The Yankees wanted Curtis Granderson to play centerfield for them after he averaged 29 doubles, 13 triples, 23 home runs, 16 stolen bases, and 103 runs over four full seasons for the Detroit Tigers from 2006 to 2009. Granderson had a pretty team friendly, five-year, $30.25 million deal from 2008 through 2009, with a team option for 2013 for $13 million or a $2 million buyout, which only sweetened the deal for New York.
The Yankees were getting a nice power and speed outfielder, but little did they know that Granderson was capable of erupting for the 84 home runs and 225 RBI that he has produced the last two seasons. However, Granderson’s total meltdown in the ALCS and the entire postseason makes you wonder what one player is worth, especially as the Yankees head home after being swept by the team that they acquired Granderson from.
Granderson was traded from Detroit to New York in a three-team deal on December 8, 2009. The Tigers traded Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Curtis Granderson to the Yankees. The Yankees gave Arizona Ian Kennedy, who has gone 45-26 with a 3.55 ERA in 98 starts since the trade. In return, the Tigers received Austin Jackson and Phil Coke from the Yankees and Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks.
While the deal was centered upon Curtis Granderson and the Yankees receiving another dynamic talent, how much influence did the players that the Tigers received in the deal have on the postseason in 2012?
- Max Scherzer: 1-0, two starts, 11 IP, 5 H, 0.82 ERA, 18:3 K:BB
- Phil Coke: 7 games, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0.00 ERA, 2 saves, 5:2 K:BB
- Austin Jackson: .297/.350/.514, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
- Daniel Schlereth: Did Not Play; DL
It’s only been nine games for the Tigers this postseason, but with the lack of depth in the New York Yankees rotation the entire season, how nice would Ian Kennedy have looked in there? And, while Granderson provides power and produces runs, Austin Jackson has become a fantastic player. How different are the two players?
- Player A: 314 runs, 61 2B, 21 3B, 108 HR, 292 RBI, 47 SB, .843 OPS
- Player B: 296 runs, 85 2B, 35 3B, 30 HR, 152 RBI, 61 SB, .761 OPS
Considering his position in the middle of the order, Granderson, Player A, dominates in the power categories, which drives up his OPS, HR, and RBI numbers. However, since Austin Jackson is the Tigers’ leadoff hitter, he, Player B, has also impressed by posting a higher average (.280 to .247) and on-base percentage (.346 to .337) than Granderson the last three seasons.
The moral of the story here is that the Yankees gave up Austin Jackson, Coke, and Kennedy, and the Diamondbacks gave up Scherzer and Schlereth, all so that the Yankees could get Curtis Granderson.
When you go all-in for an individual talent and watch the players you gave up beat you…ouch.
Granderson finished the postseason 3-for-30 with 16 strikeouts, one run, one home run, and a lot of questions leading into the 2013 season, especially after being relegated to pinch-hitting duties the last game of the ALCS.