Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Trade Curtis Granderson, Do It
It's mostly just speculation and loose connections to various players this morning in Yankeeland. But there was some dust stirred up earlier when Buster Olney tweeted that the Yankees were "open to talks" about trading Curtis Granderson. I already made my pitch for what I would do with Granderson if the situation was different this offseason, but even with the payroll constraints on this is a move I would support if there's some body to the rumor.
Yes, trading Granderson away would open up another hole in the everyday lineup next season, one that would not be easily filled. If the Yankees still want to contend next season, as Joel Sherman said they did when discussing the C-Grand rumors, ridding themselves of the best power hitter in their lineup doesn't help that cause. But let's look objectively at Granderson. He's 31 years old, he'll be 32 before the start of next season, and despite his high HR totals he appears to be in the early stages of decline. His contact skills have steadily eroded since joining the Yankees, he set new career highs in total strikeouts and K rate in 2012, and most defensive metrics paint him as a below-average defensive center fielder at best.
His price tag is already $15 million for 2013, and that value will more than likely increase when he becomes a free agent on the strength of his HR numbers. That will be too rich for the Yankees' blood if this offseason is any indication of how serious they are about getting below the luxury tax threshold. If Granderson really is starting to decline and isn't a candidate to be brought back anyway, why not move him while you can still get something of value back for him? It won't be value that will replace his production, but it's better than nothing. I was a little more on-the-fence about this when I wrote about it months back, but now I'm going to say it more definitively. The Yankees should trade Curtis Granderson.