paid the league minimum because they haven’t been in the league long enough to have a real contract yet? Are you that dense?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        Before you harp on the Yankees age, it’s time to face the fact that they only have 6 players currently on the roster over the age of 30.

        and…

        YES is more valuable by itself than the rest of the Yankee franchise. If you are waiting for the well to run dry you might as well make yourself comfortable.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  54. Brian G says:

    Swisher is fine as a corner OF and he is ok at the plate. But how many guys can you have in your everyday lineup that don’t even put the ball in play when they make an out?

    I have no clue if Jackson would be a great player or not to say will only be decent is a premature conclusion that was developed in the article. One knock on Jackson is he strikesout to much…I ask this if a 21 yr old prospect is deemed questionable cause he K’s too much then why is it acceptable for a 29 yr old being paid 8 million a year to walk onto the field with numbers like a .327 OBP .740 OPS and 141 K’s? Is his defense and base running so valuable to overcome those numbers and if Austin Jackson put up those numbers next year he wouldn’t even warrant a rookie of the year vote.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tom B says:

      (dude, they played baseball before 2009… i swear it.)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • snapper says:

      “But how many guys can you have in your everyday lineup that don’t even put the ball in play when they make an out? ”

      9 if they’re good enough hitters. It very rarely makes a difference how you make an out.

      Almost all the big power hitters in history K’d a ton. It didn’t stop them from being highly valuable.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  55. Brian G says:

    Steve: you don’t trade away a top prospect for a guy you plan on pinch hitting for in the clutch who makes 8million a year. If Granderson has to be pinch hit for at the age of 29 cause he can’t hit lefties than he should be playing for the Newark Bears and not the New York Yankees.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      is $8M a lot of money?

      also, the “reply” button is super useful.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brian G says:

        Here is a your reply : is Melky Cabrera an 8 million a year player? Cause Granderson is Melky Cabrera.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        So Melky can hit 35HR and steal 30 bags this year? FANtastic. I bet he will be surprised to find this out.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        In what world does Melky Cabrera = Curtis Granderson? Granderson is a better fielder by a decent amount, and a much, much better hitter. Granderson is easily worth 2-3 WAR more than Melky per year (unless Melky drastically improves)….

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Do you realize how many LHB’s struggle a lot against LHP’s?

      The answer is “a lot of them”.

      Granderson was horrible vL in 09, pretty good in 08, horrible in 07, not quite as bad in 06, etc.

      You seem to be on a mission with this “Granmderson v. LHP” thing, when in actuality the LHBvLHP thing is as drastic as a split (on average) as it comes.

      One could also advocate “breaking up the Phillies” because they, as a team, cannot hit LHPs. Outside of Utley, no other lefty was close in a split this year, and it was evident in the WS. But, then you could also look at the TOTAL value of the player/team and not just what they do in 1/4 of their games.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  56. Brian G says:

    8 million a year is a bloated salary when you bat .249 offer a .327 OBP and OPS under .800 outside of HR’s he is Melky Cabrera plus 7 million. AROD puts up hall of fame numbers but Granderson puts up off the bench numbers.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tom B says:

      1 bad season and that’s it for him huh? you should just stop posting now.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brian G says:

        Granderson is an overrated player and that is pretty simple fact that doesn’t a special equation for you or other math geeks who never played baseball to come up with.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        Unfortunately for you I am a math stat geek that played baseball for 20-years and I know that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.

        You don’t even try to back up your opinions with facts that are relevant to this website or it’s community. You consistently have harped on his 2009 season as an indicator that he is an awful player.

        You Just.
        Don’t.
        Get it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joser says:

        Granderson is an overrated player and that is pretty simple fact that doesn’t a special equation for you or other math geeks who never played baseball to come up with.

        Hilarious: “math geeks”? “never played baseball”? English-was-subject-I-flunked-in-school grammatical incoherence? But you completely missed the chance to make a reference to our parents’ basements. If you’re going to be just another ignorant troll, you need to at least surpass the three-cliche minimum, or offer some redeeming entertainment value. C’mon, Brian: try harder.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tom B says:

      From the LoHud Yankee Blog…

      Consider this: In 1993, the Yankees brought in an outfielder who had an OBP of .273 against LHP the previous season. By 1994, he had a .439 OBP against lefties. That player was Paul O’Neill.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dirty Water says:

        Paul O’Neil had a .700 OPS vs lefties for his career, as a right fielder. He is nothing but MFY hype. He would have been a platoon player elsewhere.

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        No one said Paul O’Neil was a great player. One bad season is no indication of a players ability, so to claim that Granderson will be overpaid for the rest of his career because of how he performed in 2009 is silly. O’Neil was referenced because after joining the Yankee’s he learned to be more productive against lefties, and there is no reason that Granderson can’t do the same. There is good merit to the fact that he can learn from the other great players around him and improve his game.

        Way to completely miss the point. No blind hatred what-so-ever, right? What a joke your posts are.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dirty Water says:

        Talk to me once the 2010 has finished.

        It would be unusual for Granderson to revert to numbers from 3 years ago at his current age, so I say that does not happen. He peaked early and now he’s all yours. Which is probably why Detroit dumped him.

        Also, the MFY payroll at the completion of this trade will be around $175m. Yet they have no 4 or 5 starters, nor 3rd if Pettitte hits the street. Their OF is barren except for said Granderson and a RF who absolutely does not belong on a playoff caliber team, and their catcher is 53 years old. Give me your best guess on 2010’s payroll.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        lol you are ridiculous.

        at his age? 29? he has only been in the majors for 4 seasons. he’s old now? lol.
        swisher doesn’t belong on a playoff caliber team? i’m pretty sure he started for a championship caliber one last year. lol.
        What does 2010’s payroll have anything to do with this?
        Why don’t we have 4th or 5th starts?

        Do you have any clue about baseball, or did you literally just come here to spew your boston-loving garbage? You have yet to make a single valid point in any post today.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brian G says:

        Playing baseball in your backyard doesn’t count Tom. Being a math geek guarnatees you 2 things in this life one your not getting laid and two your arguments are flawed by numbers that don’t pass the eye test. In watching a baseball game Curtis Granderson is a very average ball player who has batted over.300 once and has never had an OBP over .370 despite averaging well over 130 K’s a year for a guy batting lead off. In 2006 the Tigers were on the verge they locked up Granderson and are now getting rid of him for players with more upside. All you have said is he had a bad year yet taking out his best year 2007 these are the rest of his numbers: 2006 – .260 .335 .438 .773
        2008 – .280 .365 .494 .859
        2009 – .249 .327 .453 .780

        he is now 2 years removed from his best season and has declined precipitously to his current level. But because he is 29 and heading to Yankee Stadium now he will be able to hit lefties and be an above average offensive player till the end of his contract?

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        also, nice job changing the subject when you realized how stupid your first post about oneil was.

        nice.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tom B says:

        I’m sure you took out 2008’s numbers when you did that too, since he was playing hurt and we are disregarding outliers here… Since you seem to be able to grasp a players full potential in 4 seasons, 2 of which you have now thrown out to try to prove your nonsensical beliefs.

        Brian, how did you even end up on this website if you disbelieve everything it stands for? Do you think that you see something when you watch a baseball game that no one else on the planet sees when they watch it? You must be some amazing baseball scout that we’ve never heard of.

        You try to discredit my knowledge, but providing no proof of yours other than you “watch” the game. Great, you and Joe Morgan can go watch baseball games and talk about nonsense together.

        I’ve played the game for 20 years and have followed it for roughly the same. Due to the magic that is the MLB package on DirecTV, I watch more baseball that you could ever possibly imagine(think 3-4 games, plus all of my fantasy starters, every day, all season). You know what I think? I think that YOUR eye test is worth absolutely nothing, and it should be used as a counter-point if anything.

        And then the best you can come up with is some offhanded “you don’t get laid because you follow baseball stats” line? That is truly pathetic. Are you like 12?

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      • B says:

        “and has never had an OBP over .370″

        You realize how high a bar you set, right? .370 is wayyyyyy above average. Here’s a clue – wOBA. It measures your total offensive output – both in getting on base and hitting for power. Since Granderson became a full time player, he’s been a well above average hitter (see: .358 wOBA).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  57. GranderSlam says:

    I highly doubt the Yankees will go with Melky starting in either RF or LF. They’ll go after a big bat for sure. Not necessarily Matt Holliday, but they will get somebody. If not Johnny Damon of course who I’d rather not be an everyday LF’er.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brian G says:

      The Yankees just won a WS with Cabrera playing CF, LF, and RF and just traded for Granderson because of his power. Swisher 29 HR’s, Granderson 30 HR’s and Cabrera would be a pretty normal OF. Name an OF in baseball that has 25+ HRS from all of positions.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JB says:

        61 Yanks had 3 outfielders with over 25 homers each. Maris 61, Mantle 54 and Yogi in Left with 28 or 29. Only one I know of. For all the dogging of Paul O’Neil, he has 5 rings!

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  58. Gary says:

    Point blank, Max Scherzer will be a better pitcher than Edwin Jackson next year. Scherzer has ace written all over him.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Does he really have “Ace” written all over him?

      About a hit per IP, a BB every 3 IP (15 HBP in 170 IP), under 6 IP per start, the K/IP is outstanding, but at this point the K has been a crutch, and perhaps one of the causes for the pitch counts (although with AZ’s defense, who could blame him?)

      He uses a lot of pitches to get guys out. His walk ratio in the minors was worse, even though his WHIP and K/IP were better.

      I certainly feel he is going to be a quality starter, especially since he’s only 24. Too often he hits “the wall” in the 5th/6th inning … where his pitch count is high (~100) and he loses what control he has and becomes far too hittable. It works out well for the bullpen guys in that they get a lot of IP, but I don’t often see that type of pitcher become an Ace, not in our current era. I know he drives AZ fans crazy because he has the “stuff” and the “look” to be an Ace … but there’s more to it than that.

      IMO, lots of people see “3 pitches” and think ACE … meaning that he throws hard, has a good change, and a curve breaking pitch. But, what he lacks is efficiency. He is youngish, but like QB Accuracy in the NFL, I don’t see many young player “developing” pitch efficiency. He’s more Joba Chamberlain than he is Zack Grienke.

      That’s just my opinions from watching a lot of AZ games last year and looking at mlb and milb numbers and comparing them to other pitcher types as they developed. E-Jackson is only 25 (despite being a pro since 17) and if he is more like his DET version than the wild TB or LA version, then they are basically an even trade (unless you project Max to develop exponentially better/faster than his stats would suggest).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joser says:

        Does he really have “Ace” written all over him?

        Sure — he paid quite a lot of money at a tattoo parlor for that.

        As to whether it’s true in a metaphorical sense…. signs point to No: just the swap in leagues may be enough to take care of that. I think somebody is posturing. It will be interesting to see if “Gary” is still around at the end of next season to assess his prediction.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        As a Giants fan, it seems to me efficiency is one of the easiest things for a young guy to learn. Guys like Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez were all very inefficient (but big strikeout) pitchers when they first came up, and they all quickly learned how to improve that skill. Frankly, the easiest thing to do to become more efficient is to simply throw more strikes. You K less batters, but BB less, too. So, my opinion is the opposite of yours, I would expect Scherzer to improve his efficiency at least some, and probably fairly quickly.

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      • Randy says:

        Guys like Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez seem to show that learning efficiency is very tough, since they still throw about the same number of pitches per inning as when they came up.

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      • Gary says:

        Look, it’s baseball, is anything a sure thing? No.

        Is he Greinke? No, but assuming someone is predicting that is taking their comment out of context anyways.

        I think most people in baseball would agree that Scherzer’s talent is supported by the underlying stats. A dominant K rate combined with a significant discrepancy between FIP and ERA. He limits the HRs, and his LOB% was pretty low this year. Even though he walks people, his BB/K ratio is still good enough to merit significant growth.

        What I’m saying is Scherzer has a good chance of being the 2005 version or even the 2007 version of Scott Kazmir. Which is “ace” quality pitching in my opinion.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        “Guys like Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez seem to show that learning efficiency is very tough, since they still throw about the same number of pitches per inning as when they came up.”

        Really? How do you figure? In Cain’s first season he was throwing about ~17.3 pitchers per inning. This past season he only threw ~15.4 pitches per inning (this ratio improved every year in between for him). This past season Lincecum dropped a pitch per inning (from 16.3, 16.2 to 15.26). Sanchez in his first couple years threw 18.45 and 19.25 pitches per inning, improved it to 17.9 last year, and 17.5 this year (not sure if there are any expected effects of reliever vs. starter that should be taken into account). Just to put it into perspective, Zack Greinke (who someone else brought up) has actually thrown more pitches per inning over his career than Lincecum and Cain did last year*.

        *For transparency’s sake, here’s his data:
        15.75
        16.86
        14.84
        17.04
        15.9
        15.13

        Career: 16.0 – I don’t see a pattern there other than it being good this past season, so I just decided to give the data instead.

        The point is, it really looks to me like those 3 guys have all improved their efficiency.

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      • circlechange11 says:

        Reducing his pitch per inning by 1, would allow Scherzer to essentially “face one more batter”.

        It is evident that I view “improvement” differently than most others. Lowering your pitch count from 17 to 16 would technically be “improvement”, but now enough to take you from being a “5 inning guy” to a “7 inning guy”.

        Max and Joba are both very hard throwers with great breaking balls. The problem is they throw their balls off on every pitch and and are gaddes/ineffective by the 6th inning.

        The BIG difference between max and Joba and high quality starters is the HITS ALLOWED. They strike out a lot of guys, but also walk a decent amount, but they also give up a hit an inning.

        They may not be able to learn pitch efficiency enough to extend their start a complete inning or so, nor could they likely reduce their walks by a significant amount without “throwing the ball too far in the zone”. What I would have them concentrate on is a sinker or cutter that could lead to more ground balls with runners on base. A DP here and there, immediately reduces your pitch count by 5 pitches or so (2-for1 in regards to outs).

        Having a high WHIP and a lot of K’s = lots of pitches (comparatively).

        Max has been a high walk, high K guy since MiLB. The BIG difference between MiLB and MLB for him is the H/IP. I think he’s going to be good, but he’s going to expend a lot of energy just to get through the 5th, and then he’ll be done … unless he shows he can be one of those guys that can throw 120+ pitches, game after game.

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      • circlechange11 says:

        gaddes=gassed … in a rush, my bad.

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      • B says:

        I guess I see and improvement of 1-2 pitches per inning as a pretty significant change because I don’t think the range between even the most efficient pitchers by this measure and least efficient is that great. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I believe the vast majority of pitchers will fall in the 15-20 range? If someone has mean/std dev numbers to back this claim up or refute it, that would be good.

        If that claim is true, and you still don’t think a 1-2 pitch per inning improvement is a big deal, then I think the next reasonable conclusion is that “efficiency” is really just not that important….

        Also, as someone else pointed out, Scherzer is pretty much league average when it comes to IP per start…

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      • circlechange11 says:

        There are too many different things being discussed, and the target is moving all around. We need to get back to the main ideas that I am involved in discussing:

        [1] Scherzer’s pitch counts will always be high.
        [2] Scherzer is NOT ‘Ace’ material.

        First thing, you described situations where he *could* reduce his PC by 1-2 pitches/inning and THEN stated a difference of 15-20 pitches.

        He regularly pitches between 5 and 6 IP a game. So, he’d need to reduce his pitches/IP by 3-4 pitches per inning to reach the top end of the 15-20 pitch difference. If he reduces his pitch count by 15-20 by the end of the 5th inning, Max will be well on his way. I just don;t typically see pitchers make that dramatic of change. I think we both agree he needs to hit 100 PC around the end of the 6th, not the start/middle of the 5th.

        Also, Max is “league average” in IP/G in a discussion that is talking about Max being an ‘Ace’. If someone would say “Max is going to be a “league average pitcher” or even a “solid #3″, I would agree whole-heartedly. But, the comment I was discussing was that Scherzer had “Ace written all over him”.

        I would say that he would need to BOTH lower his WHIP AND decrease his pitch counts significantly (i.e., increase his IP/Start) if he were to develop into an Ace. While that sounds easy enough, my experience indicates to me that is much more difficult than it appears.

        He also hasn’t pitched over 200 IP in any season, with 170 IP being his career best, with seasons of 50 and 105 in MiLB. I don;t think ANY of us have any real ideas to his durability or ability to put in 200 IP seasons.

        I think you make Max a closer (eventually), and let him come in and throw his balls off for 1 IP, and the high K-Rate becomes a tremendous plus, and not just a really good thing that leads to a lot of pitches. Plus, he’s got different colored eyes and is nicknamed ‘The Terminator’ and it’s marketing at its easiest.

        I wish the guy the best, and I think at some point he *may* have a season like Wainwright had this year, where he fills in for the team’s ace temporarily and does well … but we have no idea if there’s the “workhorse” in him that the Ace position requires. It is not fair to compare him to Webb and Haren b/c there’s a difference between ‘Ace’ and ‘Cy Young Candidate’ … but “Ace” is a rather select group.

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      • B says:

        The 15-20 was referring to the range (or rather, my guess at the range) between MLB pitchers in terms of pitches per inning. I was not talking about Scherzer improving by that amount. Basically, I’m addressing the efficiency point. I think that’s an easy skill to improve. I don’t have proof of this – but, as I originally suggested -as a Giants fan, I’ve seen young pitchers improve this quickly – specifically Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez. Maybe improving by a couple pitches an inning doesn’t have a big impact, but if my estimate on the range for all pitches is close, that essentially means a 20-40% improvement doesn’t have a big impact, suggesting efficiency isn’t all that important.

        Anyways, I wasn’t really trying to get into the “ace” discussion – I generally tend to err on the side of caution on these things, because the truth is simple probability tells us most players don’t develop into an ace. I was just trying to give an opinion on how easy efficiency is to improve and how important it is.

        Scherzer’s K/9, to me, suggests he has ace potential. Not many guys have that kind of strikeout stuff. Given that he’s already posted a very solid season that makes him a valuable piece to have, and he has the potential to get better, I see him as a pretty valuable trade asset – one much, much more valuable than he’d be as a reliever. Reliever’s simply do not pitch eough innings. So…in the end, I think we’re mostly discussing different things.

        Just for the record, for his career, Scherzer is at 17.7 pitches per inning. A 1 pitch per inning improvement would put him at ~100 pitches per 6 innings…

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        B,

        If Scherzer could increase his IP/G by 1 IP and be able to maintain it for a few seasons of 200+IP, then he would certainly make the big step up to “frontline pitcher”. Whether he’s a #1 or #2 or #3 depends on the other pitchers on his team (obviously).

        If he could get up to 6.5 or so IP/G, and maintain his K-Rate, by either lowering his pitch counts, or by keeping his early game effectiveness longer throughout the game (i.e., pitching effectively from the 90-115 pitch area), he’d be “right there”.

        There is no debating the quality of his “stuff”. There are times you watch Scherzer and think “How does this guy NOT threaten a shutout every time out?”, but then there just seems to be innings that he “loses it” and a viewer cannot figure out why.

        I was mainly curious as to whether previous pitchers of a similar type (similar WHIP and K-Rate) have increased their IP/G successfully while keeping their “effectiveness stats” (HR/G, K/IP, K/BB, etc) stats in line.

        It certainly is possible, I was just wondering how “probable” it is (based on past pitchers with a similar profile). I don;t think he’s a “lock” to be a frontline pitcher, but the potential certainly is there.

        I would have thought that having him be around Haren and Webb would have been ideal for his development … but he can certainly learn a lot from another hard throwing RHP with a great K-Rate and high velocity FB in Verlander. One of the big differences is V has some of the most economical (“free and easy” in common language) deliveries around. He throws mid 90s in what seems to be an “effortless” fashion … AND throw 200IP/season.

        Actually Verlander is not a bad comparison for Scherzer, as V had slightly high WHIP along with a high K-Rate. V had somewhat of a breakout year in 09, with lowering his WHIP by a couple of “decimal points” (1.3 or 1.4 to 1.175), which is significant … all the while posting the best K-Rate of his career (10.1 k/9).

        My overall feeling with AZ is that they needed 2 SP’s rather than 1 SP and a LHR in a bullpen that already has 3 LHR’s.

        I still think that all 3 teams have the potential for this trade to work out well for them, with DET being in an awkward position given their local economics and ome of the big contracts they cannot get out of this year (Willis & Bonderman are killing them, followed by Magglio).

        Always an interesting discussion trying to figure out how young, developing pitchers will progress. I think EJack is going to do well in the NL. He’ll also have 100-120 Abs against oppossing pitchers versus a DH. That *could be the equivalent* over a full season of 30ish “gimmee innings” (if it really translates like that).

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      • B says:

        Yeah, I can’t tell you how probable an improvement in pitch efficiency is – just that it doesn’t seem to me, based on observations as a Giants fan, to be rare. So it’s definitely a possibility, though I don’t know if it’s likely or not.

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  59. Phil says:

    I’ve been looking around this site for awhile, and love what you guys have here!

    That being said, as a huge Tigers fan I love this deal for us. I agree with you Gary, and add Scherzer to Verlander and Porcello, and you’ve got a fantastic 1-2-3 for your rotation. I’m really excited about obtaining Schlereth, because our pen is definitely one of our question marks right now. Coke should help there too. As for Austin Jackson, can’t complain about getting one of the top OF prospects in the game. I’ll like seeing him mature and hopefully flourish here just as Granderson did.

    Even though it’s a little bittersweet to see Grandy go, I think Dombrowski was smart to move these guys for younger, cheaper talent while they were at the height of their value.

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  60. Bob says:

    How come no one has mentioned moving Granderson to left and keeping Gardner in center? As a Yanks fan I kinda like that outfield…I mean if Gardner just maintains last year’s performance, he’s a starting CF. Now that I look at it, Gardner’s put up 4.8 WAR in just 150 games over the last two years – wow –

    So am I missing something, why has seemingly no one brought up this possiblity?

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Well, that’s two guys you have to pull against LOOGYs later in the game, for starters…

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    • Tom B says:

      WAR does not instantly make someone a starter. At least I don’t think it does.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        What does that statement even mean?

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      • Bob says:

        Uhh yea, it does.

        Of course it doesn’t instantly make someone a starter, but I would say above-average OBP, very good centerfield, and as good baserunning as you’re gonna find do add up to a quality starting CF. I don’t personally see any reason that Gardner can’t maintain all three of these skills going forward, but I’d be open to an argument to the contrary if you feel like making one. (James has him at a .347 wOBA, which strikes me as a little high – career walk rate of 8%, he has him going over 12%.)

        As to the LOOGY thing, Gardner’s shown a pretty reasonable split for whatever it’s worth (he’s not Granderson, I guess I’m saying). And I somehow feel like managers would be reluctant to use their LOOGY against little Brett Gardner. Also you could just break them up in the order. I mean it’s obviously a valid point, but I just don’t think it’s a big enough issue in this case to warrant benching a player who would otherwise be starting.

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  61. Bob says:

    Yes I am missing something. I added up Gardner’s projected WAR total and his ’09. Whoops. Buuut he still posted 3.2 WAR in that span, which I think is reasonable for him to maintain. (I tend to think he’s probably better than that, as he’s clearly a better hitter than he showed in ’08)

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  62. Jip Bloop says:

    Can’t believe Brian G is using the CLUTCH!!! argument. That’s hilarious.

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  63. Brian G says:

    Jip Bloop what’s hilarious is Granderson’s numbers which are far below Damon’s in every meaningful category. Damon also had more SB’s. Jackson could easily put up a .249 avg and strikeout 141 times this year for the Yanks so trading him for an overrated player like Granderson simply makes the team worse for the next 3 years.

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    • Tom B says:

      what’s hilarious is that you can’t figure out how to use a reply button in a threaded message board.

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      • Tom B says:

        and you keep repeating what granderson did in ONE SEASON. STOP IT.

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      • Brian G says:

        Here is a reply TOM B: Granderson has done what exactly in his career? He has one good year, not one bad year. Last year was a terrible year. The Yanks sold high on a guy who had terrible year and that is a bad trade. Last year Yanks trading for Swish off of a bad year but gave up literally a bench player and seldom used minor league relief pitcher. What do the Yanks gain here if Jackson has a normal Granderson year in the next 3 years?

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      • Tom B says:

        In his career? are you joking? This whole this is an elaborate joke right?

        He’s only played 4 FULL SEASONS. He’s 29. He has had 1 bad year. and 1 good year. He sounds like a young player with at least 4 decent seasons ahead of him playing for a great team which only will make him better.

        You seem to think $8-$10million a year is a lot to pay for a .270 hitting, 30HR/30SB plus defensive CF, but you are completely wrong. I don’t know how to make this any clearer to you. Just give it up.

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  64. Brian G says:

    When was the last time he had 30 SB? Your judging him off one good year and that is all 2007 was it was a good year. He has had 32 SB in the past 2 seasons! So yes paying 8 to 10 million a year for a guy who projects as a .270 hitter with OBP below .350 and a guy who avg 149 K’s a year is paying a lot. The Yankees have the same player in Melky Cabrera making only 1 million a year which is where Granderson should be paid somewhere between 1 and 4 million a year.

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    • Tom B says:

      yet the website that you are posting your opinion on says that his value is $15-$17million DESPITE those horrendous stats you keep bringing up.

      I guess we’ll just take your word for it. Guys, Granderson is a bench player… Brian G said so.

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      • Brian G says:

        This website only sees numbers and not the actual games. Granderson after 2007 should ascending and not descending. Why have his past 2 seasons been below his best? Most players have a down year and bounce back, yet Granderson has a down year and comes back to have a worse year. But because he is 29 and had one good year The Yankees are justified by trading their top prospect for a guy who might bat .270 next year. Please explain to me why I should be excited about this trade. All your typing Tom are stats that literally do not effect the outcomes of games. Even in his best season he batted under .180 against lefties that literally means you or I could get him out throwing lefty…yet he is worth $15 to 17 million cause this site created an equation. A lot of equations have been made and then proven false but continue drinking the Kool Aid.

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      • Brian G says:

        When Granderson becomes a free agent in 3 years are you going to lobby for him to get $15 to $17 million?

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      • Tom B says:

        someone posted this elsewhere, and i’m going to steal it and beat you over the head with it until you stop.

        People look at 2007/2008/2009, see the downward trend, and say decline, but it’s really not decline at all. 2007 is a clear career outlier, fueled by an unsustainable .362 BABIP. 2008 is your average Granderson season, with a fairly reasonable (for a player with speed) .317 BABIP. 2009 is a year of bad luck with a .276 BABIP. This could be attributed to his incredibly low GB/FB ratio, but with his LD rates unchanged, his GB/FB ratio will probably head back towards career norms in 2010, and so will his BABIP. Grandy is 28….right in his prime. There’s no way he’s already in decline.

        Just because you seem to dislike him as a player doesn’t mean that he is, in fact, a poorly skilled baseball player.

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    • Joser says:

      Brian, your obsession with SBs and Ks suggests you’re one of the people who follow fantasy baseball more closely than real baseball. Which is fine (Rotographs is here after all) but you have to understand it distorts your ability to assess players in the real world (it doesn’t necessarily have to, but in your case the evidence suggests it does). Look at Granderson’s wOBA. Look at his UZR. Look at his value. They’re all available on his Fangraphs stat page. For that matter, look at relative value of all qualified CFs last year: notice the relative placing of Granderson and Melky and the not-insignificant gap between them?

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      • Brian G says:

        I get all that I do but what those stats don’t explain he was a below average player last year when he shouldn’t be. I can look at the UZR and wOBA but why does this guy bat .200 against lefties, why did he .249, why is his OBP below .350? A lot of guys on here look outside these numbers and find something to say “oh he has the potential to breakout” at 29 you should be past potential. My point is to simply say the Yanks have traded potential for more potential. Why not just go with Jackson and get him at the MLB level? They have good defensive CF’s already and have power in the OF. Wouldn’t they better off with Damon over Granderson? Damon projects higher in almost all offensive categories which would make up for the defensive deficiencies.

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      • mjmetro says:

        Brian G, you’re saying that granderson was a below average player last year? In what universe? He was above average with the bat and above average defensively at a premium position. That added up to 3.4 WAR, which was incidentally higher than Damon’s 3.0 WAR. Add to that the fact that Granderson had a .276 BABIP last year and it’s highly unlikely that his offensive production will decrease. So even if he plays average CF defense, he will be an above average player.

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    • B says:

      “OBP below .350″

      A .350 OBP is above average.

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      • Brian G says:

        not for a guy who is a lead off hitter.

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      • B says:

        Leadoff hitters don’t hit with the kind of power Granderson does. You realize Granderson’s power numbers are closer to a cleanup hitter than a leadoff hitter, right, while still getting on base an above average amount?

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  65. Brian G says:

    Tom – You got me buddy I am only 12. At least you watch 3-4 baseball games a night and track your fantasy starters all night. I am an adult Tom who actually sees the outside world on a regular basis. I also don’t get all giddy with excitement to have average ball players on my team at the expense of a promising player who projects to be at worst Curtis Granderson for 10 million dollars cheaper! At 29 Granderson is 2 years removed from his best season so why would your numbers and equations lead you to believe that he will over .270 next year or make it to the end of his contract a better player than he has been for the past 2 seasons?

    I like this site cause I find the statistics interesting and mostly informative but they do not tell the whole story, which you would probably know if you didn’t spend all day on your computer watching baseball and dreaming of Curtis Granderson and his average 3 tools.

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    • twinsfan says:

      What exactly is this “whole story?” That Granderson isn’t very good because you say so?

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      • Brian G says:

        Yeah that is basically it…care to make an equation out of that? Granderson isn’t good cause his core numbers are terrible for a player being touted as an all around player. He isn’t a great defender but a good one, he isn’t a great hitter but an average one yet the Yanks trading their top prospect for him. I don’t agree with the trade based on that.

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      • Tom B says:

        Man, you are in the wrong place.

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      • mjmetro says:

        would you care to explain your assertion that granderson is an `average’ hitter? do you mean that he’s average among all hitters with a career .358 wOBA?

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      • Bob says:

        While I haven’t agreed with anything Brian G. has said, he kinda won me over with that last response

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    • Lance says:

      The .276 BABIP compared to .323 lifetime doesn’t hurt the argument that he’ll bat over .270. Not that batting average “tells the whole story” anyway.

      Anyway, is it just me, or would signing Mike Cameron to something like 2 years, $10MM be similarly brilliant? Four outfielders that can play any of the three spots, plus Swisher as DH or either corner, and the best outfield defense the Yankees have had in recent memory sounds good to me.

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  66. Brian G says:

    I am not sure why his career .358 wOBA means he is an above average ball player. Like I stated earlier anyone can create an equation and the number resulting from this equation can mean you want say Curtis Granderson to be an above average ball player. You can also make statements like since he is 29 he will bounce back and have a typical Curtis Granderson year…yet his typical year is far below his 2007 season so what does that make him for his 4 year career at the age of 29?

    1 question no one has answered has been why would you trade a top prospect for a guy who has had 2 average seasons back to back (despite is illustrious wOBA)

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    • Tom B says:

      because when you trade “prospective value” for “actual value” you win.
      granderson has done and is doing what ajax at this point can only hope to in the major leagues.

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      • Brian G says:

        If your thought process was correct why are more teams not trading their prospects?

        Why didn’t the Yanks package AJAX with Kennedy and Montero plus another for Halladay? Certainly Halladay would prove more valuable this year than Granderson would?

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      • Tom B says:

        uhm, prospects are traded all the time? every trade in baseball generally involves a prospect or 2? is that a serious question?

        on the yankees you have to project to be better than average, and better than whatever FA player may be available in order to stick around. if that’s not the case you have to move them before they get lost in the system so you still receive optimal value for them.

        we get, regardless of if you actually believe it, an above average CF with plus speed, and plus power in yankee stadium. we give up on a few prospects, including one that may or may not project to be exactly what granderson is now. granderson should certainly outperform jackson over the next 3 years at the major league level. if after that time if jackson actually becomes an above average major league outfielder, who else is going to have a chance to pay him a contract we would have likely had to give him anyway if we kept him around?

        in the meantime we get a top5(hell, aim low and say top 10) centerfielder for 4 years… for $24mil over 3 years. roughly paying $8mil a year. by that time jackson will have to be better than whatever progression melky/gardner make in the next 3 years for this discussion to even be relevant.

        using and arguing with your feelings and opinions on a statistical analysis website, and then crying foul when those statistics are called on you, is the dumbest thing i’ve ever seen.

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    • Lance says:

      It probably has to do with the fact that 3.4 WAR (partially marred by a very low BABIP) being a four-year low is not generally considered average, and Austin Jackson is not expected to post very many illustrious wOBAs, which I’m pretty sure weren’t created to hype up Curtis Granderson.

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      • Brian G says:

        How is saying Jackson isn’t expected to post wOBA .358 while Granderson is expected to put those numbers again not the same thing? I mean we are all sitting here debating the potential of Granderson of reaching his best numbers again and basically dismissing Jackson as a nobody prospect. Wasn’t Granderson a nobody prospect at some point as well? The Yanks have the means to avoid losing for 10 years like the Tigers did until 2006 so trading their top prospects makes less sense than it did 6 hrs ago.

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    • mjmetro says:

      I never said a career wOBA of .358 makes him an above average ballplayer. I said that makes him better than average at hitting a baseball. The part where he becomes above average as a ballplayer is his plus defense in CF.

      What’s interesting to me is that you are willing to accept the concept of regression to the mean in his total value but not when it comes to his BABIP.

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      • Brian G says:

        If every indicator says he is regressing and 1 number holds true than I am probably not using that number as an indicator of what he is going to do next year. I am a see it and believe it guy and right now Granderson hasn’t done much over the last 2 years to indicate he will have good to great season. What is this guy going to do when he K’s 4 times in a game? Will he need a mental break to handle NY? Will he be the .167 hitter he was last year in bases loaded situations or the .242 hitter he is w/runners in scoring position or maybe the .180 hitter he is with runners in scoring position and 2 outs?

        How do those numbers shape a players reputation and his value to a team?

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    • twinsfan says:

      Maybe if you’d spend more time reading, more time comprehending, and less time pushing unsupported opinions, you’d begin to understand why he’s not “an average ball player.”

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      • Brian G says:

        Say all the numbers about Curtis Granderson are spot on and he is in fact an above average ball player. What does being above average really mean? The Yanks again trading a high level prospect not for a hall of fame pitcher but for a slightly above average CF who may or may not replace Johnny Damon’s offensive output and may or may not be a better defensive player than Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera and this if he actually hits the numbers he achieved 2 yrs ago. Is that really a good trade for the Yankees?

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      • B says:

        Brian, what you’re failing to understand is even Curtis Granderson since his monster year is a very good player. None of the players you mentioned are as good as Granderson. Damon is not. Jackson is not. Melky is not. Gardner is not. Granderson is not a slightly above average CF – he hits much, much better than an average CF, and he fields slightly better than one. For instance, in the season after his monster year, Granderson had 94 singles, 26 doubles, 13 triples, 22 HR’s, and 71 walks in 629 PA’s. That’s the kind of line you get out of a very good hitter.

        Good trade for the Yankees. Granderson is much better than their other options.

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      • Brian G says:

        Are my opinions unsupported because this blog doesn’t support them or just you? I don’t agree with the statisical analysis that has dumb downed baseball over the past 20 years. Some of the stats are useful and have proven useful but most of the stats out there today and most of the ones being used to argue trading a top prospect for an avg CF are basically useless so forgive me for not comprehending all the non sense your throwing on a wall and hoping it sticks. Bill James,

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      • Brian G says:

        Unsupported opinions? On this site if someone disagrees with a premise and doesn’t come up with a fancy new equation to support than he must be wrong right? I think most of the new statistical analysis has dumb downed baseball and are very unnecessary in evaluating performance or trades. Bottom line is you do not trade top prospects for players who may or may not be all -stars. You trade them for sure fire all stars and game changers. Not for guys who bat under .250 w/runners in scoring position and under .200 w/runners in scoring position and 2 outs or guys who are comparably defensively to the 2 CF’s you already have on the roster. My bad for not comprehending all of the nonsense on her but common sense says this trade isn’t one that should have been made even if the Yanks win a championship next year, which they won’t unless they get another pitcher.

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      • Tom B says:

        there are facts beyond made up formulas that you are completely ignoring. you are looking at batting average, on base percentage, and slugging, and using that to maniupulate your entire arguement. you are basically a tv broadcaster, congratulations.

        every other stat on this website says that your assertion of granderson as an average to below average player is completely wrong. we gave you reason why he had below average seasons, and to dismiss it as hocus pocus. BABIP is not some made up formula, it is a fact of baseball, just like average, and strikeouts. you are dismissing every “fact” you are presented with and refuting it with you don’t believe in the hockey pokey. then you are asserting your opinion which is in fact backed up by nothing.

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      • Tom B says:

        and since when does being a high-level prospect equate to being a sure thing at the major league level? you are asking granderson to repeat his 2007 performance, where at BEST ajax projects to that type of player.

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    • Sda5w says:

      I don’t think Granderson is an all-star or will be as a Yankee. I think he’s just more likely to help the team win than Jackson will, and adjusting it to their salaries does not make up for that. If the trades you mentioned below were available, they’re probably better options, but unless they were 100% available on December 8th, I think Cashman made a shrewd improvement to the team.

      Granderson’s probably going to be an average hitter over the life of the deal, and going to be an above-average fielder at the start of the deal who ends up around average. That—which I think you’d agree is Granderson’s reasonable bad-case scenario—is a relatively rare combo at CF, as you know.

      The Yankees are not just paying $8 million for that combo; they’re paying for the near-certainty that he’ll be around that good, on average, for the lifetime of the deal, and that’s good value for the money even if he’s just around what he gave the Tigers in 2009.

      Now, Melky/Gardner/Austin Jackson *might* give you that, or better, or much better, but more likely they won’t. We pretty much know what Melky is (a really good 4th outfielder) and we’re getting to know what Gardner is (perhaps a superlative 5th outfielder). We don’t know what Jackson will be, but we have some educated guesses that his short-term future looks something like (in the best case) Granderson’s present.

      Would you rather pay, say, $2 million over the next 4 years (figure 3 years at the minimum plus one arb year for AJax) for, say, a 20%* chance you get Granderson’s current (worst-year) production? Or would you rather pay $25 million?

      There are reasonable arguments both ways, but I think the overriding factor here is that the Five Rings crew has maybe two years left in them, and it’s probably worth the premium to max out their chances while they still can play at a high level. Trading a top prospect is probably worth being risk-averse here.

      *–30%? 40%? I made that up, obviously, but it’s more likely than not Gardner/Melky/Jackson won’t match Granderson’s 2009 performance w/in the next two years.

      Or I think of it this way. Obviously you’d rather buy things wholesale, but sometimes you have to pay retail. The Yankees are buying the floor model here—there’s no warranty, but the 30% off the sticker price is probably worth it.

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  67. noseeum says:

    I think Brian G works for Fangraphs and is paid by the comments he generates.

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    • Brian G says:

      Yep I get paid well by Fangraphs.

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    • Brian G says:

      Being a top prospect doesn’t equate to being a sure thing but neither does having one good year equate to your hitting those numbers again. Which has been my point from the get go. The Yanks are making this trading hoping they get the good Granderson from 2007 and there is a risk. I do not think the risk is worth it because Jackson can reach Granderson’s level since it isn’t that far from being a prospect.

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      • Tom B says:

        yet you don’t hesitate to disregard his excellent season in 2007. choosing instead to focus on the 2 seasons directly after he broke his finger. how many more reasons do you need that he might not have been playing up to the best of his abilities the last 2 years?

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  68. Sorolevet says:

    The Francessa school of argument in full effect.

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  69. R M says:

    WTF. I just read on redsox.com that the Sox inquired about Granderson and the Tigers wanted Ellsbury and Buchholz? And the Yankees walk away having giving up nothing of value except a potentially average CF?

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    • B says:

      I think it’s fair to say the Tigers got a pretty comparable package to Ellsbury/Bucholz. Jackson, Scherzer, Coke and Schlereth isn’t bad at all. Red Sox should have found a sucker to pull into a 3 way trade, I guess. Really, the only way this happened for anyone is because Arizona, for some reason, decided they were ok with getting a huge shaft…

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      • R M says:

        I mean compared to what the Yankees gave up….Ellsbury/Buchholz vs. Jackson and organizational fluff? That is ridiculous.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        If the D’backs are removed from the trade, the Yanks essentially have to send Joba and Robertson to Detroit and take back Jackson, and I still think Detroit wouldn’t be getting quite as much.

        Hey, at least the Yanks would have held onto Kennedy, though! /sarcasm

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      • B says:

        RM, completely agree, the Diamondbacks being willing participants in getting hosed were what made the deal work and gave the Tigers the type of value they were looking for.

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    • Randy says:

      Because a pitcher’s K rate is all that matters, not his injury risk, or inability to throw enough innings, or the stress he puts on his own bullpen.

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      • Teej says:

        Scherzer averaged 5.7 innings per start last year. The average NL starter averaged 5.8. Scherzer’s inability to go deep into a game is overstated.

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  70. Linuxit says:

    This past season, I probably spent more time apologizing for Granderson than cheering for him. As a Tiger fan I’m sad to see him go, but I’m also glad I won’t have to watch him fail anymore. If I was the Yankees, I would MRI Granderson’s finger before signing off on this deal. He hasn’t been the same player since he broke it back in the spring of 2008.

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  71. Linuxit says:

    This past season, I probably spent more time apologizing for Granderson’s mistakes than cheering for him. As a Tiger fan I’m sad to see him go, but I’m also glad I won’t have to watch him fail anymore. If I was the Yankees, I would MRI Granderson’s finger before signing off on this deal. He hasn’t been the same player since he broke it back in the spring of 2008.

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  72. Brian G says:

    Granderson is a better option for the Yankees isn’t a definitive statement. If he has a similar year as his last 2 than he isn’t. Granderson’s power isn’t really needed in this lineup when you have 30+ guys in AROD and TEX, 20+ guys in Swish and Cano and 15+ guy in Posada. Granderson would need to duplicate Damon’s year to warrant this trade and I don’t see him doing that in NY. He won’t bat over .270, he won’t drive in 80 runs, and he won’t steal 30 bases. So if your going to play a guy everyday who is going to bat under .270 and drive in less runs then Derek Jeter than why make the trade for him?

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    • Tom B says:

      you realize we can barely follow your rambling incoherent opinions because you keep writing starting new threads instead of actually replying to people. not that you are making much sense, but you are turning this into an unreadable mess.

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      • Brian G says:

        Yeah its pretty frustrating but it is what it is. As for not making sense I guess common sense isn’t something you understand unless it starts with a bunch of meaningless formulas that turn average into great.

        you have maintained that Granderson is above average and worth trading because the potential value is unknown. But really we are comparing Granderson to Jackson and wouldn’t it be fair to say that Jackson could easily become a player similar to Granderson since Granderson isn’t a great player?

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      • Tom B says:

        holy crap, that has been written like 15 times in this thread. are you even reading anymore? a-jax projects to be exactly what granderson was in 2007, probably with less power.

        you choose to ignore half of the things people are telling you, and your reply every time is “but, but, but, i’m the only one with common sense, i’m the only one that knows because i WATCH the game”.

        just stop.

        i’m willing to get banned from posting here for this… you are a fucking idiot. you are completely ignorant. you cannot follow a conversation, and you should start keeping your “opinion” to yourself.

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    • Tom B says:

      you keep saying he won’t he won’t he won’t. that is called your opinion, and only your opinion. no one else, here or elsewhere, has written anything to support your opinion but you.

      now, you are either the smartest baseball analyst alive, or you are wrong. hrmmmm……

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      • Brian G says:

        Guy re read your threads: All your saying Jackson won’t do this or he projects to do this – that is speculation and your opinion. There are very few prospects who are can’t miss and Granderson wasn’t a can’t miss kid either. Jackson has all the tools and is controlled by the Yanks long term keeping him makes more sense than hoping Granderson has a 2007 season which is the only reason why his numbers have him at an above average level. When you say Granderson should get back to his previous level it is your opinion as well so you can’t have it both ways. you don’t agree with me which is fine but it doesn’t mean I am wrong.

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      • Tom B says:

        you’re right, it is my opinion. the difference is my opinion is backed up by more than “i watch baseball”.

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      • Brian G says:

        Just for kicks here is information from another site that supports my theory that Granderson isn’t worth trading a top prospect for:

        Although he made the All-Star team, Granderson had some alarming stats, namely his .327 on-base percentage, 141 strikeouts and a .183 average against lefthanders in 180 at-bats.

        Javier Vasquez was an All Star in 2004 just in case you needed to any more proof of some of the overrated BS your spewing on this site. It isn’t all about the numbers and if that is all you consider than you have and everyone on here has been wrong. Those numbers tell a good chunk of the player that Granderson is. Back to back declining seasons in your prime isn’t a good start to your prime especially since every number but HR’s is already comparable to what Jackson did in AAA at the age of 21.

        Anyway enjoy the night-enjoyed learning all about the other side of baseball tonight .

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  73. Brian G says:

    What were your reasons for him having 2 below his norm seasons? All you have said is those aren’t his real numbers just look at his BAIBP or his wOBA. It doesn’t answer the question as to why he has not played to his potential over the last 2 years and why all of a sudden he will find it again in NY. This past season Tex, CC, and Burnett all struggled to get going and in the past guys have needed a full season to find their feet in NY but Granderson is going to become an above average ball player again because of his WAR and BAIBP and wOBA? Why didn’t these numbers work this past year or the year before?

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    • Tom B says:

      look how how many players had the BABIP he did and performed at the level you think he should be performing.
      then explain to us what control he has over where the ball goes every time he hits it.
      then go learn what stat regression means.
      then go apply that to his 2 bad seasons and tell me what you find.

      until you do this, or understand how ridiculously easy that is to look up on this website, i’m not acknowledging your stupidity any longer.

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      • mjmetro says:

        i seriously don’t understand how in any universe granderson has had two bad seasons. he’s been solidly better than most CFs each and every year.

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      • Brian G says:

        No one can control where the ball goes all you can do is hit where it is pitched and go from there. He is playing in a smaller ballpark that doesn’t yield many triples so those numbers will go down – some will get caught, some maybe hr’s, some maybe singles or doubles. So based on this will his numbers go up, stay the same, or go down? Some of his doubles translate to the same as well, what % of his xbase hits that weren’t homers will translate to outs in the Yankee stadium?

        I have an answer – who gives a crap he is not a hall of fame player, he isn’t even a great player so why bother trading a chip like Jackson when Jackson could be the next Granderson? Should the Yanks get the next group of prospects ready to be dealt for Grady Sizemore? Maybe BJ Upton? Why not deal for Carl Crawford? There are better players out there and the Yanks settled when they didn’t need to. If you want to call that a good trade than fine, but I will maintain it is a bad trade cause they could have and should have gotten more.

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      • Brian G says:

        Who are most CF’s that we are comparing Granderson to? And since when do you trade a #1 prospect for a guy who is better than most CF’s?

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    • Steve says:

      what you can’t seem to understand is that Granderson had an excellent season in 2008.

      just because it wasn’t as good as his phenomenal 2007, doesn’t mean it wasn’t excellent.

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      • Brian G says:

        2008 his avg went down by 22 pts he hit drove in 8 less runs, had 14 less SB and played on a last place team. Did Robinson Cano have a good season in 2008?

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Curtis Granderson 2008 – .280/.365/.494, 22 HR, 12/16 SB, -8.9 UZR, 3.8 WAR
        Robinson Cano 2008 – .271/.305/.410, 14 HR, -8.0 UZR, 0.5 WAR

        Totally comparable…

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      • MBD says:

        Tom B, I feel your pain.

        Brian G. you are wrong. Stop mentioning BA. Stop using only 1 year as evidence. Stop using tiny subsets from that single year, like BA with the bases loaded; that’s 6 ABs, for Christ’s sake. Stop pretending that the fact that no one can predict the future with 100% certainty means that the probability of Ajax’s being productive is equal to the probability of Granderson’s doing so. Stop pretending that the Yankees could have had Halladay for Ajax, Coke, and Kennedy.

        Granderson’s 2008 was an excellent season. No one is trying to hoodwink you with funny equations. He OBP’d .365, which is one reason he scored 112 runs (you might have seen) in only 141 games. That’s his main job in the offense. He also hit 22 homers. Only 23 AL players hit more that year, and only 2 were CFs. In 2009, no AL CF hit more homers. Over those 2 years, no AL CF hit more than Granderson’s 52.

        You speak of “stats that literally do not effect [sic] the outcome of games”, but they do affect the outcomes of games; you just don’t see it because you have been trained to focus on batting average. BA, by the way, is a stat that does not affect the outcome of games as much as you think. It doesn’t tell you how well the player avoids making outs, how many bases he gets out of his hits, how well he steals bases, or how well he defends. Yet it’s practically the only stat you ever mention.

        You say Damon projects better than Granderson offensively, but that is simply not true. Damon will probably have fewer HRs, runs, RBIs, and SBs, the same BA and OBP, and lower SLG, ISO, and wOBA. His defense will also be worse, and we don’t have to quantify your vague assertion that his offense will make up for it, because his offense is unlikely to work in his favor at all. Also, he’s 36 and wants at least the $13M he’s making now, so he’s 7 years older and costs MORE.

        You call Granderson “a slightly above average CF who may or may not replace Johnny Damon’s offensive output and may or may not be a better defensive player than Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera”. Does he also have to be taller than CC and better in the sack than Jeter? How many players’ best features is he supposed to replace?

        You could learn a lot from listening to the other posters here.

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      • mjmetro says:

        oh god no, he played on a last place team in 2008. that must mean he is really bad!

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  74. Brian G says:

    Did Cano rebound from his 2008 season or regress again like Granderson?

    So Granderson batted 9 pts higher, and had a slugging % .084 higher and WAR 3 pts higher and he had a great season? Cano nearly was run out of town for his 2008 season, and now the Yanks are bringing a guy in who had a worse year than Cano in 2008. Good move.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      OBPing 60 points higher and slugging 85 points higher is pretty friggin’ massive, yeah. And Cano had what one would call a nadir. If anything, Cano in ’08 shows that you don’t give up on talented players just because they have an off year, of which Granderson has only had one.

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  75. Dave Cameron says:

    Why are you guys even bothering? Just go pound your head on a brick wall, get it out of your system, and leave Brian to his ignorance.

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  76. Jon says:

    Dave, Corey Dawkins in the 2010 Hardball Times cites Scherzer as a player likely to have shoulder problems. He was evaluated for shoulder surgery immediately after being drafted by Dr. Yocum. He had shoulder tendonitis multiple times in college. He was on the DL in 08 with shoulder inflammation and in 09 for shoulder tightness. He also seemed to lose velocity at the end of 09 according to Pitchf/x. Finally he also had a substantial increase in workload. If the Diamondbacks felt he was a significant injury risk, does that change your analysis?

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  77. BriAudio says:

    I like Curtis Granderson, but the 22nd most valuable asset in baseball? That’s a really big stretch. He would have a hard time cracking my top 50.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Dave considered contracts when he did that series – thus, Granderson is more valuable than, say, A-Rod because he makes a sixth of what A-Rod pulls in, yet he provides significantly more than one-sixth the value A-Rod does on the field.

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    • noseeum says:

      It’s based on cost, years under control and performance. So any player with either a short contract or an expensive one is lower on the list. It doesn’t mean he’s the 22nd best player in baseball. Just the 22nd most valuable trade commodity because he plays well at a much needed position, and he will do so cheaply for many years.

      Or at least that’s what Brian G told me.

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  78. dprat says:

    The saddest thing about this thread is that I actually read all of it. At least I took a couple breaks to eat dinner and fold some laundry.

    So I got that going for me.

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  79. ecksodia says:

    Brian G, at worst Austin Jackson becomes Curtis Granderson? Are you kidding me? By using your own argumentative method of using limited sample sizes, I call bullshit. He hasn’t shown signs that he can hit for power like Granderson does at the majors, and yet you say that’s Jackson’s floor value? Give me a break.

    I understand your seemingly complete distrust of some of the metrics people on here use in their arguments; but please, realize that it is not some completely made up stat, and also realize that they don’t think these stats are infallible. Until someone comes up with a better way to analyze the data that can be culled from a baseball game, this is all we have, and if you can’t live with that, then why even bother arguing? Utterly pointless.

    “I watch baseball games” isn’t a particularly good argument. Neither is what are probably, to some degree, inaccurate metrics. But hey, maybe combining both approaches to analyzing a baseball player’s value, and a little civility go a long way, eh?

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  80. Matt C says:

    I’m a die hard Tigers fan so I just about literally watched every Granderson AB. Granderson should be better next year with the Yanks than with the Tigers but for the Yankees sake hopefully their hitting coach works out Granderson’s swing because last year it was seriously flawed. His BABIP wasn’t just bad luck, his swing was awful. He hit so many weak flyballs or pop ups(almost 3 times as many than previous year) because he had such an upper cut on it and when he did hit a grounder it was normally a weak chopper because he would roll over on it. So just cause it was so low that doesn’t mean that it is gonna just go up significantly, his swing was flawed and until it get fixed he is going to continuously post a low BA and OBP(he doesn’t have the best eye at the plate). Not to mention he is still a liability late in games because he can’t hit lefties and teams just put one in when he is up. He’s basically just a 3 AB a game hitter in close games(he’s worthless late in close games because of the bullpen situation) He’ll still hit many HRs regardless because with his type of swing and the power he possesses he’ll still run into some but that maybe all he does if it doesn’t get corrected. With that said I wouldn’t be surprised if it does because the Yankees obviously have good coaches unlike the Tigers. The Tigers hitting instructor Lloyd Mclendon is TERRIBLE and deserves to be canned. But we’ll save that for another conversation.

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  81. Matt C says:

    Also just to clarify my previous post. I wasn’t trying to bash Granderson or the Yankees for trading for him. I still think this was a great trade for the Yanks because Granderson is relatively inexpensive, especially for them and they didn’t give up a ton to give him, plus at the very least he does and will bring power to the plate. I was just pointing out that don’t magically expect him to raise his average or OBP 30 or so points just cause the metrics say his BABIP was low, because that may not be the case aslong as his swing stays the same as it was this past year. I also like to add another one of his problems and why his BA is so low and that is that he is too pull happy. He rarely ever “goes with the pitch”, all you have to do is pitch him outside and he is still gonna try to pull it resulting in either a weak grounder or pop up.

    On a more positive not he probably will be better in that Yankee lineup since I’m assuming he won’t be hitting leadoff. His skillset isn’t tailored to be a leadoff hitter and I think you can maximize his value hitting him lower in the order. Unfortunately the Tigers didn’t have any better options, atleast in Leyland’s mind so he continously put him in that spot.

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    • MBD says:

      I agree that he needs to work on that swing and bring his GB/FB ratio back up over 1. A guy with his speed needs to leg out more grounders and not try to hit quite as many homers; the good news is that in the Yankees’ lineup, he may feel less pressure to swing for the (much closer) fences.

      It should be repeated that his LD% stayed up in 2009, so his swing wasn’t so flawed that we should doubt the ability of his BABIP to return to his norm.

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  82. Sandy Kazmir says:

    Fangraphs has many great additions of late, but perhaps they could look into adding an ignore feature. I just read through some of the dumber arguments, I’ve ever read. In the future if it’s 1-2 people arguing just so that people will acknowledge their existence, I’d like to have the option to just ignore them.

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  83. Alex Downing says:

    I’m pretty big on Edwin Jackson and don’t see why the Rays would trade him. How is it bad when Jackson, who keeps getting better, is added to a rotation that already has Brandon Webb and Dan Harren. Remember, the D-Backs did make it to the NLCS in 2007 with the offense they’ve got right now.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Because he’s more expensive, under control for less time, and not as good as Max Scherzer is right now.

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      • Randy says:

        Because Edwin is better than Scherzer is right now according to FanGraphs itself, without even adjusting for Edwin facing tougher competition, and for the stress Scherzer puts on his own bullpen and soon to implode arm.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Someone needs a little lesson in how to use WAR. Given the error term implicit in the stat, there’s no practical difference between 3.2 and 3.5. While innings have their value, young pitchers are reasonably expected to continue to build theirs up. Jackson needed an extra innings to provide the same value as Scherzer – thus, Scherzer is the better pitcher. Right now.

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  84. Sean Meenaghan says:

    How can you say that the yankees got the best value out of the trade. Granted, Granderson is a good player but he hit .249 last year. He had 30 home runs but i really don’t think the yankees need any more power. Im sure if i found a left handed hitter in little league he would be able to get it over that ridiculous right field porch. The tiger’s obviously were the winners in the trade. Scherzer will develope in to a great starter with that high 90’s fastball. Austin Jackson will be a great player. I can see him being a great mlb outfielder with an above average arm and a good bat. The tigers also got two lefty relievers to help that beleaguered bullpen from last year. And almost all the players they got are locked down for many years. You should probably think about this again before making such a bold evaluation.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Wow, you stated unequivocally that Scherzer will be a great starter and Austin Jackson will be a great outfielder, then chastise somebody else for making a bold evaluation? Nobody’s knocking Detroit’s end of the deal here.

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    • Randy says:

      Scherzer is a reliever, he’s shown no ability to lower his pitch counts and is unlikely to pitch 200 innings without injury.

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      • OlSalty says:

        He’s also been a starter in the league for what, ONE year? ONE. YEAR. A year in which he was a pretty good pitcher?

        And he was a starter. And he was better than Edwin Jackson. And how do you come to these conclusions that he’s going to fall apart for sure? His mechanics? Injury prediction based on pitcher mechanics is a joke.

        But all of that is moot because if you’re going to trade someone you think is a reliever but everyone else in the world thinks is going to be a really good starting pitcher in the future, you let them go on thinking that because really good starting pitchers are going to get you a WAY bigger return. You devalue your own return if you let your own expectations for a player dictate their value on the market. There is no excuse for what the Diamondbacks did here. None. It was stupid, they are stupid, and someone should lose their job over it.

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      • circlechange11 says:

        The DBacks got 2 SP’s for an SP and MiLB reliever.

        You are talking as if the DBacks traded away the next Grienke or something, and that EVERY team in the league views Scherz as an ‘Ace’. Scherzer might have been the only piece the other teams wanted (that AZ was wiling to trade) in order to get two SPs.

        AZ is without Garland and next year their rotation looks like: Haren, Webb, Jackson, Kennedy, and Petit/Augustein/Buckner/Whoever.

        They traded Schelreth who is currently behind ALL 3 LHPs in their bullpen(Schoenweiss, Zavada, and Slaten). If Schelreth was “ready to close”, AZ would have featured him last year when Qualls got injured.

        Seriously, people are talking of Scherzer as if he is guaranteed to be an “Ace” and they are talking of Schlereth as if he’s going to be a great closer. I’m asking why?

        People are being ridiculed for making declarative statements without evidence, and I see the “Scherzer as Ace” and “Sclereth as Closer” as being comments of the same mold. Show me some other examples of high WHIP and high K pitchers that have struggled to get through the 6th early in their career and have went on to become an Ace of a staff (I’m open to changing my view). Show me another HIGH walk MiLB hard thrower that has went on to be a solid closer in MLB.

        I like both guys a lot and hear lots of good things about both Max and Dan and I root for their success (both are reputed to be great guys and outstanding teammates), but I don’t see the value being attributed to them by some posters.

        I am NOT saying that AZ *should* have traded Scherzer only that they “got decent value in return”. At this point they needed 2 SP’s more than they needed Scherzer and another LHR (and Parker looks to be further from MLB than he was as a new draftee). With Webb returning, they essentially have the same team as 07, only with Allen/Whitesell replacing Tracy and Parra platooning some more … With JU10 and MR27 being better now than they were then.

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      • B says:

        Examples…the Giants have been perfect for this thread so far. Matt Cain. Jonathan Sanchez. Brian Wilson….

        It’s not that Scherzer is guaranteed to be an ace – it’s that he’s already had a full season of being a good starting pitcher, and that K/9 gives him a ton of upside. Given how cheap he is, how young he is, and how long he’s under team control, of course people expect a bigger return on him. Maybe he improves, maybe he doesn’t – but if he doesn’t, as long as he stays healthy, he’s already good….

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      • OlSalty says:

        When the hell did I ever make a declarative statement that “Scherzer is an Ace”? And I never even mentioned Schlereth because who cares about him.

        He’s not Greinke but he projects to be an all star. Projections are not guarantees, they are projections of potential upside. That value isn’t attributed to him by posters here, it’s attributed to him by scouts who have studied him extensively. And even if he never gets better than he is right now in the majors, you still have a better pitcher than Jackson under club control for way, way longer. And Ian Kennedy is nothing special, sorry.

        Oh no Arizona is without Garland whatever shall we do? You know who’s a much better pitcher than Jon Garland right now, this second? Max Scherzer. The thing about Jon Garland is that he kind of sucks. The answer to losing Jon Garland is not to trade your best pitching prospect for two average to below average pitchers.

        This is an awful return for them. They did not get decent value in return, I would propose that you are greatly undervaluing Max Scherzer if you think so.

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    • Tim says:

      This is Brian G under a new name, right?

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    • OlSalty says:

      Yeah it’s really going to suck when their above-average-defending center fielder hits 40 home runs for them in that park. That couldn’t possibly contribute to them winning baseball games at all. What a shitty trade.

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  85. Eugene C says:

    I’ve just been lurking here, but I always find the “statistics can be made up to make anybody awesome” argument particularly hilarious. It’s as if they think that these statistics are for the sole purpose of “Harrison Bergeron”-ing the league.

    I can see such a site now: “We worked all night, but according to our new metric we dubbed “Pitchers who Share Last Names with Dead Presidents” (PwSLNwDP) the Diamondbacks also win this trade! Yay!”

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    • Joser says:

      Yeah, this is the “math is difficult, and I don’t want to think hard enough to understand the underlying concepts, so because their conclusions disagree with my preconceptions I’ll just assume they’re lying” mentality. Unfortunately you also see it anywhere science collides with politics, and the stakes are much higher there.

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  86. BrettJMiller says:

    So perhaps we should just ignore certain people before threads get way out of hand…

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  87. Brian Gee says:

    Brian G is the worst poster ever.

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  88. dorsal says:

    I think Damoso Marte’s WS performance (solid playoffs after one bad outing and game 6 K’s of Utley and Howard) made Phil Coke expendable.

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