Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Curtis Granderson Available in Trade?

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Detroit Tigers have let teams know that star center fielder Curtis Granderson is available for the right price.

Granderson has been one of the better center fielders in the game since emerging in 2006, and his 2007 performance was among the best of the decade, as he posted an astonishing 38 doubles, 23 triples, 23 home runs and 26 steals, accumulating to a .395 wOBA from a plus defender in center, and a 7.4 WAR for the season.

Granderson is realistically more of a 3-4 WAR player, but his combination of upside and a relatively cheap long-term contract make him probably the most attractive piece that the Tigers will consider moving this offseason. The major concern with Granderson is the apparent change in his approach, as he began to hit far more flyballs.

While the change in approach led Granderson to hit 30 home runs for the first time in his career, he also posted a .249 BA and a .327 OBP, underwhelming for someone that was considered a cornerstone of the organization fairly recently. He posted a good walk rate, his .276 BABIP is certainly due for some regression considering his line drive rate, and his 13.0% infield fly rate is very flukish as well.

Granderson is still an impact bat and a solid defender in center, so he's certainly a big time trade piece when you consider his reasonable contract, which pays him $23M through 2012 with a $13M team option that has a $2M buyout attached to it.

Certainly, any team with a hole in center field will look to see what the price is on Granderson, because guys like him rarely hit the market with a reasonable price tag attached to them.

Another big question is who would replace Granderson if he's dealt? Presumably, the Tigers would give Wilkin Ramirez a try in center field, but it's questionable if he's ready given that he posted a .326 OBP in AAA in 2009, in spite of posting a .347 BABIP mark.

As far as I can tell, if the Tigers are forced to deal Granderson because of financial issues, then the front office should really consider replacing Dombrowski. His track record of big-money signings and extensions (Sheffield, Willis, Robertson, Guillen, Ordonez, Robertson, Bonderman, and at times, Inge) is pitiful, and the majority of the impact prospects that the team has developed are ones that were added through big-money draft bonuses, guys like Verlander, Porcello, Maybin and Miller.

1 comment:

  1. Granderson would be a perfect fit for the Giants.